Advanced Materials and Additive Manufacturing for Phase Change Thermal Energy Storage and Management: A Review

Thomas Freeman, Kyle Foster, Casey Troxler, Cameron Irvin, Anastasia Aday, Sandra Boetcher, Allison Mahvi, Matthew Smith, Adewale Odukomaiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus Citations


Phase change materials (PCMs) can enhance the performance of energy systems by time shifting or reducing peak thermal loads. The effectiveness of a PCM is defined by its energy and power density—the total available storage capacity (kWh m−3) and how fast it can be accessed (kW m−3). These are influenced by both material properties as well as geometry of the energy systems; however, prior efforts have primarily focused on improving material properties, namely, maximizing latent heat of fusion and increasing thermal conductivity. The latter is often at the expense of the former. Advanced manufacturing techniques hold tremendous potential to enable co-optimization of material properties and device geometry, while potentially reducing material waste and manufacturing time. There is an emerging body of research focused on additive manufacturing of PCM composites and devices for thermal energy storage (TES) and thermal management. In this article, the fundamentals and applications of PCMs are reviewed and recent additive manufacturing advances in latent heat TES for both the PCM composite and associated heat exchanger are discussed. A forward-looking perspective on the future and potential of PCM additive manufacturing for TES and thermal management is provided.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2204208
Number of pages21
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number24
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and The Authors. Advanced Energy Materials published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-84607


  • 3D printing
  • additive manufacturing
  • advanced manufacturing
  • phase change materials
  • thermal energy storage materials
  • thermal management


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