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Renewable energy usage would benefit from efficient and high-capacity long-term heat storage material. However, these types of material solutions still lack reliable and durable operation on bulk level. Previously, we showed that cold-crystallizing material (CCM), which consists of erythritol in cross-linked polymer matrix, stored heat for a long-term period in a milligram scale by supercooling stably and preventing undesired crystallization during storage. Crystallization of CCM can be triggered efficiently by re-heating the material (i.e. cold-crystallization). Supercooling and cold-crystallization are stochastic phenomena which manifest in a way that the properties in bulk scale often deviate from the microscale. In this work, we scale up CCM to a bulk size of 160 g, and analyze its supercooling and crystallization characteristics for long-term heat storage. In order to identify the impact of the scale-up on the tested compositions and to discover optimal storage conditions, CCM samples are maintained in storage mode at constant temperature between 0 and 10 °C and up to 97 days. To this end, the thermal chamber measurement procedure estimates the heat release of CCM samples based on the measured temperature data and the one-dimensional transient heat conduction model. Results indicate that the heat release in cold-crystallization is over 70% of the melting heat. This heat can be stored without reduction for at least 97 days, demonstrating the reliable performance of long-term heat storage. Analysing the thermal properties of CCM compositions indicates a maximum volumetric storage capacity of 250 MJ/m3 and excellent properties for further heat storage applications.
- Long-term thermal energy storage
- Phase change material