Storage systems based on latent heat storage have high-energy storage density, which reduces the footprint of the system and the cost. However, phase change materials (PCMs), such as NaNO.sub.3, NaCl, KNO.sub.3, have very low thermal conductivities. To enhave the storage of PCMs, macroencapsulation of PCMs was performed using a metal oxide, such as SiO.sub.2 or a graphene-SiO.sub.2, over polyimide-coated or nickel-embedded, polyimide-coated pellets The macro encapsulation provides a self-supporting structure, enhances the heat transfer rate, and provides a cost effective and reliable solution for thermal energy storage for use in solar thermal power plants. NaNO.sub.3 was selected for thermal storage in a temperature range of 300.degree. C. to 500.degree. C. The PCM was encapsulated in a metal oxide cell using self-assembly reactions, hydrolysis, and simultaneous chemical oxidation at various temperatures.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
 This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. DE-EE0003590 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.