With the capacity to store large amounts of heat or cold with nearly no loss, PCMs can provide unique benefits that will contribute significantly toward your sustainability objectives.
Sustainability efforts typically contain the following elements:
- Reuse & Recycling
PCM technology supports each element and can help meet your sustainability requirements. By leveraging a PCM’s ability to store large amounts of thermal energy, PCMs can provide sustainable solutions to your project, or product, that span across the major sectors of industrial sustainability including Environmental Stewardship, Social Commitment, Economic Benefits, and Regulatory Concerns. These benefits can have major advantages in product markets like construction, comfort, life sciences, and energy management to name a few.
PCM solutions can often be reused, resulting in cost savings, and reducing the amount of single use solutions. PCMs can also be encapsulated for inclusion into different construction materials or human comfort products and pouched to provide thermal regulation during cold chain shipping or life science applications. The potential energy savings are particularly high in the building sector where combining PCM storage capacity with heating or cooling systems can increase the system´s overall efficiency.
The following factors have a positive impact on taking full advantage of the energy savings potential, reducing carbon footprint emissions, lifecycle analysis ratings, total sustainability calculations, and end of life disposal concerns:
Pick the most suitable PCM
Different applications, climate zones or building characteristics determine which PCM is most suited.
Use high-quality PCM
These will allow many storage cycles with no significant loss of capacity. This is particularly important in buildings where systems are often expected to work for decades.
Optimize the efficiency and size of the system
PCM storages help heating and cooling systems, e.g. heat pumps, to work at more efficient temperature levels. Their size can often be smaller compared to conventional systems without PCM storage.
Integrate renewable energy sources
Renewable energy, such as solar power, wind power or cool night air, is not available continuously. PCMs can store the energy from when it is available until it is needed and thus increase the use of renewable energy considerably.
Because of their energy needs, buildings play an important role in power grids. To relieve and stabilize these grids, existing and new buildings must be self-sufficient over a relevant time period. PCM thermal batteries in power-to-heat and power-to-cold HVAC systems enable these features.
Reuse & Recycling
Many PCMs can be reused many times, resulting in cost savings, and reducing the amount of single use solutions. Others can be recycled easily. Please work with the manufacturer to learn more of the options for their PCM.
Disposal of PCMs after a long service life is usually unproblematic, and the regulatory requirements are quite manageable. Please work with the manufacturer to determine the specific requirements for their PCM.
Proper planning is key to taking full advantage of the technology, both ecologically and economically. Contact our members who will help you with making your project a full success!