Renew. Energy Environ. Sustain.
Volume 2, 2017
Sustainable energy systems for the future
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||08 September 2017|
In situ neutron diffraction studies of operating MGA thermal storage materials
School of Engineering, The University of Newcastle,
2 Institute of Materials Engineering, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Locked Bag 2001, Kirrawee DC, NSW 2232, Australia
* e-mail: Erich.Kisi@newcastle.edu.au
Received in final form: 30 June 2017
Accepted: 27 July 2017
Miscibility Gap Alloys (MGA) store energy as the latent heat of fusion of a discrete component within an engineered multicomponent microstructure. The thermal energy density is augmented by the associated sensible heat of the whole alloy. MGA microstructures are organised so that the low melting point component, acting as a Phase Change Material (PCM), is present as dispersed, non-intersecting particles within a continuous 3-dimensional solid matrix of a higher melting point component. The primary advantages of such an arrangement are the high thermal conductivity, 60–200 W/m K and high energy density (0.25–1.26 MJ/L). Long service life, low maintenance and the resulting simplified infrastructure offered by the ability of the MGA storage materials to exchange heat via conduction alone are further notable benefits. Unlike sensible heat storage materials, temperature measurement alone cannot indicate the state-of-charge of PCM storage since the temperature remains relatively constant throughout the melting or freezing transition. The work reported here addresses this issue through the use of in situ neutron diffraction to determine the relative volume fractions of solid (crystalline) and liquid PCM within the MGA material as a function of varying temperature conditions. The aim is to provide calibration data for state-of-charge thermal models of PCM storage systems. Preliminary analysis of the neutron diffraction results and associated thermal measurements from a series of experiments carried out using the KOWARI diffractometer at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation are presented in this work.
© H. Sugo et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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