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Improvement of the power output of a PCM-based energy storage system using open porous aluminium foams

Thursday (08.10.2020)
15:30 - 15:50

Thermal management is an important issue in many technical fields and solutions for storing energy in suitable systems are highly desired. One promising approach is to use phase change materials (PCM) with a high latent heat. Examples are the cooling of buildings using PCM storage systems charged during the night with cold air releasing the energy during the day, or thermal stabilization of temperature sensitive goods during transport. However, there are many possible applications that require a higher loading/unloading power rate, which is challenging as the PCMs themselves have low heat conductivities.

The PCM storage system discussed in the presentation is part of a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system of a fully electric vehicle (FEV). The specifications for the system (power, stored capacity and allowed volume) make a new design of the storage necessary.

Different approaches to meet the specifications have been evaluated and tested. The best results were achieved using an open porous aluminum foam structure as carrier matrix for the PCM and embedded aluminum tubes for the coolant. Different sized units of PCM filled aluminium foam were connected in multiple ways to optimize pressure losses in the coolant system while keeping the power at the desired level.

In the presentation it will be shown that the newly developed PCM storage system satisfies the requirements by the HVAC system and the vehicle environment. Measurement results demonstrate a superior power output over time as compared to a conventional plate heat exchanger.

Joachim Baumeister
Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM
Additional Authors:
  • Dr. Joerg Weise
  • Dr. Esther Kieseritzky
    Rubitherm Technologies GmbH
  • Götz Lindenberg
    Rubitherm Technologies GmbH