Friday, April 29, 2011

Frequently asked questions about Phase Change Material

1. How is PCM manufactured?
         PCMs are manufactured by mixing various chemicals in particular proportions under appropriate environment conditions.

2.    What is the PCM made out of ?
        PCMs are made from either inorganic chemicals or organic chemicals

3.    What is the form that is it made in? (encapsulated beads, strips, foam, panels)?
         PCMs are liquids above their melting point and solids below that. These are encapsulated in different materials such as - HDPE, PP, Multilayer (Nylon /Aluminium) and Stainless Steel containers
         Depending on the compatibility characteristics and service temperature we recommend suitable encapsulation material
4.    How do you manipulate the phase change temperature?
         By adding different chemicals or altering the proportions of it

5.    What are the material properties? (latent heat, head capacitance, thermal conductivity, density, etc)
        Material Latent Heat, Density, Specific Heat in liquid and solid state, thermal conductivity in liquid and solid state, toxicity, flammability, operating temperature range and maximum operating temperature would be the specifications.

6.    Does the density or volume change during the phase change?
         Yes - depends on the base material (Organic or hydrated salts) they expand or contract while changing its phase

7.    Is there a maximum pressure the encapsulated PCM can withstand?
         This will depend on the kind of encapsulation.
8.    Is the PCM toxic or corrosive? (to steel?)
        savEnrg PCM use non toxic base materials - some inorganic PCMs may be corrosive to some metals - test data is available on request.

11.   Do the material properties degrade over time and/or per phase change cycle?
      sabEnrg PCM are tested upto 3000 cycles and cycling tests upto 5000 cycles are under progress (one cycle is from solid-liquid-solid).
12.   How is the material transported?
     The material can be shipped in bulk form (in containers 10lts 100ltrs packing)- so that in can be encapsulated at the customer end.
      We prefer to give the material in encapsulated form – PCM properties can change due to exposure to air, water etc.

13.   How is the material stored?
      It has to be stored in cool, dry place - with sealed condition

14.   Do the material properties degrade due to UV radiation?
      We don't have data on this. But typically it will not. For organic substances we add stabilizers to prevent degradation.

15.   Could this material be mixed with other types of insulation?
       Most of our PCMs have good compatibility with many insulation materials. They cannot be mixed with insulations.  The insulation material can be another layer after the PCM material.

16.   What are your major uses or customers for the material right now?
      Free Cooling (to act as a back up the Air conditioner)
      Cold Storage / Transportation
      Thermal Energy Storage tanks - for Air conditioning in buildings
      Temperature sensitive materials transportation / storage (medicines etc)
      Solar energy storage
      And many...


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