Objective: Thermal energy storage (TES), which refers to the storage of
thermal energy at low or high temperatures, has various applications. In solar power
generation applications, thermal energy is stored to produce continuous power and derive
energy when solar energy is not available.
Method: This article thoroughly analyses the literature to find the methods to increase
the thermal conductivity and the existing rate of charging and discharging through nano
structured phase change materials (PCM). The main disadvantage of PCM is its low
thermal conductivity. To overcome this problem, nanostructured particles are added to
enhance the thermal properties of PCM. PCMs embedded with different nano structured
materials have shown change in their thermal and physical properties as well as charging
and discharging rates.
Conclusion: Different research groups have reported that the thermal conductivity enhancement
of the PCM depending on the nanoparticle concentration, particle size, shape
and temperature by a large extent. In this article, the thermal characteristics of PCM with
single identical nanoparticles, PCM with hybrid nanoparticles and eutectic PCM mixture
with nanoparticles were chosen for comparison. PCM with single identical nanoparticles
were found to execute better performance in thermal conductivity compared to other
configurations. PCM with single nanoparticles of alumina dispersed in paraffin wax and
Al2O3-water nanofluid at higher concentrations showed better performance in the melting
and freezing performance respectively compared to PCM with hybrid nanoparticles
and eutectic PCM with nanoparticles at lower concentrations.