Corrosion of metal containers for use in PCM energy storage
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In recent years, thermal energy storage (TES) systems using phase change materials (PCM) have been widely studied and developed to be applied as solar energy storage units for residential heating and cooling. These systems performance is based on the latent heat due to PCM phase change, a high energy density that can be stored or released depending on the needs. PCM are normally encapsulated in containers, hence the compatibility of the container material with the PCM has to be considered in order to design a resistant container. Therefore, the main aim of this paper is to study the corrosion effects when putting in contact five selected metals (aluminium, copper, carbon steel, stainless steel 304 and stainless steel 316) with four different PCM (one inorganic mixture, one ester and two fatty acid eutectics) to be used in comfort building applications. Results showed corrosion on aluminium specimens. Hence caution must be taken when selecting it as an inorganic salt container. Despite copper has a corrosion rate range of 6e10 mg/cm2 yr in the two fatty acid formulations tested, it could be used as container. Stainless steel 316 and stainless steel 304 showed great corrosion resistance (0e1 mg/cm2 yr) and its use would totally be recommended with any of the studied PCM.