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Supercooling of salt hydrates as phase change materials

ZENG Cui-hua, ZHANG Ren-yuan (Faculty of Material and Energy Energy, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510090, China)  
Salt hydrates are used as thermal energy storage materials. The supercooling of these materials, which is generally present during extraction of the stored heat, reduces the utility of the materials and, if too severe, can completely prevent heat recovery. This paper discusses the nucleating mechanisms of the salt hydrates and comes to the conclusion that adding suitable nucleating agents reduces significantly the degree of supercooling.
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