Carbon foam infused with pentaglycerine for thermal energy storage applications

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Aerospace Engineering


Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Advisor: Jamie S. Ervin


A thermal energy storage device that uses pentaglycerine as a phase change material was developed. This solid-state phase change material was embedded in a carbon foam thermal conduction enhancer. This device and others identically constructed but using a paraffin phase change material were tested by imposing different input fluxes, 2.3 or 6.0 W/cm2 on one end, while the opposite end was either insulated or actively cooled with an output flux that varied from 3.1 to 5.4 W/cm2. The resulting temperature distributions within the devices were recorded at five locations; this information was used to determine the specific energy storage capacity, heating rate and the cycling performance of each device. It was found that the pentaglycerine/foam combination is capable of a specific storage capacity of 67 J/g; it demonstrated a storage capacity 174% of the paraffin/foam device, by eliminating the volume change and leakage problems associated with solid-liquid phase change materials.


Carbon composites Thermal conductivity, Carbon composites Effect of temperature on, Foamed materials Thermal conductivity, Foamed materials Testing, Temperature control

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2011, author