Energy storage and phase change materials


The reserach team EnediTES focuses the activity on the study and development of thermal energy storage solutions based on the use of Phase Change Materials (PCMs) for buildings. The use of PCMs to improve the thermal efficiency of the outer façade and in the inner partitions has been approached in several projects, including the development of new enclosures containing PCMs. The development of new solutions to improve the auxiliary thermal facilities (like the heat exchangers, storage tanks or air conditioning) by means of PCMs is also under research in some projects, presently under development. The main activities of the research team include:

  • Characterization of the thermal properties and the thermal behaviour of Phase Change Materials (PCMs).
  • Development of new characterization methodologies, suitable to assess the behaviour of PCMs.
  • Design, production and characterization of Thermal Storage System prototypes based on PCMs.
  • Development of new PCMs. Characterization and assessment of their behaviour
  • Development of predictive tools to attain a reliable design of solutions containing PCMs. The approach to produce the tools is based on the modelling of the thermal behaviour of PCMs, and the modelling of the thermal behaviour of solutions containing Phase Change Materials


  • Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC). Mettler Toledo DSC 1.
  • Termogravimetric Analizer (TGA). Mettler Toledo TGA/ DSC 1.
  • Climatic Chamber. Ineltec CCLP, -20-150ºC.
  • Thermostatic Baths. Grant GP200/R3; Lauda Proline RP845.
  • Bench-Test for testing the behaviour and operational schedules of a real heating system. Proprietary design and production.
  • Programmable heating cabinets.
  • Controlled atmosphere Glove-Box chamber for the manipulation and preparation of materials, and for the measurement of several properties.
  • Furnaces and Heating plates.
  • Dataloggers (Agilent 34972A).
  • Temperature sensors (thermocouples, thermoresistences, thermographic camera) and measuring devices (Testo).
  • Planetary mixing and milling machine (Fristch) working under ambient atmosphere and temperature and under liquid Nitrogen.
  • Sonicator Vibra Cell mod 75185
  • High accuracy weighing scales (Sartorius and O´Haus, accuracy of 0.01mg and 0,1 mg respectively.
  • Karl-Fisher apparatus for the determination of moisture absorption by materials.
  • pH-meter.
  • Centrifugal pump.
  • Laser detection system of the end-of melting of mixtures. Self-development on the EHU.

Research Activities

The main research lines at EnediTES are:

  • Design and development of energy efficient building solutions including PCMs, specifically façade and roof. Assessment of in-use behaviour of the devised solutions, both at laboratory scale and under real conditions.
  • Research on latent heat storage systems for use in auxiliary facilities for buildings and/or industry. Study of compact heat exchangers based on PCMs. Modeling and simulation of their behavior. Testing of prototypes in pilot plant to perform an experimental analysis of the thermal behaviour and efficiency of the devised systems. Development and testing of optimized operational procedures.
  • Development of new PCMs suitable to overcome the supercooling and phase segregation usual problems. Improvement of the thermal conductivity. Thermal characterization of the developed solutions.
  • Modeling of systems using phase change materials. Analysis of the thermal behavior by means of computational fluid dynamics and/ or by developing new models. Employment of innovative modeling approaches and techniques (applied mathematics using regression models and application of neural networks) to predict the behaviour of PCM containing solutions.
  • Improvement of thermal characterization methodologies to ensure the reliability and suitability of the results for the assessment of PCM. This research line includes collaborative work with several institutions, to develop normalized methodologies to evaluate the thermal behavior of PCMs..

The research lines of EnediMAT are integrated with the research of other relevant research groups on thermal energy storage, both at national and international level:

  • The work is integrated inside the “Red Española de Materiales de Cambio de Fase”.