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Recently I stumbled upon the phenomenon of supercooling. I know that you can do this with water as well as with some phase change materials, like sodium acetate trihydrate (from the wintersport handwarmers). Reading up on some literature I saw that phase change materials are experimented with for short term storage of electrical energy from solar panels. I thought if supercooling could be used, energy could be stored for a longer period of time. But it seems that the sodium acetate trihydrate has a melting temperature that is to low and other salt hydrates with a higher melting temperature do not have the ability to supercool that easily. Arriving at my burning question to you guys is,

Why are water and sodium acetate trihydrate able to supercool and other salt hydrates are not (like magnesium nitrate hexahydrate)?

Can we increase the melting point of a salt hydrate (like sodium acetate trihydrate) without losing the ability of supercooling?

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Chemistry SE! Well, you can tell what you read or provide a link if you wish (seems you have a limit of links for now). $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Dec 5 '16 at 13:53

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