PCMs and Applications

Phase change materials (PCM) are materials with a high latent heat, which are able to store and release large amounts of energy (up to 100 times more than using the specific heat) to the phase change temperature (solid-liquid). A key feature of these materials is that, during phase change, the temperature remains constant while the material is absorbing or releasing heat. The phase change temperature is characteristic of each PCM. Their use is focused on improving the energy efficiency of the system where it is incorporated.

Mainly there are two types of applications: heat storage and passive temperature control

  • Heat/cold storage

    1. From natural sources (for example the Sun)
    2. Industrial processes: recovery of waste heat
    3. Free cooling/heating systems
    4. Shifting electrical consumption to off-peak periods
    5. Others
  • Passive thermoregulation to a temperature fixed

    1. Thermal comfort in buildings: Thermal oscillation reduction
    2. Transport of food, medicines, organs, animals, …
    3.  Cooling systems: cold rooms
    4. Thermal comfort in clothing
    5. Control of temperature peaks in electronic devices
    6. Others

Specialization and Technologies:

  • Analysis and thermal studies. Thermo-Hydraulic simulations through code CFD (ANSYS CFX)

  • Development of PCM/carbonaceous materials composites with high thermal conductivity

  • Microencapsulation  of PCM by spray drying process


Mini Spray Dryer (advanced technique of drying): Microencapsulation of materials, atomization of liquids, production of solid particles at microscale, transformation of liquids (solutions, emulsions) into dry micro powder, dispersion of nanomaterials into microparticles, etc.

Atomic Force Microscope (AFM): High resolution technique to analyse materials at nanometric scale. Images and topography. Electrical, magnetic, thermal and mechanical properties. Nanolithography

Featured Projects


ECOFRIOP.Development of a system based in PCM for energy savings in big food cooling chambers. The aim of the project was to define, analyze, design,... Read More


THERMIO: Mortero autonivelante de altas prestaciones térmicas para suelos radiantes CTC ha llevado a cabo un proyecto de I+D para la empresa cántabra Derivados del Flúor,... Read More


PCMat. Advanced processes to develop PCM in metallic matrices.  PLAN NACIONAL DE INVESTIGACIÓN CIENTÍFICA, DESARROLLO E INNOVACIÓN TECNOLÓGICA 2008-2011. ID: PID-600200-2009-22. Subprograma Investigación Aplicada Centros... Read More