Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Uses of PCM slurries, characteristics, adaptation requirements and barriers to the market

A wide scope approach has been made to delimit categories of barriers that could impede the market penetration of Phase Change Material Slurries in general. The investigation of optimal market penetration paths for specific PCMS applications calls for reliable market studies, which focus on narrower domains of the PCMS technology.

General marketability issues that need to be considered for the PCMS technology at large can be categorised into the following five groups:
- Information;
- Risk;
- Environmental;
- Financial;
- Market characteristics.

This list of categories and the issues addressed in each category are surely not exhaustive (e.g. could include policies and regulations) but contain the most relevant domains of assessment for today’s markets. Naturally, PCMS technologies will be compared to technically alternatives and competitive conventional technologies with regard to costs, functionality, availability, technical support and increasingly also to environmental compatibility.

The rapid change and interdependence of today’s markets intensifies the decision-maker’s need for up-to-date trustworthy and comprehensible information. The choice of investors will undoubtedly depend strongly on the efforts put in communicating the distinguishment of a PCMS application from an alternative conventional application. Misperceptions of technical and economic risks involved in the application of PCMS systems may be avoided by conducting reliable empirical studies on full scale demonstration systems, monitored by independent syndicates to promote transparency and credibility.

Since initial investment involved in implementing PCMS applications at this stage of development might constitute a disadvantage compared to conventional technologies an influential step towards commercialisation will demand solutions for yielding attractive payback times for PCMS applications. Ideally, commercialisation of PCMS applications should be integrated in the well-established marketing and distribution channels for conventional thermal energy management equipment. In order to exploit the potential markets of strongly populated regions which have beneficial climates for space conditioning PCMS applications, but whose economies and industries are relatively weak, the costs and concepts of the concerned PCMS applications need to be adapted for such regions. This might only be accomplished with specific multilateral commercial agreements between the stakeholders.

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