MgSO4·7H2O filled macro cellular foams: An innovative composite sorbent for thermo-chemical energy storage applications for solar buildings
For seasonal energy storage using solar energy in buildings heating and DHW, thermochemical technology represents the most promising alternative due to the virtually absence of heat losses during storage period. This work focuses on silicone foams, filled by MgSO4·7H2O, as innovative composite sorbents for sorption thermal energy storage applications. The necessity to enclose the salt hydrate in the polymeric foam arises for overcoming the issue of swelling, agglomeration, and/or deliquescence of the salt during its de/hydration process. Indeed, the foam with its flexible structure allows the safe volume expansion during the hydration phase of the salt. The foam samples presented in this paper were obtained by mixing the salt hydrate at various percentages (from 40 wt% up to 70 wt%) with a mixture of two water vapour permeable silicones. The foams were characterized by a complete physicochemical and morphological examination in order to evaluate their actual application in sorption energy storage systems. It was demonstrated that a good link seems to be established between the foam and the salt, and that the de/hydration capacity of the salt is not hindered by the foaming process, storage ability and storage density of the composites are expected to be in line with those of the pure material.
Journal or Serie
Solar Energy, 2018, vol. 173, p. 1278-1286