Packing Heat: Energy Storage Using Phase Change Materials
Many technological applications that involve intermittent energy demand and supply, such as solar or building energy systems, function more effectively if there is a storage mechanism to act as a buffer. Phase Change Materials (PCMs) can greatly increase the energy storage capacity of conventional (sensible energy) storage systems because of the high-energy transfer during their phase transition. With the help of PCMs, larger amounts of energy can be stored in smaller volume and at lower temperatures (resulting in lower insulation costs). This research paper discusses the problem-solving process of selecting a novel PCM (myristic acid) and designing a model apparatus to measure its thermal properties and behaviour. Experiments were conducted on water to calibrate the apparatus and estimate the errors in the experiment.
Phase Change Materials (PCMs); energy storage; latent heat; solar energy; heat storage; myristic acid
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University of Victoria