IndustryEfficiency / Heat Recovery
PCMs (phase change materials / latent heat accumulators) are also used for products and applications in which the consumer is not directly involved.
Theoretically, every process that is associated with waste heat, cyclic thermal loading or heating and cooling procedures can be optimized by the use of a PCM. Compared to pure water reservoirs, heat can be stored in a narrow temperature range. In addition, PCMs occupy less space.
Temperature rise in switchboards or server racks is often an underestimated problem which is caused by external influences and by the integrated active components. The temperature inside such boards or racks lies approximately between 25° and 30° C (77° F and 86° F).
For this specific case, a PCM with a melting point of 30°C (86°F) could delay overheating of these equipments while one with a melting point of e.g. 28°C (82°F) (e.g. RT28HC) could stabilize the temperatures at higher and lower temperature levels. The resulting heat can be used to melt the PCM without temperature rise. In case of a lower heat input and a resulting lower temperature below 28°C (82°F) the PCM solidifies again and releases the priorly stored energy.
This example should emphasize the possibilities of PCM materials and strengthen the idea that due to high efficiency and more compact building units the application of PCM materials can be profitable.