PCM Possiblities – Profit defined, our PCMs in your line
By definition a phase-change material (PCM) is a substance with a high heat of fusion which, melting and solidifying at a certain temperature, is capable of storing and releasing large amounts of energy. Heat is absorbed or released when the material changes from solid to liquid and vice versa; thus, PCMs are classified as latent heat storage (LHS) units.
There are two kinds of heat energy: sensible and latent. Most common heat storage systems, such as a conventional water heater, use sensible heat, the energy needed to alter the temperature of a substance with no phase change. Latent heat, which can be 100 times that of sensible heat, is the amount of energy required to change matter from one state to another, liquid to solid or vice versa. Sensible heat and latent heat work together in thermal storage materials This results in the ability to maintain specific temperatures for extended periods of time.
Here are a few things phase change can be used for:
- Thermal energy storage
- Conditioning of buildings, such as ‘ice-storage’
- Cooling of heat and electrical engines
- Cooling: food, beverages, coffee, wine, milk products, green houses
- Medical applications: transportation of blood, operating tables, hot-cold therapies, treatment of birth asphyxia
- Human body cooling under bulky clothing or costumes.
- Waste heat recovery
- Off-peak power utilization: Heating hot water and Cooling
- Heat pump systems
- Passive storage in bioclimatic building/architecture (HDPE, paraffin)
- Smoothing exothermic temperature peaks in chemical reactions
- Solar power plants
- Spacecraft thermal systems
- Thermal comfort in vehicles
- Thermal protection of electronic devices
- Thermal protection of food: transport, hotel trade, ice-cream, etc.
- Textiles used in clothing
- Computer cooling
- Turbine Inlet Chilling with thermal energy storage
- Telecom shelters in tropical regions. They protect the high-value equipment in the shelter by keeping the indoor air temperature below the maximum permissible by absorbing heat generated by power-hungry equipment such as a Base Station Subsystem. In case of a power failure to conventional cooling systems, PCMs minimize use of diesel generators, and this can translate into enormous savings across thousands of telecom sites in tropics.