Various types of solid-liquid phase change materials (PCMs) have been reviewed for thermal energy storage applications. The review has shown that organic solid-liquid PCMs have much more advantages and capabilities than inorganic PCMs but do possess low thermal conductivity and density as well as being flammable. Inorganic PCMs possess higher heat storage capacities and conductivities, cheaper and readily available as well as being non-flammable, but do experience supercooling and phase segregation problems during phase change process. The review has also shown that eutectic PCMs have unique advantage since their melting points can be adjusted. In addition, they have relatively high thermal conductivity and density but they possess low latent and specific heat capacities. Encapsulation technologies and shell materials have also been examined and limitations established. The morphology of particles was identified as a key influencing factor on the thermal and chemical stability and the mechanical strength of encapsulated PCMs. In general, in-situ polymerization method appears to offer the best technological approach in terms of encapsulation efficiency and structural integrity of core material. There is however the need for the development of enhancement methods and standardization of testing procedures for microencapsulated PCMs.
Su, W., Darkwa, J. & Kokogiannakis, G. (2015). Review of solid-liquid phase change materials and their encapsulation technologies. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 48 373-391.