Latent Heat Storage with Phase Change Materials (PCMs)

H. L. Zhang, J. Baeyens, J. Degrève, F. Pitié


Latent heat thermal energy storage with phase change materials (PCMs) is attractive since providing a high energy density storage due to the phase change by solidification/melting at constant temperature. Relative to sensible heat energy storage systems, latent heat storage with PCMs requires a smaller weight and volume of material for a given amount of captured/stored energy, and has the capacity to store heat of fusion at a constant or nearly constant temperature, thus maintaining a high and constant temperature difference between the heat exchanging surface and the PCMs.

The present review paper will summarize the required properties of PCMs, with their respective advantages and disadvantages; the current state of development and manufacturing; the development of PCM applications, including their incorporation into heat exchangers, insertion of a metal matrix into the PCM, the use of PCM dispersed with high conductivity particles. PCM uses will be illustrated through some case-studies.


Heat storage, Latent heat, Sensible heat, Phase change materials, Encapsulation

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ISSN: 1929-6002