Special Issue "Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Uroš Stritih
Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: heating, cooling, air-conditioning, energy storage, renewable energy sources

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Phase change materials (PCM) are becoming more and more popular for their use in different thermal energy storage (TES) systems: in buildings for heating and cooling, cooling of electronic devices, batteries, biomedical and industrial processes, and concentrating solar power or solar cooling plants.

These materials can store and release high amounts of energy by latent heat and reduce the size and weight of systems based on conventional materials. They can be also coupled with renewable energy-based systems or be used to shift the peak load.

This Special Issue will publish the best research and review papers on the development and enhancement of PCMs, their testing at the lab or prototype scale, the development of dedicated numerical models, and more especially on their use in advanced applications.

It is my pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. Full papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Prof. Dr. Uroš Stritih
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • phase change materials
  • energy storage
  • numerical models
  • experiments
  • applications

Published Papers (12 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Study of the Phase Transitions in the Binary System NPG-TRIS for Thermal Energy Storage Applications
Materials 2020, 13(5), 1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13051162 - 05 Mar 2020
Abstract
Neopentylglycol (NPG) and tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane (TRIS) are promising phase change materials (PCMs) for thermal energy storage (TES) applications. These molecules undergo reversible solid-solid phase transitions that are characterized by high enthalpy changes. This work investigates the NPG-TRIS binary system as a way to extend [...] Read more.
Neopentylglycol (NPG) and tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane (TRIS) are promising phase change materials (PCMs) for thermal energy storage (TES) applications. These molecules undergo reversible solid-solid phase transitions that are characterized by high enthalpy changes. This work investigates the NPG-TRIS binary system as a way to extend the use of both compounds in TES, looking for mixtures that cover transition temperatures different from those of pure compounds. The phase diagram of NPG-TRIS system has been established by thermal analysis. It reveals the existence of two eutectoids and one peritectic invariants, whose main properties as PCMs (transition temperature, enthalpy of phase transition, specific heat and density) have been determined. Of all transitions, only the eutectoid at 392 K shows sufficiently high enthalpy of solid-solid phase transition (150–227 J/g) and transition temperature significantly different from that of the solid-state transitions of pure compounds (NPG: 313 K; TRIS: 407 K). Special attention has also been paid to the analysis of metastability issues that could limit the usability of NPG, TRIS and their mixtures as PCMs. It is proven that the addition of small amounts of expanded graphite microparticles contributes to reduce the subcooling phenomena that characterizes NPG and TRIS and solve the reversibility problems observed in NPG/TRIS mixtures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Investigation of the Thermal Properties of Diesters from Methanol, 1-Pentanol, and 1-Decanol as Sustainable Phase Change Materials
Materials 2020, 13(4), 810; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040810 - 11 Feb 2020
Abstract
Esters present several advantages when compared to traditional materials used for thermal energy storage, amongst which are better sustainability and greater chemical stability. However, at present, their thermal properties remain mostly unknown or not well documented. In this study, 12 diesters from four [...] Read more.
Esters present several advantages when compared to traditional materials used for thermal energy storage, amongst which are better sustainability and greater chemical stability. However, at present, their thermal properties remain mostly unknown or not well documented. In this study, 12 diesters from four dicarboxylic acids (oxalic, succinic, suberic, sebacic) and three alcohols (methanol, 1-pentanol, 1-decanol) have been assessed as bio-based phase change materials for thermal energy storage. All diesters have been synthesized via Fischer esterification to high purities, and their chemical structures, as well as thermal properties, have been fully characterized. The diesters investigated show phase change transitions in a low–mid temperature range between −32 and 46 °C with maximum enthalpies of 172 J/g and show higher degrees of supercooling compared to fatty monoesters. Similarly to other esters classes, some trends correlating the chemical structures to the thermal properties were identified, which would allow for the development of property prediction tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Modeling of Energy Demand and Savings Associated with the Use of Epoxy-Phase Change Material Formulations
Materials 2020, 13(3), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13030639 - 31 Jan 2020
Abstract
This manuscript integrates the experimental findings of recently developed epoxy-phase change material (PCM) formulations with modeling efforts aimed to determine the energy demands and savings derived from their use. The basic PCM system employed was composed of an epoxy resin, a thickening agent, [...] Read more.
