The current use of buildings is facing an unprecedented increase in energy costs, especially in the European Union. The energy costs can be reduced by energy savings and by increased use of renewable energy represented mostly by energy converted from solar radiation. When solar energy is considered to be utilized in buildings, the mismatch between energy availability and energy demand must be solved by energy storage. This paper describes the principles of the use of latent heat thermal energy storage and the possibility of using bio-based phase change materials as heat storage media. Because the latent heat storage media undergo a change of phase during the charging and discharging, proper encapsulation is necessary. The paper presents the main findings of a study focused on the compatibility between coconut oil and selected plastics as materials of encapsulation. The compatibility of selected plastics and Coconut oil was evaluated by laboratory experiment based on the immersion of plastic samples in coconut oil and calculation of change in weight of samples within 17 weeks lasting test. The negligible weight changes were occurred for polycarbonate and polyethylene terephthalate which proves excellent compatibility with Coconut oil.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Engineering, Introductions and Overviews, other