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Project objective

The LWSNet research network dealt with fundamental considerations concerning the application of inorganic latent heat storage materials (phase change materials = PCMs).

The objective was to develop solutions to overcome the main problems involved in PCM technology. The chief difficulties here are that:

the charging and discharging efficiency of PCM stores is too low since the surface is too small in relation to the volume and the thermal conductivity is insufficient
supercooling effects occur due to poor crystallization which cause the storage systems to discharge at inspecific temperatures.

Solutions were devised to overcome the above-mentioned difficulties for a whole series of inorganic phase change materials by way of investigating exemplary types of PCM.

The following project objectives were pursued with regard to the above-mentioned problems:

development of synthesis methods for stable microencapsulation of salts and salt hydrates at high temperatures using sol-gel and plasma technology (increase in surface-volume ratio)
clarification of the essential mechanisms for producing salt/carbon compound PCMs with high thermal conductivity
development of theoretical methods to systematically search for nucleating agents and development of experimental procedures for specific crystallization initiation.