Thermal Energy Storage with Phase Change Materials for Solar Cooling and Heating Applications: A technology viability analysis

Publishable summary: 

PCMSOL focuses on the integration of shortterm thermal energy storage units (STES) using spherical capsules filled with Phase Change Materials (PCMs) an example of latent heat storage for solar cooling/heating systems (SCH) to improve energy efficiency in the institutional building sector. The main focus will be to screen for better PCM materials, finding the best method for their micro or macro-encapsulation and,finally, by using simulations and tests, verify the most appropriate STES tank size to achieve a significant solar fraction and assess their suitability for use in the fullscale SCH plant studied in this project in Almería (Spain). The proposed STES, which is based on novel PCMs, will be compared to pure water stores  this is to reduce the number of absorption chiller stop/starts, thus achieving the best energy performance. The integration of physical infrastructure such as the two highly efficient PCMbased STES used as part of the SHC system (already installed at the Solar Energy Research Center ((CIESOL) Almería) will satisfy the annual CH demand, and create new value through repurposing in the building sector. Within this project we will answer the open question as to whether CMbased cold/heat storage performs better than water tanks commonly used in SCH systems. The PCMSOL project will provide new, advanced ecodesign solutions using PCMs to store cold/heat in institutional buildings hose characterized by intense cooling/heating (CH) demand. The aim is to realize the great energy saving potential that remains untapped. PCMSOL comprises a consortium of 3 European organisations from Spain, Poland and 2 Latin America organisations from Chile and Bolivia, combining a wide range of technical, institutional and business expertise. PCMSOL intends to bring together all the specialists required to support and promote a novel technological solution to improve energy efficiency, with an emphasis on model application under the European and the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) Energy Directives. This strengthens our bioregional partnership in Science, Technology and Innovation by planning and implementing concrete joint activities and by establishing an innovative and sustainable framework for future bioregional joint activities.