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Article

Environmental Assessment of Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Technology System with Phase Change Material for Domestic Heating Applications

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Pariser Building, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, The University of Manchester, Sackville Street, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
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Center for Sustainability Research, Universidad Andres Bello, República 440, Santiago 8370251, Chile
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Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
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Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London, Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2BU, UK
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Pariser Building, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, The University of Manchester, Sackville Street, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Fausto Cavallaro and Valeria Palomba
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11265; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011265
Received: 1 September 2021 / Revised: 1 October 2021 / Accepted: 7 October 2021 / Published: 13 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Secure and Sustainable Energy System)
The emissions generated by the space and water heating of UK homes need to be reduced to meet the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The combination of solar (S) collectors with latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) technologies with phase change materials (PCM) can potentially help to achieve this goal. However, there is limited understanding of the environmental sustainability of LHTES technologies from a full life cycle perspective. This study assesses for the first time 18 environmental impacts of a full S-LHTES-PCM system from a cradle to grave perspective and compares the results with the most common sources of heat in UK homes. The results show that the system’s main environmental hotspots are the solar collector, the PCM, the PCM tank, and the heat exchanger. The main cause of most of the impacts is the extensive consumption of electricity and heat during the production of raw materials for these components. The comparison with other sources of household heat (biomass, heat pump, and natural gas) indicates that the S-LHTES-PCM system generates the highest environmental impact in 11 of 18 categories. However, a sensitivity analysis based on the lifetime of the S-LHTES-PCM systems shows that, when the lifetime increases to 40 years, almost all the impacts are significantly reduced. In fact, a 40-year S-LHTES-PCM system has a lower global warming potential than natural gas. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal energy storage (TES); latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES); circular economy; environmental sustainability; life cycle assessment (LCA); climate change thermal energy storage (TES); latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES); circular economy; environmental sustainability; life cycle assessment (LCA); climate change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chocontá Bernal, D.; Muñoz, E.; Manente, G.; Sciacovelli, A.; Ameli, H.; Gallego-Schmid, A. Environmental Assessment of Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Technology System with Phase Change Material for Domestic Heating Applications. Sustainability 2021, 13, 11265. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011265

AMA Style

Chocontá Bernal D, Muñoz E, Manente G, Sciacovelli A, Ameli H, Gallego-Schmid A. Environmental Assessment of Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Technology System with Phase Change Material for Domestic Heating Applications. Sustainability. 2021; 13(20):11265. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011265

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chocontá Bernal, Daniel, Edmundo Muñoz, Giovanni Manente, Adriano Sciacovelli, Hossein Ameli, and Alejandro Gallego-Schmid. 2021. "Environmental Assessment of Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Technology System with Phase Change Material for Domestic Heating Applications" Sustainability 13, no. 20: 11265. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011265

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