Evaluation of the State of Charge of a Solid/Liquid Phase Change Material in a Thermal Energy Storage Tank

A new scientific paper published by the GREiA Research Group (Universitat de Lleida) and the Center for Energy of AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology) has been released on the Energies journal.

Monitoring of the state of charge of the thermal energy storage component in solar thermal systems for space heating and/or cooling in residential buildings is a key element from the overall system control strategy point of view. According to the literature, there is not a unique method for determining the state of charge of a thermal energy storage system that could generally be applied in any system. This contribution firstly provides a classification of the state-of-the-art of available techniques for the determination of the state of charge, and secondly, it presents an experimental analysis of different methods based on established sensor technologies, namely temperature, mass flow rates, and pressure measurements, tested using a lab-scale heat exchanger filled with a commercial phase change material for cooling applications.

Schematic view of the experimental set-up

The results indicate that, depending on the expected accuracy and available instrumentation, each of the methods studied here can be used in the present application, the deviations between the methods generally being below 20%. This study concludes that a proper combination of two or more of these methods would be the ideal strategy to obtain a more reliable and accurate estimation of the state of charge of the latent heat thermal energy storage. 

Read the full paper at : https://doi.org/10.3390/en13061425