Professor of Energy Technology
Energy technology is a broad area where the strive for sustainable energy systems at the regional and global level drives development and innovation. Thermal energy storage, storage of heating and cooling, functions as a buffer of energy between an energy source and society’s need for energy service. By storing heating and cooling for comfort in buildings, for example, we can more easily use renewable energy alternatives such as solar heating and free cooling (where the cold in rock and soil is used to cool room air). Heat pumps and refrigeration machines can work more efficiently if storage evens out loads in the system.
For the storage of heating and cooling, it is possible to use phase conversion where material melts and solidifies. For 15 years, Viktoria Martin’s research team has developed heating/cooling storage based on what is known as PCM technology (Phase Change Materials). The heat that is converted when a material melts (stores heat) and solidifies (discharges heat, or stores cooling) is large per kilogram of material and volume unit.
With the right choice of materials, heat can be stored at any temperature, and with the right design, a compact energy storage is achieved that does not take much space. The research is being conducted in close cooperation with international networks of research institutes and industries.