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Environmental assessment of latent heat thermal energy storage technology system with phase change material for domestic heating applications

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Title: Environmental assessment of latent heat thermal energy storage technology system with phase change material for domestic heating applications
Authors: Chocontá Bernal, D
Muñoz, E
Manente, G
Sciacovelli, A
Ameli, H
Gallego-Schmid, A
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The emissions generated by the space and water heating of UK homes need to be reduced to meet the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The combination of solar (S) collectors with latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) technologies with phase change materials (PCM) can potentially help to achieve this goal. However, there is limited understanding of the environmental sustainability of LHTES technologies from a full life cycle perspective. This study assesses for the first time 18 environmental impacts of a full S-LHTES-PCM system from a cradle to grave perspective and compares the results with the most common sources of heat in UK homes. The results show that the system’s main environmental hotspots are the solar collector, the PCM, the PCM tank, and the heat exchanger. The main cause of most of the impacts is the extensive consumption of electricity and heat during the production of raw materials for these components. The comparison with other sources of household heat (biomass, heat pump, and natural gas) indicates that the S-LHTES-PCM system generates the highest environmental impact in 11 of 18 categories. However, a sensitivity analysis based on the lifetime of the S-LHTES-PCM systems shows that, when the lifetime increases to 40 years, almost all the impacts are significantly reduced. In fact, a 40-year S-LHTES-PCM system has a lower global warming potential than natural gas.
Issue Date: 13-Oct-2021
Date of Acceptance: 7-Oct-2021
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/92264
DOI: 10.3390/su132011265
ISSN: 2071-1050
Publisher: MDPI AG
Start Page: 1
End Page: 17
Journal / Book Title: Sustainability
Volume: 13
Issue: 20
Copyright Statement: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: 12 Built Environment and Design
Publication Status: Published online
Online Publication Date: 2021-10-13
Appears in Collections:Electrical and Electronic Engineering



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