<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Application with PCM Technology
Application with PCM Technology . A pack of Li-ion batteries kept at a narrow temperature range with a proper use of passive thermal management system. Source: AllCell’s PCM Technology©


There is a great interest in saving energy and in the use of renewable energies. PCMs provide an underused option for developing new energy storage devices in order to minimize greenhouse effects. They operate at constant temperature; as heat is added to the material, the temperature remains stable, but the heat drives the change to a higher energy phase. A PCM stores heat in the form of latent heat of fusion which is about 100 times more than the sensible heat. Hydrated salts, paraffin waxes, fatty acids and eutectics of organic and non-organic compounds are the major types of PCMs that melt at a wide range of temperatures. The specific melting point of the PCM determines the design of thermal storage system.

In this module, applications of PCM in solar energy, buildings, and vehicles were reviewed. Solar heaters have been popular since 1960s and PCMs have been used to store the precious energy from sun since 1980s. They have been used extensively in solar cookers, especially in the third world countries in order to decrease the thermal related costs. The cookers do not use fuel and hence reduce air pollution.

PCM can be used for temperature regulation in order to minimize the heat loss or gain through building walls. They have been used to capture solar heat and decrease the temperature fluctuations in buildings. Moreover, since a small amount of PCM is sufficient in order to store solar energy, thermal comfort is achieved without substantial increase in the weight of the construction materials.

Application of PCMs in transportation is growing widely. Today, refrigerated trucks are regulated by refrigeration units, but the use of PCMs is a viable option to prevent the denaturation of food during transportation. The transfer rate of heat can be reduced significantly with PCMs. Moreover, PCM makes Li-ion batteries, which have high energy density, viable for high-power applications. The generated energy during discharge or drive mode can be transferred from the body of the battery to environment with the help of PCMs. Battery packs can be maintained at an optimum temperature with proper thermal management and the PCM has been shown to be capable of removing large quantities of heat due to its high latent heat of fusion.

Even though there is a lot of on-going research on effective and efficient applications of PCMs in a variety of areas (e.g. solar cookers, buildings, vehicles), PCMs have yet to become a widely used technology for sustainable energy. The advantages of PCMs are hardly known by many people and, therefore, the applications of PCMs and their benefits should be offered to consumers. The sun is out there, continuously transferring its energy for free, but we need to do more to harness that sustainable energy for our own needs.

Review questions

Explain briefly how phase change materials work.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

What is the main disadvantage of the paraffin wax as a phase change material?

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Name three different areas in the sustainable energy field in which PCMs are a key element in balancing heating and cooling.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!


Ahmed, M., Meade, O.,&Medina, M. A. (2010, March). Reducing heat transfer across the insulated walls of refrigerated truck trailers by the application of phase change materials. Energy Conversion and Management, 51 , 383-392. doi: 10.1016/j.enconman.2009.09.003

Buddhi, D.&Sahoo, L. K. (1997, March). Solar cooker with latent heat storage: Design and experimental testing. Energy Conversion and Management, 38 , 493-498. doi: 10.1016/S0196-8904(96)00066-0

Sveum, P., Kizilel, R., Khader, M.,&Al-Hallaj, S. (2007, September). IIT Plug-in Conversion Project with the City of Chicago. Paper presented at the Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference, Arlington, TX. doi: 10.1109/VPPC.2007.4544174

Questions & Answers

why should a firm close down when it's unable to pay it's variable cost?
what is oligopolistic competitive market?
exchange of goods and services between countries is call
Hosea Reply
what is constant opportunity cost
Tiffany Reply
Constant opportunity cost means the value of sacrifice remains constant in every step.
Gross Domestic Product GDP
Yusuf Reply
what is g d p
Jayapal Reply
gross daily performance
How best can a poor country respond to an economic crisis , what does it have to sacrifice.
Bah Reply
they should pay tax as progressive system and should make sacrifice for taxation of their income and land etc
how have the nations tries to solve the problem of scarcity in their economies?
Amani Reply
total concentration on to reduce the per unit cost of commodity by technically or whatever
explain what will happen to producer of green coconut now that we have to lockdown in the kingdom of tonga
Tuha Reply
the demand for coconut will decrease and supply increases which result in the decrease in the price of coconut and the coconut will be more elastic
tonga is producing more long run economic good explain the meaning of the statement and its implication on the tonga economy
Tuha Reply
Demand is the various quantities of goods and services that consumer(s)are willing and able to purchase at a price within a time
Muhammad Reply
What is demand
Mc Reply
demand relates with the need of people for their satisfaction.
Distinguish between cross elasticity and income elasticity of demand
Ruth Reply
Distinguish between cross elasticity and income elasticity of demand
if change in the demand of the commodity with respect to change in demand of the substitute or other product called cross elasticity
and. if change in the demand of the commodity due to change in the income . called income elasticity
Cross elasticity of demand is the degree of responsiveness of quantity demanded of a commodity to a small change in price of another commodity whiles Income elasticity of demand is the degree of responsiveness of quantity demanded of a commodity to a small change in income of it's consumers
but these are book wordings
income elasticity of demand shows how quantity demanded changes due to changes in income on the other hand cross elasticity refers to how the quantity demanded of a particular good alers given a change in the price of another good.
what is the competitive demand
Adiza Reply
Competitive demand are those commodity dat are competitive in nature e.g the close up and my my toothpaste the increase in price of close up may bring abt decrease in demand of it and it will serve as increase in purchase of my my
With regards to coal shortage and manicipal debts the what form of intervention do you think Eskom can put in place.
kedibone Reply
economic growth of Bhutan
Nima Reply
please, explain all the mathematics terms used in economics
The answer is: little more than high school algebra and graphs.
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Sustainability: a comprehensive foundation. OpenStax CNX. Nov 11, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11325/1.43
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Sustainability: a comprehensive foundation' conversation and receive update notifications?