Innovations and advancement beyond the state-of-the-art
Developing PCMs for Practical Energy Storage
The Challenge: Ensuring that Phase Change Materials (PCMs) remain stable and durable in real-world energy storage conditions is a major challenge.
Current Situation: Right now, we mainly test PCMs at the material level, which doesn’t fully tell us how they’ll perform in actual use. Another problem is that PCMs tend to lose some of their charging and discharging power when they get close to being full or empty. This happens in systems that use latent heat for energy storage (like many thermal energy storage systems). We’re currently at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4, which means we’ve done some initial testing, but there’s more to do.
Our Innovation and Progress: We’re taking a step forward by testing these PCMs in a larger shell and tube system (with a 40-liter volume) that’s closer to real-world conditions. We’re measuring how these materials age over time, their hysteresis (how they behave during charging and discharging), and whether they supercool. This will help us verify how robust and long-lasting our energy storage can be. We’re making progress and moving toward TRL 6, which means we’re getting closer to a practical, real-world solution.
advancement beyond the state-of-the-art
Develop an all-in-one unit with adapted HEX design and integrated heat pump for multipurpose operation (heating, cooling, DHW) using PCM storage. TRL 6.
PCM LOW-TEMP HEATING & COOLING SOLUTION
Develop a stable storage system using non-critical materials and capillary matrix-based design for PCM modules. Introduce a polymer heat exchanger and housing for easy plug and play installation of multiple modules. TRL 7.
PCMs development for commercially ready storages
Measure experimental data on chosen PCMs for ageing, hysteresis, and supercooling using a bench-scale latent heat TES unit. Verify storage robustness and longevity.
TCM HEATING & COOLING SOLUTION
Implement radiofrequency-charged TCM storage using zeolites for homogeneous, extended heating without a heat exchanger.