Binary Phase Change Materials And Their Applications In Solar/Thermal Energy Storage Devices

Sharan, Ganga
September 2011
International Journal of Research & Reviews in Applied Sciences;2011, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p147
Academic Journal
Phase change materials, pure or mixtures, by virtue of their thermodynamic properties have been used to store solar / thermal heat energy in solar cookers, solar heaters, latent heat solar/thermal energy storage devices, and in buildings to provide human thermal comfort. Large value of latent heat, reversible nature of phase transition, high thermal conductivity, good chemical and thermal stability, and desired operating temperature range are some of the required features of most phase change materials that can be used to store solar / thermal heat energy. Binary phase change materials (BPCMs) that seem to posses these properties are studied using a theoretical model where an expression for free energy is obtained and used to calculate various thermodynamic quantities. Latent heat, specific heat and enthalpy are calculated at various mixture compositions for two representative mixtures: eutectic and solid solution types. Unlike pure phase change materials, phase transformation in BPCMs occur over a finite temperature range and it is a two-step phenomenon in eutectic binary phase change materials - a step like change and gradual melting. This property of BPCMs could make them a potential candidate to store solar / thermal heat energy (in high density) in devices such as solar cookers, solar heaters, buildings, latent heat thermal energy storage systems etc. Further, this nature of phase transformation in BPCMs may also be used to minimize overheating - a problem in latent heat energy storage devices operating at temperatures [6].


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