Objective: Thermal energy storage (TES) systems using phase change materials (PCM) have
been lately studied and are presented as one of the key solutions for the implementation of renewable
energies. These systems take advantage of the latent heat of phase change of PCM during their melting/
solidification processes to store or release heat depending on the needs and availability. Low thermal
conductivity and latent heat are the main disadvantages of organic PCM, while corrosion, subcooling
and thermal stability are the prime problems that inorganic PCM present.
Prevention: Nanotechnology can be used to overcome these drawbacks. Nano-enhanced PCM are obtained
by the dispersion of nanoparticles in the base material and thermal properties such as thermal
conductivity, viscosity and specific heat capacity, within others, can be enhanced. This paper presents a
review of the patents regarding the obtaining of nano-enhanced materials for thermal energy storage
(TES) in order to realize the development nanotechnologies have gained in the TES field.
Conclusion: Patents regarding the synthesis methods to obtain nano-enhanced phase materials
(NEPCM) and TES systems using NEPCM have been found and are presented in the paper. The few
existing number of patents found is a clear indicator of the recent and thus low development nanotechnology
has in the TES field so far. Nevertheless, the results obtained with the reviewed inventions already
show the big potential that nanotechnology has in TES and denote a more than probable expansion
of its use in the next years.