Technology

Latent heat storage

Energy stored in a phase-change is called 'latent energy'.

Thermal storage using latent heat has been recognised early (1940) as an attractive alternative to sensible heat storage in the building construction.

Early efforts in the development of latent heat storage used inorganic phase change materials (PCMs), especially salthydrates. However, to avoid some of the problems inherent in these materials, an interest was developed in the use of organic PCMs (paraffins) for this purpose.

Recent research has looked at the incorporation of organic PCMs into porous building materials, creating functional and effective building elements which can effect significant energy savings.

technology

latent heat storage

typical volume

n/a

typical heat density

n/a

temperature range

20-40°C (paraffins)

30-80°C (salt hydrates)

storage timescale

days-months

development status

pilot projects

advantages

high storage density

small volumes needed

disadvantages

low heat conductivity

corrosivity