Storing Heat or Cold
The Thuringian Institute of Textile and Plastics Research (Thüringisches Institut für Textil- und Kunststoff-Forschung or TITK) in Rudolstadt, Germany, in collaboration with Rubitherm Technologies GmbH, Berlin, Germany, has developed a melt-processable material with a high heat or cold storage capacity. Using the principle of latent heat storage through solid/liquid phase change, the material enables large quantities of heat or cold to be stored and then, in a reversal of the process, released when needed at constant temperatures. In addition, the pellets can be tailored to the intended application through the choice of phase change material and its specific melting point. At present, the switching point can be adjusted within a range from 6 to 80°C. The new material can be used for applications in heating and air conditioning, building climate control, and the medical sector.
The developers are initially concentrating on the use of the new material in heat storage components for solar heating systems. In these systems, solar radiation heats a liquid carrier medium (e.g. water), which flows through a storage module filled with the pellets. Heat is transferred to the pellets and stored in high density. This innovative heat storage module has 2 to 3 times the capacity of conventional water storage tanks, which gives rise to higher efficiency and also makes it possible to design smaller water tanks. Further studies are concerned with integrating the storage pellets into an underfloor heating system and using them in an air-based system for industrial waste heat recovery.
Thüringisches Inst. f. Textil- und Kunststoff-Forschung e.V. TITK
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