A Case Study for Decentralized Heat Storage Solutions in the Agroindustry Sector Using Phase Change Materials

Carlos José Souto Simão, João Murta-Pina, João Pedro Oliveira, Luís Coelho, João Pássaro, Diogo Ferreira, Fernando Reboredo, Tiago Jorge, Pedro Figueiredo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


The development of thermal energy storage solutions (TES) in agroindustry allows reduction of production costs and improvement of operation sustainability. Such solutions require high storage capacity and the ability to adapt to existing equipment. The use of phase change materials (PCMs), which are able to store thermal energy as latent heat, creates new opportunities for heat storage solutions (LHS, latent heat storage) with higher energy density and improved performance when compared to sensible heat storage. New architectures are envisaged where heat storage is distributed throughout the production chain, creating prospects for the integration of renewable generation and recovery of industrial heat waste. This work aims to investigate the benefits of decentralized thermal storage architecture, directly incorporating PCM into the existing equipment of an agroindustry production line. To assess the feasibility and potential gain in the adoption of this TES/LHS distributed solution, a tempering and mixing equipment for food granules is selected as a case study, representing a larger cluster operating under the operation paradigm of water jacket heating. The behavior of the equipment, incorporating an inorganic PCM, is modeled and analyzed in the ANSYS Fluent software. Subsequently, a prototype is instrumented and used in laboratory tests, allowing for data collection and validation of the simulation model. This case study presents a demonstration of the increase in storage capacity and the extension of the discharge process when compared to a conventional solution that uses water for sensible heat storage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-278
Number of pages24
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022


  • agroindustry
  • food processing
  • latent heat
  • phase change material (PCM)
  • thermal energy storage


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