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Energies 2017, 10(3), 354; doi:10.3390/en10030354

Thermal and Stability Investigation of Phase Change Material Dispersions for Thermal Energy Storage by T-History and Optical Methods

1
Department of Mechanical, Energy and Management Engineering (DIMEG), University of Calabria, Via P. Bucci 46/C, 87036 Rende, Italy
2
Department of Informatics, Modelling, Electronics and System Engineering (DIMES), University of Calabria, Via P. Bucci 39/C, 87036 Rende, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francesco Asdrubali
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 22 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
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Abstract

Glauber’s salt (sodium sulphate decahydrate) is a promising phase change material (PCM) for use in the building sector, thanks to its high enthalpy of fusion associated with a proper phase transition temperature. It also offers economic and environmental advantages because it can be obtained as a byproduct from the disposal process of lead batteries. However, due to phenomena of phase segregation and supercooling, Glauber’s salt cannot be used in its pure state and requires the addition of rheological modifiers and nucleating agents. In this work, the initial thermal performances of mixtures based on Glauber’s salt with different compositions are compared by using the T-history method and adopting sonication for mixing, and following the same preparation procedure for all the samples. With fixed composition, the effects of the addition sequence of the reagents are also examined. The analysis carried out by optical methods based on light scattering (Turbiscan equipment) allowed us to identify the kinetics of destabilization for each sample and revealed the need to specify in detail the preparation stages of PCMs, in order to make the composition reproducible in the laboratory and on a wider scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal energy storage (TES); phase change material (PCM); Glauber’s salt; T-history; stability thermal energy storage (TES); phase change material (PCM); Glauber’s salt; T-history; stability
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De Paola, M.G.; Arcuri, N.; Calabrò, V.; De Simone, M. Thermal and Stability Investigation of Phase Change Material Dispersions for Thermal Energy Storage by T-History and Optical Methods. Energies 2017, 10, 354.

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