This manuscript integrates the experimental findings of recently developed epoxy-phase change material (PCM) formulations with modeling efforts aimed to determine the energy demands and savings derived from their use. The basic PCM system employed was composed of an epoxy resin, a thickening agent, and nonadecane, where the latter was the hydrocarbon undergoing the phase transformation. Carbon nanofibers (CNF) and boron nitride (BN) particulates were used as heat flow enhancers. The thermal conductivities, densities, and latent heat determined in laboratory settings were introduced in a model that calculated, using EnergyPlus software, the energy demands, savings and temperature profiles of the interior and the walls of a shelter for six different locations on Earth. A shipping container was utilized as exemplary dwelling. Results indicated that all the epoxy-PCM formulations had a positive impact on the total energy savings (between 16% and 23%) for the locations selected. The use of CNF and BN showed an increase in performance when compared with the formulation with no thermal filler additives. The formulations selected showed great potential to reduce the energy demands, increase savings, and result in more adequate temperatures for living and storage spaces applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Experimental Investigation on Mechanism of Latent Heat Reduction of Sodium Acetate Trihydrate Phase Change Materials
Materials 2020, 13(3), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13030584 - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
Sodium acetate trihydrate (SAT) phase change material (PCM) has been well known for thermal energy storage due to its high latent heat and resource abundance. However, SAT suffers from severe latent heat reduction after heating and cooling cycles. Although a few of previous [...] Read more.
Sodium acetate trihydrate (SAT) phase change material (PCM) has been well known for thermal energy storage due to its high latent heat and resource abundance. However, SAT suffers from severe latent heat reduction after heating and cooling cycles. Although a few of previous researches showed the reduction could be effectively inhibited by using thickeners, the mechanisms of the reduction process and thickeners’ inhibition have not been deeply explored till now. In this work, SAT modified by 5 wt.% nucleating agent of disodium hydrogen phosphate dodecahydrate (SAT/5 wt.% DSP) was prepared and 200 thermal cycles were carried out. The differential scanning calorimeter, Rheometer, X-ray diffractometry, and scanning electron microscope were used to investigate the extent of latent heat reduction, viscosity, phase composition and microstructure, respectively, and the infrared thermal imaging method was used to evaluate heat storage capacity. It was found that the latent heat of SAT/5 wt.% DSP dropped dramatically and the relative decrease in latent heat was measured to be 22.44%. The lower layer of SAT/5 wt.% DSP contained 24.1 wt.% CH3COONa, which was quantitatively consistent with the reduction extent. Furthermore, the phase change endothermic time of the lower layer was only 44.1% of that of the upper. SAT/5 wt.% DSP was further modified by 3 wt.% thickener of carboxymethyl cellulose (SAT/5 wt.% DSP/3 wt.% CMC) and endured 200 thermal cycles. The extent of the latent heat reduction of SAT/5 wt.% DSP/3 wt.% CMC was only 9.29%, and phase compositions were more homogeneous. The 3 wt.% CMC increased viscosity by 14 times, which effectively prevented the Stokes sedimentation velocity of CH3COONa in melts and inhibited the final macroscopic phase separation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Aluminum Inserts for Enhancing Heat Transfer in PCM Accumulator
Materials 2020, 13(2), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13020415 - 16 Jan 2020
Abstract
Phase change materials (PCMs) are applied in heat storage units, as they are able to accumulate the energy in the form of the latent heat of fusion. Thus, they can be used in recovering the excess of heat from various industrial processes. Their [...] Read more.
