Worldwide, 22% of the primary energy requirement is used for cooling and heating buildings and water. For this reason, Micronal-PCM was developed by BASF, which immobilizes liquid latent heat storage material (PCM) in microscopic capsules and can store around 14x more heat per volume than typical building materials made of gypsum and concrete via a change in physical state from liquid to solid. To produce crack-free walls from Micronal-PCM, around 15wt% to 30wt% of Micronal-PCM (70wt% PCM per capsule) are incorporated into building materials. However, higher amounts of PCM in the material lead to a complete loss of mechanical stability.
The researchers in the Hahn working group at the Martin-Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg addressed this problem. They were the first group worldwide to produce crack-free, shape-stabilized PCMs with high mechanical stability and high PCM mass fractions of 86wt% on a large scale. In doing so, they formed a 3D grid around nanoscopic PCM droplets and prevented the liquid heat storage material from escaping through the high capillary forces at the nano level. The solid heat storage material generated in this way can increase the heat storage capacity in solar thermal water boilers, passively store excess heat in walls or passively cool the accumulator in the thermal battery management system in electric cars, whereby active cooling via water or air can be replaced or reduced.
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- Heat storage systems for the building heating technology
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