Abstract

The leakage of solid-liquid phase change materials (PCMs) tremendously limits their long-term application in thermal energy storage (TES). In this work, we present durable and form-stable shape-stabilized PCMs (ss-PCMs) for TES in building envelopes. These ss-PCMs are fabricated by encapsulating polyethylene glycol (PEG) consisting of different molecular weights within mesoporous magnesium oxide and silica dioxide. For the first time, the phase transition temperature (Tt) of ss-PCMs has been fine-tuned synthetically to be comfortable to building occupants by utilizing PEG blends with molecular weights of 600 and 800 g/mol. Several parameters, including surface hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity, surface area, and PCM loading percentage, have been studied to maximize the latent heat enthalpy for high energy efficiency and maintain form stability. The best ss-PCM candidate with suitable Tt and appreciable latent heat enthalpy exhibits a repeatable phase change behavior for up to 1,000 thermal cycles without leakage, which provides a promising solution for durable TES in buildings. The Tt tunability extends its application over a wider temperature range beyond buildings.

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