Phase change materials (PCMs) are applied in heat storage units, as they are able to accumulate the energy in the form of the latent heat of fusion. Thus, they can be used in recovering the excess of heat from various industrial processes. Their main weakness is their low thermal conductivity coefficient, which strongly limits their usage. In this paper, the benefits of the application of metallic inserts in heat storage PCM-based units were elaborated. Two kinds of Al–Si spatial elements (foams and honeycomb structures) were produced with the use of means of the investment casting method. Key factors influencing the technological process were established. The surface’s roughness was measured in order to compare the obtained structures with their patterns in terms of the casting’s accuracy. The compressive strength of the samples was tested, and their fatigue resistance was considered. The thermal performance of manufactured inserts in the PCM (paraffin)-based accumulator, supported by the calculation of heat fluxes, was analyzed and adjusted. Finally, further optimization was conducted in terms of the volume ratio of the metal insert to the PCM. Metallic inserts were found to significantly affect the performance of the entire energy storage system, as their use results in reduced charging time, a longer heat release time, increased maximum temperature, and a significant reduction in the temperature gradient in the heat storage unit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Li2SO4–Na2SO4 System for Thermal Energy Storage
Materials 2019, 12(22), 3658; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12223658 - 07 Nov 2019
Abstract
In this paper, the system Li2SO4–Na2SO4 is proposed as a candidate material for thermal energy storage applications at high temperatures (450–550 °C). Depending on the composition, the thermal energy can be stored by using a eutectoid [...] Read more.
In this paper, the system Li2SO4–Na2SO4 is proposed as a candidate material for thermal energy storage applications at high temperatures (450–550 °C). Depending on the composition, the thermal energy can be stored by using a eutectoid reaction and solid–solid phase transition. In these types of systems, all the components (reagent and products) are in the solid state. This work includes the theoretical analysis (based on the Calphad method) of the system selected obtaining all the theoretical parameters (for example, enthalpies of reaction, transition temperatures, volume expansion, and the heat capacities) necessary to determine the theoretical performance in terms of thermal energy storage. The theoretical analysis allowed to identify two compositions (Li2SO4/Na2SO4 79/21 and 50/50) in the phase diagram with the most promising theoretical enthalpy of transformation (270 J/g and 318 J/g, respectively) corresponding to a eutectoid reaction and a solid–solid phase transition (stoichiometric compound LiNaSO4). The experimental analysis carried out allowed to confirm the great potential of this system for TES application even if some discrepancies with the theoretical calculation have been observed experimentally (energy densities lower than expected). For the two compositions studied, 79/21 and 50/50, the enthalpies of reaction are 185 J/g and 160 J/g, respectively. The reactivity of the system was tested under different experimental conditions preparing materials with a different degree of nanocrystallization to favor the diffusion in the solid state, testing the reactivity of the materials under controlled atmosphere and under air, and performing preliminary durability analysis (cycling behavior up to 20 cycles) to test the stability and reversibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Neopentyl Glycol as Active Supporting Media in Shape-Stabilized PCMs
Materials 2019, 12(19), 3169; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12193169 - 27 Sep 2019
Abstract
The present work explores the feasibility of using polyalcohols with solid-solid phase transition as active supporting matrix of n-alkanes in shape-stabilized phase change materials (SSPCMs). It is well-established that the use of SSPCM avoids leakage and increases stability and easy handling of solid-liquid [...] Read more.
