Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Shelton, John

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical engineering; Renewable energy sources


Current limits in thermal energy storage capabilities utilized in concentrated solar power plants applications are a critical challenge towards meeting future sustainable energy demands. A key component in overcoming this challenge is through the enhancement of latent heats of fusion characteristics in the thermal energy storage medium, which can increase storage energy density while reducing operating costs. In this investigation, latent heats of fusion enhancement were proposed through the use of nanoencapsulated phase change materials (PCM). Synthesized silicon dioxide nanocapsule shells containing palmitic acid (PA) as the phase change material core with varying core-to-shell mass ratios (1:1, 1:2, 1:4, 1:6) are investigated for their shell structural stability, encapsulation ratio (R), encapsulation efficiency (E) and energy density storage during phase transformation of the PCM core. Differential scanning calorimetry has been used to determine the effect of the fixed volume nanocapsule shell on the melting temperature, latent heat of fusion, and heat capacity for the PA core. Dynamic light scattering technique is used to understand the size distribution of the nanocapsules. Surface, sub-surface, and microstructural characteristics of the nanocapsule are investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).


Advisors: John Shelton.||Committee members: Kyu Taek Cho; Regina Easley.||Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


iv, 32 pages




Northern Illinois University

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