Application of phase change materials for thermal energy storage in concentrated solar thermal power plants: A review to recent developments

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The objective of this paper is to review the recent technologies of thermal energy storage (TES) using phase change materials (PCM) for various applications, particularly concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) generation systems. Five issues of the technology will be discussed based on a survey to the state-of-the-art development and understandings. The first part is about various phase change materials (PCM) in thermal storage applications and recent development of PCM encapsulation technologies. The second is the current status of research and application of latent heat storage systems in CSP plants. The third is the mathematical modeling and numerical simulations to the phenomenon of latent heat thermal storage. The fourth is about the issues of integration of a PCM-based TES unit into a power generation system and the operation. The last part is a discussion about the cost issues and comparison between sensible and latent heat TES systems. The surveyed information will be very helpful to researchers and engineers in energy storage industry and particularly solar thermal power industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6938
Pages (from-to)286-307
Number of pages22
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2015



  • Concentrated solar power (CSP)
  • Latent heat
  • Phase change material (PCM)
  • Thermal energy storage (TES)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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