The present work explores the feasibility of using polyalcohols with solid-solid phase transition as active supporting matrix of n-alkanes in shape-stabilized phase change materials (SSPCMs). It is well-established that the use of SSPCM avoids leakage and increases stability and easy handling of solid-liquid PCMs. Nevertheless, the resulting composite exhibits a loss of heat storage capacity due to the volume occupied by the supporting material, which does not contribute to latent heat storage. Therefore, the objective of this work is to combine solid-liquid PCMs (alkanes) with solid-solid PCMs (polyalcohols), both exhibiting a phase transition in the same range of temperature, to obtain high energy density SSPCMs. Towards that goal, the performance of Neopentyl Glycol (NPG) and Docosane as a new energetic SSPCM has been proved. The NPG-Docosane chemical compatibility and its outstanding wettability facilitate the propitious association of both materials. The higher capillary forces obtained by decreasing the NPG crystal size together with the addition of expanded graphite (EG) allowed to obtain a maximum Docosane content of 60 wt%. The addition of EG improves the shape stability at the time that increases the heat transfer properties of the composites. The analysis showed that the components of the obtained SSPCMs are able to combine their latent heats, achieving a maximum value of 210.74 J/g for the highest Docosane content. This value is much higher than those latent heats exhibited by existing SSPCMs in the same working temperature range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Methods to Characterize Effective Thermal Conductivity, Diffusivity and Thermal Response in Different Classes of Composite Phase Change Materials
Materials 2019, 12(16), 2552; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12162552 - 10 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The phase change materials (PCMs) used in devices for thermal energy storage (TES) and management are often characterized by low thermal conductivity, a limit for their applicability. Composite PCMs (C-PCM), which combine active phase (proper PCM) with a passive phase with high conductivity [...] Read more.
The phase change materials (PCMs) used in devices for thermal energy storage (TES) and management are often characterized by low thermal conductivity, a limit for their applicability. Composite PCMs (C-PCM), which combine active phase (proper PCM) with a passive phase with high conductivity and melting temperature have thus been proposed. The paper deals with the effect of length-scale on thermal characterization methods of C-PCM. The first part of the work includes a review of techniques proposed in the scientific literature. Up to now, special focus has been given to effective thermal conductivity and diffusivity at room or low temperature, at which both phases are solid. Conventional equipment has been used, neglecting length-scale effect in cases of coarse porous structures. An experimental set-up developed to characterize the thermal response of course porous C-PCMs also during active phase transition at high temperature is then presented. The setup, including high temperature-heat flux sensors and thermocouples to be located within samples, has been applied to evaluate the thermal response of some of the above C-PCMs. Experimental test results match Finite Elements (FE) simulations well, once a proper lattice model has been selected for the porous passive phase. FE simulations can then be used to estimate temperature difference between active and passive phase that prevents considering the C-PCM as a homogeneous material, to describe it by effective thermo-physical properties. In the engineering field, under these conditions, the design steps for TES systems design cannot be simplified by considering C-PCMs as homogeneous materials in FE codes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Use of Eutectic Fe-Si-B Alloy as a Phase Change Material in Thermal Energy Storage Systems
Materials 2019, 12(14), 2312; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12142312 - 19 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Fe-26.38Si-9.35B eutectic alloy is proposed as a phase change material (PCM) as it exhibits high latent heat, high thermal conductivity, moderate melting point, and low cost. For successful implementation of it in the latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) systems, we investigate the [...] Read more.
Fe-26.38Si-9.35B eutectic alloy is proposed as a phase change material (PCM) as it exhibits high latent heat, high thermal conductivity, moderate melting point, and low cost. For successful implementation of it in the latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) systems, we investigate the use of graphite as a refractory material that withstands long-term melting/solidification in contact with the Fe-26.38Si-9.35B alloy. The PCM has been thermally cycled up to 1–4 times below and above its melting point at the temperature interval of 20 °C or 100 °C. It is observed that this eutectic alloy shows good thermal stability over a small temperature range of 1057–1257 °C. Some SiC and B4C solid precipitation will be formed at the top of the alloy. However, it does not seem to increase with time. The graphite crucible as a refractory material will produce a protective layer of SiC and B4C that will hinder the interaction between the PCM and the crucible. The small volume change during solidification will not break the graphite crucible during cycling. The chemical wear or dissolution of the crucible is negligible. It demonstrates the viability of Fe-26.38Si-9.35B alloy as a heat storage material in this type of container. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Alkali-Activated Cements for TES Materials in Buildings’ Envelops Formulated With Glass Cullet Recycling Waste and Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials
Materials 2019, 12(13), 2144; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12132144 - 03 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Within the thermal energy storage field, one of the main challenges of this study is the development of new enhanced heat storage materials to be used in the building sector. The purpose of this study is the development of alkali-activated cements (AACs) with [...] Read more.
