Component Development

Woven wire mesh heat exchanger
© Fraunhofer ISE
Woven wire mesh heat exchanger.

Fraunhofer ISE develops components for the efficient use of thermal storage materials. In particular, the integration of phase change materials (PCM) into a heat and cold storage system is an R&D challenge. In principle, PCMs have a low thermal conductivity, which significantly limits the performance of storage systems. This limitation must be overcome, e.g. by suitable heat exchangers or encapsulation.

Our services include:

  • Development of heat exchanger systems
  • Development of macro encapsulations for PCM
  • Integration of PCM in storage tanks that use water as a heat transfer fluid
  • Integration into air systems for the air conditioning of buildings
  • Development of loading devices, e.g. diffusers
  • Simulations for the optimization of the components
  • Development of mass and heat exchangers for sorptive storage
  • Coating of heat exchangers with adsorption materials
Diffuser system in the cold storage tank
© Fraunhofer ISE
Diffuser system in the cold storage tank.

To investigate new heat exchanger solutions, we use different test facilities to characterize the performance in the temperature range from -30 °C to 300 °C. For storage tanks, we develop methods and components for the optimum storage and withdrawal of heat. This includes the development of loading devices such as diffusers for generating thermocline temperature gradients or to create efficient stratification. In addition, Fraunhofer ISE uses simulation tools such as "Comsol Multiphysics" or "Modelica" to optimize heat exchanger structures, macrocapsules and the arrangement of heat exchangers in the storage system.