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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

Latent heat thermal energy storage by urea-based eutectic mixtures

Lead Researcher: Álvaro Campos Celador
Research Centre: Universidad del País Vasco (UPV-EHU).


Álvaro Campos CeladorThe main goal of the project is to develop a plate-based latent heat thermal energy storage system based on the implementation of urea-based eutectic mixtures as thermal energy storage medium. The developed mixtures will store, at a nearly constant temperature, high energy amounts in low volumes; due to the high storage density provided by the phase change between solid and liquid state. The resulting system will cover the heat needs from renewable sources such as solar thermal systems; and will allow its integration in applications presenting low space availability. Basically, this will consist of the integration of the developed eutectic materials in an already existing prototype system, optimizing its design and operation. Special attention will be paid on the supercooling effects presented by the selected eutectic mixtures, developing methods that will enable the demand-driven control for the discharge of the system. Thus, the following specific objectives are sought by the project: (i) supercooling and nucleating mechanisms analysis of the eutectic mixtures of urea-sodium nitrate and urea-erythritol, (ii) development of a trigger system for the activation of the discharging process of the latent heat thermal energy storage system, (iii) stability analysis of the proposed eutectic mixtures, (iv) analysis of the mechanical compatibility between the storage medium and the storage system; and (v) modification of the prototype and its testing under real operating conditions. Additionally, the research intends to spread the findings by publication in high impact research journals, as well the potential presentation of a patent of the develop system.

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