Within the thermal energy storage field, one of the main challenges of this study is the development of new enhanced heat storage materials to be used in the building sector. The purpose of this study is the development of alkali-activated cements (AACs) with mechanical properties to store high amounts of heat. These AACs incorporate wastes from industrial glass process as well as microencapsulated phase change materials (mPCMs) to improve the thermal inertia of building walls, and accordingly respective energy savings. The research presented below consists of the exhaustive characterization of different AACs formulated from some waste generated during the proper management of municipal waste used as precursor. In this case study, AACs were formulated with the waste generated during the recycling of glass cullet, namely ceramic, stone, and porcelain (CSP), which is embedding a mPCM. The addition of mPCM was used as thermal energy storage (TES) material. The mechanical properties were also evaluated in order to test the feasibility of the use of the new formulated materials as a passive TES system. The results showed that the AAC obtained from CSP (precursors) mixed with mPCMs to obtain a thermal regulator material to be implemented in building walls was reached successfully. The material developed was resistant enough to perform as insulating panels. The formulated materials had high storage capacity depending on the PCM content. The durability of the mPCM shell was studied in contact with alkaline medium (NaOH 4 M) and no degradation was confirmed. Moreover, the higher the content of mPCM, the lower the mechanical properties expected, due to the porosity increments with mPCM incorporation in the formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Docosane-Organosilica Microcapsules for Structural Composites with Thermal Energy Storage/Release Capability
Materials 2019, 12(8), 1286; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12081286 - 19 Apr 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Organic phase change materials (PCMs) represent an effective solution to manage intermittent energy sources as the solar thermal energy. This work aims at encapsulating docosane in organosilica shells and at dispersing the produced capsules in epoxy/carbon laminates to manufacture multifunctional structural composites for [...] Read more.
Organic phase change materials (PCMs) represent an effective solution to manage intermittent energy sources as the solar thermal energy. This work aims at encapsulating docosane in organosilica shells and at dispersing the produced capsules in epoxy/carbon laminates to manufacture multifunctional structural composites for thermal energy storage (TES). Microcapsules of different sizes were prepared by hydrolysis-condensation of methyltriethoxysilane (MTES) in an oil-in-water emulsion. X-ray diffraction (XRD) highlighted the difference in the crystalline structure of pristine and microencapsulated docosane, and 13C solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) evidenced the influence of microcapsules size on the shifts of the representative docosane signals, as a consequence of confinement effects, i.e., reduced chain mobility and interaction with the inner shell walls. A phase change enthalpy up to 143 J/g was determined via differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) on microcapsules, and tests at low scanning speed emphasized the differences in the crystallization behavior and allowed the calculation of the phase change activation energy of docosane, which increased upon encapsulation. Then, the possibility of embedding the microcapsules in an epoxy resin and in an epoxy/carbon laminate to produce a structural TES composite was investigated. The presence of microcapsules agglomerates and the poor capsule-epoxy adhesion, both evidenced by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), led to a decrease in the mechanical properties, as confirmed by three-point bending tests. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) highlighted that the storage modulus decreased by 15% after docosane melting and that the glass transition temperature of the epoxy resin was not influenced by the PCM. The heat storage/release properties of the obtained laminates were proved through DSC and thermal camera imaging tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Review of Thermophysical Property Data of Octadecane for Phase-Change Studies
Materials 2019, 12(18), 2974; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12182974 - 14 Sep 2019
Abstract
In this work we derive temperature-dependent functions for the most important material properties needed for phase change studies with octadecane. Over 80 references are reviewed in which at least one thermophysical property of octadecane is measured. The functions are valid ±40 K around [...] Read more.
In this work we derive temperature-dependent functions for the most important material properties needed for phase change studies with octadecane. Over 80 references are reviewed in which at least one thermophysical property of octadecane is measured. The functions are valid ±40 K around the melting temperature and are surrounded by their confidence interval. It turns out that the values for the solid phase have much broader confidence intervals than the ones of the liquid phase. Hence, more accurate measurements are particularly desirable for the solid state material properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop