ThumbsUp Technologies

Phase changing materials (PCM)

ThumbsUp aims to make PCM solutions more cost-effective, modular, and compact for better integration into a wider range of EU buildings by focusing on the following areas:

  • Energy Storage: PCMs store thermal energy through phase transitions, such as from solid to liquid, which is useful for applications like solar energy storage and building insulation.
  • Innovation Stage: PCM technology is in the final stage of innovation but faces challenges like low thermal conductivity, containment issues, and cost-effectiveness.
  • Sustainability: For compatibility with the EU’s transition to a circular economy, PCM must be derived from sustainable raw materials and improved in design.
  • Building Integration: PCMs are integrated into building structures to enhance performance by absorbing and releasing heat, thus reducing energy consumption and improving thermal comfort.

More about the technology

PCM store thermal energy through phase transitions. Applications include solar energy storage, building insulation, and electronics cooling. Researchers address challenges like low thermal conductivity and containment issues with novel composites.

Phase change materials (PCM) technology is the final stage of innovation but still not cost-effective and incompatible with an EU transition to a full circular economy. PCM must be improved and derived from sustainable primary raw material sources.

Development in heat exchangers design is required to allow integration with a wide range of both thermal and electrical renewable energy sources. Reduction of costs is essential, as current PCM solutions are too expensive. Modularity and compactness must be also improved for overall better integration into a wider range of EU buildings.

PCMs play a crucial role in achieving these goals by enhancing building performance and reducing energy consumption.

PCMs have high energy storage densities and can store and release heat during phase transitions (e.g., solid to liquid). This property makes them valuable for building applications. 

PCMs can be integrated into walls, floors, ceilings, and glazed sections of buildings. They absorb and release heat, moderating indoor temperatures and improving thermal comfort.

When selecting a PCM for a specific application, factors like thermal conductivity, melting temperature range, compatibility with building materials, and long-term durability must be considered.

PCMs enhance the efficiency of heat pumps by storing and releasing heat as needed. 

Current PCM solutions are expensive. Researchers must focus on cost reduction to make them economically viable.