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Recent Developments in Phase Change Materials for Energy Storage Applications

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2021) | Viewed by 5305

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Structural Mechanics and Hydraulic Engineering, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
Interests: phase change materials (PCM); energy; thermodynamics; experimental; computational simulation; finite element formulation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The development of society is closely related to the generation and use of energy. However, the main drawbacks of conventional energy sources, such as fossil fuels, are polluting emissions and environmental problems. For this reason, a transition towards renewable energies, which exploit natural resources to produce clean energy, has been promoted by different scientific communities and governments. In particular, the use of Thermal Energy Storage (TES) systems is attracting considerable attention.

TES systems can be classified into two different categories: sensible and latent heat storage. While in the former, the stored energy is related to the temperature difference undergone by the storage medium, in the latter, the energy storage depends mainly on the latent heat of Phase Change Materials (PCMs). Hence, latent heat-based systems provide a major capability of energy storage density. In this spirit, this special issue aims to provide an overview of the most recent advances in PCMs for energy storage systems. It aims to include, but is not limited to:

  • New designs and configurations for PCM applications;
  • Experimental characterization of PCMs;
  • Computational modelling and optimization for PCMs;
  • Lifecycle assessments for PCM applications.

Dr. Roberto Palma
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 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
  • Thermodynamics
  • Energy storage
  • Latent heat
  • Experimental characterization
  • Phase field modelling
  • Computational modelling
  • Lifecycle assessment

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 2308 KiB  
Article
Exergy Analysis of Phase-Change Heat-Storage Coupled Solar Heat Pump Heating System
by Chuanhui Zhu, Shubin Yan, Xiaodong Dong, Wei Zhang, Biyi Huang and Yang Cui
Materials 2021, 14(19), 5552; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14195552 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2093
Abstract
With the rapid development of industrialization, the excessive use of fossil fuels has caused problems such as increased greenhouse gas emissions and energy shortages. The development and use of renewable energy has attracted increased attention. In recent years, solar heat pump heating technology [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of industrialization, the excessive use of fossil fuels has caused problems such as increased greenhouse gas emissions and energy shortages. The development and use of renewable energy has attracted increased attention. In recent years, solar heat pump heating technology that uses clean solar energy combined with high-efficiency heat pump units is the development direction of clean heating in winter in northern regions. However, the use of solar energy is intermittent and unstable. The low-valley electricity policy is a night-time electricity price policy. Heat pump heating has problems such as frosting and low efficiencies in cold northern regions. To solve these problems, an exergy analysis model of each component of a phase-change heat-storage coupled solar heat pump heating system was established. Exergy analysis was performed on each component of the system to determine the direction of optimization and improvement of the phase-change heat-storage coupled solar heat pump heating system. The results showed that optimizing the heating-end heat exchanger of the system can reduce the exergy loss of the system. When the phase-change heat-storage tank meets the heating demand, its volume should be reduced to lower the exergy loss of the tank heat dissipation. Air-type solar collectors can increase the income exergies of solar collectors. Full article
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19 pages, 7990 KiB  
Article
New Equivalent Thermal Conductivity Model for Size-Dependent Convection-Driven Melting of Spherically Encapsulated Phase Change Material
by Feng Hou, Shihao Cao and Hui Wang
Materials 2021, 14(16), 4752; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14164752 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2125
Abstract
Spherically encapsulated phase change materials (PCMs) are extensively incorporated into matrix material to form composite latent heat storage system for the purposes of saving energy, reducing PCM cost and decreasing space occupation. Although the melting of PCM sphere has been studied comprehensively by [...] Read more.
Spherically encapsulated phase change materials (PCMs) are extensively incorporated into matrix material to form composite latent heat storage system for the purposes of saving energy, reducing PCM cost and decreasing space occupation. Although the melting of PCM sphere has been studied comprehensively by experimental and numerical methods, it is still challenging to quantitatively depict the contribution of complex natural convection (NC) to the melting process in a practically simple and acceptable way. To tackle this, a new effective thermal conductivity model is proposed in this work by focusing on the total melting time (TMT) of PCM, instead of tracking the complex evolution of solid–liquid interface. Firstly, the experiment and finite element simulation of the constrained and unconstrained meltings of paraffin sphere are conducted to provide a deep understanding of the NC-driven melting mechanism and exhibit the difference of melting process. Then the dependence of NC on the particle size and heating temperature is numerically investigated for the unconstrained melting which is closer to the real-life physics than the constrained melting. Subsequently, the contribution of NC to the TMT is approximately represented by a simple effective thermal conductivity correlation, through which the melting process of PCM is simplified to involve heat conduction only. The effectiveness of the equivalent thermal conductivity model is demonstrated by rigorous numerical analysis involving NC-driven melting. By addressing the TMT, the present correlation thoroughly avoids tracking the complex evolution of melting front and would bring great convenience to engineering applications. Full article
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