Saul Vesonder

Alt Title

Characterization of three energy storage materials for a solar oven

Publication Date


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First Advisor

Bushnell, David L.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Physics


Solar ovens--Design and construction; Heat storage


This thesis investigated three different phase change materials (PCMs) by characterizing their behavior through heating and cooling (the resulting temperature curve is called a thermogram). These compounds are energy storage materials that may be used in an alternative energy application: a solar oven. The PCMs were prepared in three ways in order to show the best technique for storing energy. The three techniques for preparing the samples were loose powder, compression, and melt-resolidification. Varying amounts of graphite were added to samples of each preparation technique. The hope was to see effects on the behavior of the PCMs by analyzing the thermograms. To compare the methods, seven different data points/calculations were taken from the thermograms. The data points that were analyzed characterize the PCMs. These parameters are: the point of phase change upon heating, the length of transition from solid I to solid II (heating), the point of phase change upon cooling, the length of transition from solid II to solid I (cooling), the temperature at the depth of undercooling, the amount of time needed to reach the depth of undercooling, and the length of storage time. From this analysis conclusions can be made to help decide which material is best for the next solar oven. Also, this information can be used as a springboard to decide how to conduct other experiments and to compare with other results. Finally, these materials may be used in other more profitable ways that have not been thought of yet.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [98])


vi, 106 pages




Northern Illinois University

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