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Thermochemical materials

IEA SHC Task 58: “We will need new and innovate designs for heat and mass exchangers”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 18, 2017
Benjamin FumeyThermochemical materials (TCMs) used in storage tanks show higher heat capacities than water and smaller losses over time. They are crucial to an increase in solar use among consumers and the storage of summer heat for the winter season. However, they are also more complex than their water-based counterparts, which require only heat exchangers. Conversely, TCM storage units additionally need mass exchangers to make sorbent-sorbate interaction possible. Research into TCM storage has so far been coordinated by the IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme’s Task 58, Material and Components for Thermal Energy Storage. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Benjamin Fumey, Researcher at EMPA – Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, about the technology. Fumey heads the Task 58 research group focused on Component Design for Thermochemical Materials. The operation of the specially designed heat and mass exchanger will be explained throughout the interview based on a TCM storage tank with sodium hydroxide as the liquid sorbent. Important technical terms can be found in the glossary at the end of this article.
 

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