LABORATORY OF SOLAR CONCENTRATING SYSTEM UNIT

Materials for Thermal Storage

The performance of phase change materials (PCM) for latent storage is usually evaluated with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) or T-history techniques. Nevertheless it is important to check their behaviour under service conditions in order to assure their feasibility as storage media. For this purpose the Concentrating System Unit has two set ups: HDR, where the PCM is tested in atmospheric air, and SUBMA, where the PCM is tested in inert atmospheres.

(Left) The HDR device, (Right) The SUBMA device.

The main features of these devices are the following:

HDR:

  • Small furnace under ambient air atmosphere
  • Accurate control of heating/cooling rates
  • Sample temperature monitoring
  • Allows melting/freezing cycles up to 500ºC
  • Subsequent cycles or cycles with stand-by periods
  • Sample size: 10-20 g

SUBMA:

  • Small closed device inside a furnace
  • Allows tests under inert atmosphere (N2, Ar)
  • Furnace temperature and gas flow control
  • Sample temperature monitoring
  • Allows melting/freezing cycles up to 500ºC
  •  Subsequent cycles or cycles with stand-by periods
  • Sample size: 30-40 g