Thermal Energy Storage & Phase Change Material System Design
Thermal Energy Storage (TES) coupled to Phase Change Materials (PCM) are technologies that store large amounts of thermal energy by cooling or heating a storage medium. This type of system relies on the shift in phase of the material for holding and releasing thermal energy. Heat is absorbed or released when the material changes from solid to liquid and vice versa.
Once the thermal energy is stored, it can be used at a later time, via discharging thermal energy into a cooling or heating grid, or network. TES & PCM systems are coupled to refrigeration systems and high demand heat pump systems.
Balancing the supply and demand of thermal energy can be undertaken in multiple ways, such as;
- Full thermal storage:
Thermal energy is generated in the off-peak period when the electricity is charged at a lower rate and when there is less strain on the electrical grid. A facility utilising this mode of thermal storage can meet the cooling loads during the entire on-peak period, without the requirement for the refrigeration systems (or heat pumps systems) operating.
- Partial storage:
This mode of thermal storage significantly reduces but does not eliminate the on-peak demand as it levels the cooling (or heating) demand and corresponding refrigeration (or heat pump) duty over the entire on-peak period. This configuration requires a significantly smaller thermal storage system.
ASED Consulting International PTY LTD have designed numerous central energy systems utilising Thermal Energy Storage and Phase Change Material technology. These systems coupled with natural refrigerant-based refrigeration systems provide increased energy efficiency.