News Column

Reports from Royal Institute of Technology Describe Recent Advances in Phase Change Materials

May 9, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Energy Weekly News -- A new study on Phase Change Materials is now available. According to news reporting originating from Stockholm, Sweden, by VerticalNews correspondents, research stated, "A mobilized thermal energy storage (TES) system has been proposed to recover and use industrial waste or excess heat for distributed users. In this paper, lab-scale test facilities have been built to understand the mechanisms of heat charging and discharging processes."

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from the Royal Institute of Technology, "The facilities consist of a direct/indirect-contact thermal energy storage container, heat transfer oil (HTO)/water tanks, an electrical boiler, HTO/water pumps and a plate heat exchanger. The organic phase change material (PCM), erythritol, which is sugar alcohol, was chosen as the working material due to its large heat density (330 kJ/kg) and suitable melting point (118 degrees C) for industrial low-temperature heat recovery, as well as non toxic and corrosive. Although differential scanning calorimetry tests have shown that a large temperature range exists during the phase change of erythritol, it did not affect the heat discharging during the tests of system performance. Heat charging/discharging results show that for the direct-contact storage container, heat discharging process is much faster than charging process. At the initial stage of heat charging, heat transfer oil is blocked to enter the container, resulting in a slow charging rate. Meanwhile, the PCM attached on the container wall on the bottom always melts last. It has been found that increasing the flow rate of HTO can effectively enhance the charging/discharging processes. For the indirect-contact storage container, heat charging and discharging take almost the same time; and the flow rate of HTO does not show an obvious effect on the charging and discharging processes due to the weak thermal conductivity of the solid phase change material."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Comparatively, using the direct-contact storage container may achieve shorter charging/discharging processes than using the indirect-contact storage container."

For more information on this research see: Experimental study on the direct/indirect contact energy storage container in mobilized thermal energy system (M-TES). Applied Energy, 2014;119():181-189. Applied Energy can be contacted at: Elsevier Sci Ltd, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, Oxon, England. (Elsevier -; Applied Energy -

The news editors report that additional information may be obtained by contacting W.L. Wang, Royal Inst Technol, Energy Proc Div, SE-10044 Stockholm, Sweden. Additional authors for this research include S.P. Guo, H.L. Li, J.Y. Yan, J. Zhao, X. Li and J. Ding.

Keywords for this news article include: Sweden, Europe, Stockholm, Nanotechnology, Emerging Technologies, Thermal Energy Storage

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Source: Energy Weekly News