Development and Application of Phase Change Materials (PCMs)

PCM Applications

The nature of PCMs is outlined under PCP Products and from that one will appreciate that the benefits of a PCM can be applied to any situation where a passive heat sink may provide a reservoir of heat energy which can be drawn on, or deposited into, at the functional temperature of the chosen PCM.

It must be recognized that for any PCM application whether it is being used as a heat energy sink to control an increase in temperature/store energy, or as a heat energy source to control a decrease in temperature/release energy, the PCM has a finite capacity and will need to be “recharged” by either the active input or removal of heat energy at some later stage. This “reactivation”, where the phase of the PCM is returned to its functional duty phase, is an essential consideration in determining whether the application of a PCM for a selected duty is viable.

The suitability/application of a PCM to a particular duty can be determined in principle by consideration of the functional temperature, the latent heat value, other heat transfer parameters and “reactivation” methodology.

The eventual performance and cost benefit will be governed, at least in part, by the selection of the manner in which the PCM is finally encapsulated (contained) and how it is positioned into its required service. There are a number of parameters which all need to be carefully considered in determining the optimum encapsulation geometry, materials selection and final positioning for service.

PCP recommends that the final encapsulation of a PCM be undertaken at its manufacturing site in Western Australia . By both manufacturing and encapsulating PCMs at the same plant, the final expected product performance can be assured and overall cost of a finished product to the client can most often be improved.

PCP’s technical staff are pleased to work with existing and prospective clients in the specification, design and procurement of optimum encapsulated PCMs.

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