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Experimental Study on Hybrid Organic Phase Change Materials Used for Solar Energy Storage

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Abstract

The solar energy utilization in built environment has been limited due to its low heat flux, uneven distribution in time and space and temporal difference in day and night. The phase change materials have been used to collect the fluctuant solar energy to form a stable energy source for the terminal equipment of the buildings. In this study, the hybrid organic phase change materials was prepared for the capillary radiant heating system which formed a cascade utilization of solar energy. Firstly, lauric acid and stearic acid were selected as the basic organic phase change materials and the binary equilibrium phase diagram was completed based on the method of step cooling curve according to the experimental tests data. The results showed that the phase transition temperature of the mixed acid at the lowest eutectic point was 31.2°C and the latent heat value was 264.3 kJ/kg when the mass mixing ratio was 70% for lauric acid and 30% for stearic acid. Secondly, the expanded graphite was used as an additive to enwrap the mixed acid and enhance the heat conductivity. The experimental results showed that when the mass proportion of expanded graphite in the mixed acid was 10%), the mixed acid could be completely enclosed by expanded graphite and the stability of melting and solidification was optimal. Additionally, the phase transition temperature of the hybrid phase change material was 31.5°C and the latent heat value was 217.4 kJ/kg. The novel hybrid phase change material has a lower eutectic point and a higher latent heat of phase change, so it has a large application space and is quite suitable for the cascade utilization of solar energy with capillary network heating system.

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Abbreviations

EG:

Expanded graphite

LA:

Lauric acid

MA:

Myristic acid

MP:

Methyl palmitate

PCM:

Phase change material

PET:

Polyethylene terephthalate

SA:

Stearic acid

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Acknowledgement

The work was supported by the Innovation Chain of Key Industries of Shaanxi Province under Grant (No.2018ZDCXL-GY-10-03), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.51478386).

Author information

Correspondence to Zhaolin Gu.

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Cite this article

Wang, Z., Li, R., Hu, J. et al. Experimental Study on Hybrid Organic Phase Change Materials Used for Solar Energy Storage. J. Therm. Sci. (2020) doi:10.1007/s11630-020-1224-3

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Keywords

  • lauric acid
  • stearic acid
  • expanded graphite
  • phase change material
  • solar energy