Enhancing Thermal Energy Storage in Buildings with Novel Functionalised MWCNTs-Enhanced Phase Change Materials: Towards Efficient and Stable Solutions

Muhammad Hayat, Yong Kang CHEN, Yongzhen Yang, Liang Li, Mose Bevilacqua

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Abstract

Phase change materials (PCMs) are a promising panacea to tackle the intermittency of renewable energy sources, but their thermal performance is limited by low thermal conductivity (TC). This pioneering work investigates the potential of organic PCM-enriched surface-modified and un-modified multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for low-temperature thermal energy storage (TES) applications. The functionalised and un-functionalised MWCNTs enhanced PCM have demonstrated a TC enhancement of 158 % and 147 %, respectively, at 25 °C. However, the TC value of the unmodified MWCNTs-based PCM dropped by 52.5 % after 48 h at 25 °C, while that of the functionalised MWCNTs-based PCM remained stable. A DSC analysis of up to 200 thermal cycles confirmed that the surface-modified and un-modified MWCNTs had no major effect on the peak melting and cooling temperatures of the nano-enhanced PCMs although a minor decrease of 7.5 % and 7.7 % in the melting and crystallisation enthalpies, respectively, was noticed with the inclusion of functionalised MWCNTs. Moreover, functionalised MWCNTs incorporated PCMs have led to increases in specific heat capacity by 23 % with an optimal melting enthalpy value of 229.7 J/g. In addition, no super-cooling, no phase segregation, and a small phase change temperature were noticed with these nano-enhanced PCMs. Finally, no chemical interaction from nano-PCMs was seen in the FT-IR spectra with the incorporation of both functionalised and un-treated MWCNTs. It is evident that the functionalised MWCNT-based PCM has better thermal stability and it offers a promising alternative for improving thermal storage and management capabilities in buildings, contributing to a sustainable and energy-efficient building design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102313
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalThermal Science and Engineering Progress
Volume47
Early online date1 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Functionalised MWCNTs
  • phase change material
  • thermal energy storage
  • latent heat
  • buildings
  • nanocomposites
  • Latent heat
  • Phase change material
  • Nanocomposites
  • Buildings
  • Thermal energy storage

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