Lead Performer: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – Berkeley, CA
-- National Renewable Energy Laboratory – Golden CO
-- Georgia Tech – Atlanta, GA
-- UC Berkeley – Berkeley, CA
DOE Total Funding: $3,000,000
FY19 DOE Funding: $1,000,000
Project Term: October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2021
Funding Type:  Lab Call

Project Objective

For decades, the building envelope has been envisioned as an energy storage opportunity, due to the large surface area available for application. However, methods have relied on passive approaches with annual storage capacity limited to a single season. Furthermore, the most common materials for energy storage undergo a solid-liquid phase transition, which results in the need for encapsulation. In contrast to conventional energy storage approaches that fail to achieve performance and cost metrics, we propose to develop phase change materials (PCMs) that undergo solid-solid phase change and allows for dynamic tunability of the transition temperature.

The project team will first optimize PCMs from two classes of materials, Polyols and Comb-branch Micro block Polymer (CMP), which undergo solid-solid phase change and optimize their transition temperature. For dynamic tunability the team will leverage existing research from the electrochemical battery field.

Project Impact

Encapsulation free phase change materials and tunability of transition temperature makes thermal energy storage (TES) interactive with the weather, grid, and consumer comfort. This will also enable TES to be used year round, thereby reducing the levelized cost of storage. Tuning will also allow for on-demand charging and discharging thereby making the TES grid interactive. This research approach can be a model for future early stage building envelope research.  


DOE Technology Manager: Sven Mumme
Lead Performer: Ravi Prasher, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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