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Title: Nano-based PCMs for building energy efficiency

Thermal storage using phase change materials (PCMs) is seen as a viable method for improving the energy efficiency of buildings. PCMs have been used in building applications in various forms PCM slurries in heat exchangers, macro- or microencapsulated PCMs in building envelopes, bulk PCM for modulating photovoltaic temperatures, etc. In the last decade a new class of PCMs, called nano-enhanced PCM (or nanoPCM), has been extensively investigated with the goal of improving the heat transfer and thermal storage properties of PCMs. NanoPCMs can primarily be categorized as nano-encapsulated PCMs and nanoparticle-PCM composites. The former are nano-sized capsules in which the PCM forms the core and is surrounded by a high-conductivity membrane or shell. The latter consist of PCM supported within nanostructures or nanoparticles dispersed in PCMs. This article reviews the current state of nanoPCM synthesis and characterization of their heat transfer and thermal storage properties. Further, a critical review of nanoPCM applications and their potential energy benefits is performed. Nano-enhanced PCMs exhibit higher thermal conductivities than regular PCM. However, whether the higher conductivity is desirable in all applications and if the property enhancements are worth the cost and effort needed to create nanoPCMs are questions that still need to bemore » answered.« less
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Woodhead Publishing / Elsevier, Cambridge, MA, USA
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC)
Sponsoring Org:
Work for Others (WFO)
Country of Publication:
United States
nanoPCM; nano-encapsulated PCM; PCM-nanoparticle composite; nanoPCMs in buildings