Thermal storage based on phase change materials (PCMs) for refrigerated transport and distribution applications along the cold chain: A review

Michele Calati*, Kamel Hooman, Simone Mancin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
174 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Foodstuff has to be transported from where it is produced or packaged to the market. It is important to control the temperature and humidity of the delivered food to minimize the waste and ensure customer satisfaction. At the same time, unfortunately, the transport sector is among the polluting sectors. Therefore, innovative solutions have been proposed such as the adoption of Latent Thermal Energy Storage (LTES) systems based on Phase Change Materials (PCMs) to control the food temperature. Such systems minimize the fuel consumption and thereby reduce the emission. LTES systems rely on the phase change process to absorb and store heat in a more sustainable way while ensuring a nearly constant temperature for the foodstuff while being transported. Hence, we first present a general overview of the application of PCMs at low temperatures. Then, the literature on the adoption of PCMs in the refrigerated transport sector is critically surveyed. Different proposals offered in the literature are recovered, compared, and critically assessed based on their merits. Despite the differences between the proposed technologies, significant advantages in terms of temperature uniformity in the refrigerated space, product thermal stress reduction, product quality, energy consumption, and pollutant emissions reduction are reported in the literature as surveyed in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100224
Number of pages33
JournalInternational Journal of Thermofluids
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Cold chain
  • Energy management
  • Perishable food
  • Phase change material
  • Refrigerated transport
  • Review

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