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Stability of sugar alcohols as PCM for thermal energy storage
Sugar alcohols as phase change materials (PCM) are very promising due to their high storage capacity, safety and economic reasons. Their phase change temperatures make them suitable for medium temperature storage, which is needed for solar process heat or waste heat recovery applications. To guarantee a long PCM working lifetime they should be tested under a repeated number of freezing/melting cycles to check whether the thermophysical properties remain constant or not. The cycling stability of d-mannitol, myo-inositol and galactitol has been studied with DSC and the chemical stability with FT-IR. Myo-inositol shows a good cycling stability under the chosen measuring parameters. The cycling and chemical stability of d-mannitol up to 20 cycles can be achieved by controlling some parameters. The variable affecting it the most is the amount of oxygen in contact with it. Hence, in the storage unit this could be prevented with an inert or vacuum atmosphere.