This paper reviews the development of available thermal energy storage (TES) technologies and their individual pros and cons for space and water heating applications. Traditionally, available heat has been stored in the form of sensible heat (typically by raising the temperature of water, rocks, etc.) for later use. In most of the low temperature applications, water is being used as a storage medium. Latent heat storage on the other hand, is a young and developing technology which has found considerable interest in recent times due to its operational advantages of smaller temperature swing, smaller size and lower weight per unit of storage capacity. It has been demonstrated that, for the development of a latent heat thermal energy storage system, the choice of the phase change material (PCM) plays an important role in addition to heat transfer mechanisms in the PCM. Attempts have also been made to utilize technical grade phase change materials as storage media and embedded heat exchange tubes/heat pipes with extended surfaces in order to enhance the heat transfer rate to/from the PCM.
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