Thermal performance of sodium acetate trihydrate thickened with different materials as phase change energy storage material
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The use of phase change materials (PCMs) in energy storage has the advantage of high energy density and isothermal operation. Although the use of only non-segregating PCMs is a good commercial approach, some desirable PCM melting points do not seem attainable with non-segregating salt hydrates at
a reasonable price. The addition of gellants and thickeners can avoid segregation of these materials. In this paper, sodium acetate trihydrate is successfully thickened with bentonite and starch. Cellulose gives an even better thickened PCM, but temperatures higher than 65 C give phase separation. The mixtures would show a similar thermal behavior as the salt hydrate, with the same melting point and an enthalpy decrease between 20% and 35%, depending on the type and amount of thickening material used.