The present study describes and classifies latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) systems according to their structural characteristics. A general model is developed for analyzing the thermal characteristics of the various typical LHTES systems to simulate thermal characteristics such as instantaneous heat transfer rate, instantaneous thermal storage capacity, etc. of the various typical LHTES systems. The model is verified using experimental data in the literature. An illustrative example is undertaken to analyze the thermal performance of various LHTES systems. The general model can be used to select and optimize the system structure and to simulate the thermal behavior of various typical LHTES systems.