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project information

Full title:

Innovative shaped stabilized PCM for direct solar receiver-storage








PCM Technology, Viridi Production

project description

There are excellent reasons to convert sunlight into heat. Solar energy is projected to provide up to 20% of relatively low temperature (<120˚C) process heat for industry by the year 2050. By that same year, solar-thermal-driven cooling could account for as much as 17% of the energy use required for cooling, and solar-generated hot water and space heating could meet 14% of the worldwide demand for building hot water and space heating. However, solar irradiation is intermittent and unstable. The mismatch between the solar energy supply and demand restricts its widespread application. Thermal energy storage technologies are needed to match the variable supply of sustainable heat and to optimize the performance of solar-thermal systems. Innovative compact thermal energy storage technologies are based on the physical principles and properties of phase change materials (PCM) where heat can be stored in a more dense form and with less losses compared to the conventional heat storage systems(e.g. hot water storage tanks). Nevertheless, the application of PCM was hampered by the leakage of melted phase during phase transition, low thermal conductivity and their extra costs as a separate storage system.


The aim of Inno-DSS project is to elucidate the potential of shape-stabilized phase change material (SSPCM)  based direct absorption solar collectors .The higher efficiency of the solar collector with higher energy storage density will be delivered by utilizing the concept of combining photo-thermal conversion and latent heat storage. Thermal storage including phase change materials have the potential to store larger amounts of thermal energy within a smaller temperature range compared to storage tank using water. The integration of separate thermal energy storage unit into domestic hot water systems is efficient but a costly solution. Due to the low thermal conductivity of many PCMs, poor rates of thermal diffusion within the PCM can reduce significantly the nominal storage system charge and discharge rates. Previous researches report a low system efficiency enhancements between 5 to 10%. These issues will be addressed in this project by introducing the new configuration of solar-thermal collector using novel SSPCMs and single unit for photo-thermal conversion and heat storage.

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