Thermo-Chemical Materials Lab

The Thermo-Chemical Materials Lab studies materials for compact loss free storage of thermal energy (heat and cold). Thermal energy storage is a key element for a successful energy transition as renewable energy production fluctuates. This leads to a mismatch in production and consumption. Presently, there is a lack of materials able to store heat for periods longer than a day. Thermo-chemical materials (TCM’s) form a promising class for compact loss free storage over periods of weeks, months and even a year. In our lab we study salt hydrates for low temperature heat storage based on hydration transitions (water molecules are incorporated into the crystal lattice of the salt). Hydrating a crystal leads to energy release, while dehydration results in energy storage. We study the mechanisms of (de)hydration in order to understand the power output of TCM’s. Further we try to accelerate the power output by doping the crystals and stabilize the performance of TCM’s by making hybrid organic/inorganic matrices.

Without energy storage, no energy transition. Without energy storage materials, no energy storage

Henk Huinink is an expert in vapor induced solid-solid phase transitions and their application in the field of thermal energy storage. With his team he is investigating hydration-dehydration transitions of crystals in order to utilize these reactions for manufacturing a heat battery. He is involved in two major EU H2020 consortia (CREATE and HEAT INSYDE) that aim for demonstrating long term compact heat storage. Furthermore, he leads the NWO funded Mat4Heat project in which a group of 5 PhD students study crystal hydrates and their application to heat storage.