Large Scale Thermal Energy Storage with Encapsulated Phase Change Materials


Lehigh University has developed a large scale thermal energy storage technology with encapsulated phase change materials (EPCMs).


EPCMs offer a more promising alternative to storing energy with sensible heat, compressed air and other means. They can also be designed to have high melting points with constant temperature during a phase change. High temperature can help achieve high energy conversion processes. This technology will enable storage of thermal energy in 100MWe solar energy plants for 24 hours or more at temperatures around 450 degrees Celsius.


Lehigh Tech ID# 032910-01




This technology is applicable for grid-scale thermal energy storage and will be able to compete in the concentrated solar power (CSP) market. While there are few CSP plants, there have been tremendous investment in CSP over the past several years and many are under construction. It is estimated that the global market for CSP investments is as high as $200 billion. Additionally, government agencies worldwide are pushing for renewable energy requirements, creating market opportunity for these kinds of technologies and business models.[1]


[1] “Futuretech Alert. Concentrated solar power/solar thermal technologies.” Frost & Sullivan web site, September 26, 2008. Frost & Sullivan web site (subscription required). (accessed January 10, 2012).



Lehigh University is ultimately looking to out-license this technology, but given the stage of development and opening market opportunity, co-development partners are desired.

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Utility United States 13/090,530 4/20/2011   8/18/2014
Energy and Environment
For Information, Contact:
Alan Snyder
VP, Research & Grad Programs
Lehigh University
Sudhakar Neti
Wojciech Misiolek
Alparslan Oztekin
Kemal Tuzla
John Chen