Heat of fusion storage systems for combined solar systems in low energy buildings

Jørgen Munthe Schultz, Simon Furbo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Solar heating systems for combined domestic hot water and space heating has a large potential especially in low energy houses where it is possible to take full advantage of low temperature heating systems. If a building integrated heating system is used – e.g. floor heating - the supply temperature (and the the return temperature) would only be a few degrees above room temperature due to the very low heating demand and the large heat transfer surface area. One of the objectives in a newly started IEA Task 32 project is to investigate and develop improved thermal storages for combined solar systems through further improvement of water based storages and in parallel to investigate the potential of using storage designs with phase change materials, PCM. The advantage of phase change materials is that large amounts of energy can be stored without temperature increase when the material is going from solid to liquid form (Fig. 1). Keeping the temperature as low as possible is an efficient way to reduce the heat loss from the storage. Furthermore, the PCM storage might be smaller than the equivalent water storage as more energy can be stored per volume. If the PCM further has the possibility of a stable super cooling, i.e. the material is able to cool down below its freezing point (Tfusion) and still be liquid, the possibility exist for a storage with a very low heat loss. When energy is needed from the storage the solidification is activated and the temperature rises almost instantly to the melting point. The work within the IEA Task 32 project focuses on the phase change material Sodium Acetate with xanthan rubber. This material melts at 58 °C, which means that low temperature heating systems could make full use of such a storage system. Energy to a large extent can be withdrawn even when the storage is in its super cooled phase without activation of the phase change. This paper presents an initial simulation model of a PCM storage for implementation in TRNSYS 15 [1] as well as the first test results achieved with the model.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEurosun 2004
Publication date2004
ISBN (Print)3-9809656-1-9
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventEuroSun 2004 - Freiburg, Germany
Duration: 20 Jun 200424 Jun 2004
Conference number: 5


ConferenceEuroSun 2004
Internet address


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