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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.

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

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

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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

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Sustainability: a comprehensive foundation. OpenStax CNX. Nov 11, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11325/1.43
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