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Macroencapsulation of Sodium Nitrate for Thermal Energy Storage in Solar Thermal Power

[+] Author Affiliations
Swetha Pendyala, Prashanth Sridharan, Sarada Kuravi, Chand K. Jotshi, Manoj K. Ram, Muhammad Rahman, Elias Stefanakos, D. Yogi Goswami

University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Paper No. ES2012-91447, pp. 595-599; 5 pages
  • ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2012 10th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Parts A and B
  • San Diego, California, USA, July 23–26, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4481-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Storage systems based on latent heat storage have high-energy storage density, which reduces the footprint of the system and the cost. However, phase change materials (PCMs) have very low thermal conductivities making them unsuitable for large-scale use without enhancing the effective thermal conductivity. In order to address the low thermal conductivity of the PCMs, macroencapsulation of PCMs is adopted as an effective technique. The macro encapsulation not only provides a self-supporting structure but also enhances the heat transfer rate.

In this research, Sodium nitrate (NaNO3), a low cost PCM, was selected for thermal storage in a temperature range of 300–500°C. The PCM was encapsulated in a metal oxide cell using self-assembly reactions, hydrolysis, and simultaneous chemical oxidation at various temperatures. The metal oxide encapsulated PCM capsule was characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The cyclic stability and thermal performance of the capsules were also studied.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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