Graduate Research School Available Projects Phase change materials and thermal energy storage

Phase change materials and thermal energy storage

Title of Project

Phase change materials and thermal energy storage


Dr Greg Wheatley, Dr Mehdi Khatamifar

College or Research Centre

College of Science & Engineering

Summary of Project

Thermal energy storage systems are used in industrial and commercial scales to store high amounts of solar radiation energy collected throughout the day. It has been found however, that the thermal energy in these systems cannot be stored for long during the evening hours as well as days that have minimal sunlight due to heat transfer to the surrounding atmosphere. Fortunately, due to research in this industry it has been recently found that Phase Change Materials (PCM’s) are being implemented into these storage systems to enhance the storage of the solar energy. This latent heat storage technique has found a significant increase in thermal energy stored over long periods of time due to its ability to be stored with the water, thus minimising heat transfer. It has been identified in literature that there are several different types of PCM’s with various chemical compounds and melting temperatures that can suit various thermal storage applications. However, the concept of combining these PCM’s types with different ratios is an area within this field that has not yet been investigated.

Key Words

thermal energy storage; phase change material

Would suit an applicant who

has a sound academic background, research experience, an interest in mechanical engineering and strong experimental and computational skills.

Updated: 15 Apr 2021