Design and Control of Phase Change Material-Based Energy Storage

We proposed a PCM-based energy storage solution to be integrated in air-distribution systems. Charging and discharging of the PCM storage can be achieved through dynamic reset of the supply air temperature. Compared to conventional PCM wall panels, the in-duct PCM storage offers a range of advantages including 1) deeper thermal penetration with forced convection between airflow and PCM, 2) controllable charge/discharge rate through dynamic supply air temperature control, and 3) negligible indoor comfort impact.

Mixed-integer convex programming-based control algorithms were developed for optimal charging/discharging of the PCM storage, in response to time-of-use electricity rate schedules. These algorithms are easy to implement and can achieve near-optimal control performance. Preliminary economic analysis has shown payback periods of less than 10 months for the packaged storage+control solution.


  • Hlanze, P., Elhefny, A., Jiang, Z., Cai, J. and Shabgard, H., In-Duct Phase Change Material-Based Energy Storage to Enhance Building Demand Flexibility, Applied Energy, 2022, preprint. DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2022.118520.
  • Jiang, Z., Hlanze, P. and Cai, J. Optimal Predictive Control of Phase Change Material-Based Energy Storage in Buildings via Mixed-Integer Convex Programming, Applied Thermal Engineering, 2022, preprint. DOI: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2022.118821.

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