Cooling performance of a portable cold box for cold chain was studied in this paper. The effects of melting point of the phase change materials (PCMs), the locations of the PCMs, and the insulation material on the cooling duration time were numerically compared using the experimentally validated model. Firstly, five distributions of PCMs inside the box (case 1: 100% of the PCMs at the top, case 2: 20% at the top and 20% on each side wall, case 3: 25% on each side wall, case 4: 20% on each side wall and 20% at the bottom, case 5: 100% at the bottom). Secondly, five different PCMs, with melting point at 2 °C, 3 °C, 4 °C, 5 °C and 8 °C respectively, were used to verify the cooling effect of the box. Finally, two different insulation materials (polyurethane, vacuum insulated panels) were compared under the same operation conditions. It was found that different PCMs locations, melting point of the PCMs and the insulation materials leaded to different cooling duration times. The location of PCMs with 20% at the top and 20% on each side wall, the melting point at 3°C, and the vacuum insulated panel (VIP) as the insulation material could maximize the cooling duration time of the box.
Keywords portable cold box, phase change material, cooling duration time