Resources for Phase Change Material Thermal Solutions
Phase Change Materials (PCMs) are a passive, two-phase, thermal storage technology that utilize the latent heat of fusion to absorb thermal energy. Since energy stored by the latent heat from melting or freezing is at least 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than that by the specific heat, a PCM heat sink is a highly effective thermal management device.
While common PCMs such as paraffin waxes have a high thermal capacity due to the latent heat, they also tend to have a low thermal conductivity, often < 1 W/m-K. This causes a need for additional features, such as extended surfaces and fins to effectively melt the entire PCM with minimal thermal resistance. PCM heat sink and heat exchanger designs are therefore critical in ensuring the optimal SWaP minded solution for the higher-level assembly.
Two Main Reasons to Choose a PCM based Thermal Solution
Typical Applications that benefit from leveraging PCM thermal Solutions include:
Advanced Thermal Management using PCM
ACT engineers have experience in designing PCM-based thermal management systems, ranging from milli-watts to kilo-watts.
PCM Assemblies for heat storage use a variety of PCMs and wall materials to meet application-specific requirements. Our modeling and manufacturing experience includes paraffin waxes, hydrated salts, and metal-based PCM assemblies for powers ranging from 1 to 100 KW. Due to the dynamic, time-dependent thermal properties of a PCM heat exchanger, advanced modeling capabilities and experience in thermal design are essential to a well-designed system.
|ACT Modeling Capabilities & Software packages for PCM Assemblies:||Types of complex PCM packaging in which ACT is experienced:|
For an evaluation of design requirements and recommendations, contact an ACT thermal expert today.
PCM Resource Links
Product: PCM Heat Sink
ACT’s PCM heat sink products are designed to absorb heat with minimal temperature rise, as the phase change material melts
The PCM heatsink calculator can be used to determine the approximate size and mass of a PCM heat sink required for thermal storage applications.
A discussion on the basic types of PCM: paraffin waxes, non-paraffin organics, hydrated salts, and metallic
Heat Sink Design
PCM heat sinks must be designed around the very low thermal conductivity of typical PCMs
On-Chip PCM for Pulsed Power Placing PCM
within several µm of the gates on high power pulsed GaN chips can reduce temperatures and/or increase maximum power without overheating
PCM Heat Exchangers for Pulsed Power
Adding PCM to a heat exchanger for pulsed Directed Energy Weapon (DEW) systems can greatly reduce Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) for the overall cooling system
Electronics Heat Sinks
One Time Use, Loss of Coolant, Dampening: used for electronics cooling for both pulsed power operations, and when the existing heat sink is inadequate
Power Plant Cooling
Increase in Cooling Capacity: Dry Cooling Power Plants reject megawatts of heat to condense low temperature, low pressure steam, without consuming fresh water. However, the power producing capacity of dry cooling systems must be reduced when the ambient air temperature is high, since less steam can be condensed. ACT is developing a Cool Storage System that uses Phase Change Material (PCM) and Thermosyphons to increase the cooling capacity during the daytime, by melting the PCM
Thermal Storage with Venting
Most thermal storage systems are designed to store heat by melting a Phase Change Material (PCM), and can operate over a very large number of cycles. When only a few cycles must be handled, Thermal Storage with Venting should be considered, since it can result in lighter and/or more compact systems
Single Use Vapor Venting Systems for Thermal Storage
When heated, liquid held in a porous structure boils, vaporizes, and then the vapor is vented
Hydride Thermal Storage
Similar to vapor venting thermal storage, hydride thermal storage offers the potential for lower mass and volume systems, when compared with conventional PCM thermal storage systems.
Single Use Hydride Venting Systems for Thermal Storage
offer a potential volume reduction of 90 percent or more, when compared with PCM systems