Advances and Applications of Phase Change Materials (PCMs) and PCMs-based Technologies


Jintao Huang,1,2

Yue Luo,3,4*Email

Mengman Weng,1

Jingfang Yu,5

Luyi Sun,6

Hongbo Zeng,7

Yidong Liu,1

Wei Zeng,8

Yonggang Min1*Email

Zhanhu Guo9*Email

1 Department of Polymeric Materials and Engineering, School of Materials and Energy, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510006, China

2 Key Laboratory of Polymer Processing Engineering (South China University of Technology), Ministry of Education, Guangzhou, 510640, China

3 School of Mechanical Engineering, Xiangtan University, Xiangtan, 411105, China

4 Foshan Green Intelligent Manufacturing Research Institute of Xiangtan University, Foshan, 528311, China

5 Chemistry Research Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, 12 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TA, UK

6 Polymer Program, Institute of Materials Science and Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, United States

7 Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, T6G 1H9 Edmonton, Canada

8 Institute of Chemical Engineering, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510665, China

9 Integrated Composites Laboratory (ICL), Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA


It is necessary to develop new technologies for energy storage and use of renewable energy to improve energy efficiency. Phase change materials (PCMs) are a family of energy storage materials that are among one of the most suitable materials for storing and effectively utilizing renewable thermal energy. PCM-based latent heat storage (LHS) is more advantageous than sensible energy storage because of the high storage energy density per unit volume/mass and the smaller temperature difference between storing and releasing heat. However, PCMs have low a thermal conductivity and a high degree of supercooling that are affecting their efficiency for energy storage. This review article first introduces the principle of phase change energy storage and the classification of phase change energy materials. Then, the improvement of storage methods of PCMs, and the fundamental properties that affect the application of phase change materials are discussed in detail. The applications of PCMs in various fields are also reviewed, including in solar energy utilization, waste heat recovery, construction, and civil and medical use. Finally, it summarizes the research progress of PCMs and provides an outlook for future research.

Advances and Applications of Phase Change Materials (PCMs) and PCMs-based Technologies