Renewables for industryProject Maximising Solar PV with Phase Change Thermal Energy Storage
This project involved developing and successfully demonstrating a new low cost phase change material (PCM) thermal energy storage technology which used optimal control to integrate with solar PV, maximising the electricity cost savings to the end user.
Phase change materials (PCMs) are materials which store a large amount of energy for heating, cooling or refrigeration by melting/freezing at a specific temperature. PCM thermal energy storage together with a refrigeration system can be used like an electric battery storing renewable energy generated by solar PV.
This project involved developing a suitable PCM thermal energy storage system which can be used for refrigeration applications such as cold storage facilities, wineries and dairies. To successfully operate with variable renewable energy sources and electricity pricing a robust optimal control strategy was developed. To maximise the commercial potential of this research, this technology was successfully demonstrated in a fridge/freezer application at The Bends Motorsports Park in South Australia.