Progress of experimental studies on compact integrated solar collector-storage retrofits adopting phase change materials

Gholamabbas Sadeghi*, Mohammad Mehrali, Mina Shahi, Gerrit Brem, Amirhoushang Mahmoudi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
308 Downloads (Pure)


The unpredictability of heat demand–supply is one of the major challenges in our future sustainable energy system. Thus, coming up with new methods of heat storage for operating solar systems during low solar irradiance is among the advanced technical approaches in this field. The compact integrated solar thermal collector-storage systems have recently attracted the researchers’ attention due to the direct usage of stored thermal energy as well as the reduced space occupation. The current literature lacks a review paper on investigating various existing designs of such compact PCM-solar systems; thus, this paper analyzes the latest developments on experimentally investigated single-unit PCM-based solar collectors regarding both solar water and air heaters. Various types of solar collectors, including flat plate, evacuated tube, concentrating, and photovoltaic/thermal collectors have been thoroughly reviewed and discussed and the thermodynamic correlations for the system analysis have been given. The investigations revealed that a large proportion of integrated flat plate storage systems have been designed to provide space heating and it was deduced that paraffin and other hydrocarbons were basically used for the low-temperature heat production for domestic uses. Also, the concentrating solar collectors have mostly been utilized for providing the medium temperature for the industrial usage employing salt hydrates and nano-composite based phase change materials possessing higher melting points are adopted. Last but not least, it was concluded that the exergy efficiencies of solar collectors are remarkably low (below 5%), and the hybrid photovoltaic-thermal collectors can encounter this drawback by exploiting the high electrical exergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-95
Number of pages34
JournalSolar energy
Early online date5 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • Energy efficiency
  • Hybrid collectors
  • Phase change materials
  • Solar collectors
  • Solar energy
  • Thermal energy storage
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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