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The award-winning Phase Change Matters blog tracks the latest news and research on phase change materials and thermal energy storage. E-mail tips and comments to Ben Welter, communications director at Entropy Solutions. Follow the blog on Twitter at @PureTemp. Subscribe to the weekly PCM newsletter. Or join the discussion on LinkedIn.

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PCM briefing: A call for papers on energy storage for building applications; Peli BioThermal introduces CoolPall Flex

Ben Welter - Sunday, March 18, 2018

Energy and Buildings has issued a call for papers for a special issue on energy storage for building applications. Topics include "bio-inspired, bio-based, and bio-replicated storage materials and systems," "storage-based systems for mitigating indoor-outdoor microclimate" and "smart, multipurpose, multifunctional materials for sensible and latent thermal energy storage in buildings." Dr. Luisa F. Cabeza of the University of Lleida is among the issue's guest editors. Papers will be accepted between May 1 and July 31. Original manuscripts only.

Nebuma of Saarbrücken, Germany, has introduced a thermal energy storage system that can store around 16MWh of heat in a 20-foot container. The company says the blocks or granules in the tanks can be heated to up to 1,300ºC “with an efficiency that is second to none."

CoolPall FlexPeli BioThermal unveiled a new addition to its range of bulk temperature-control shippers this week at Clinical Trial Supply Europe in Milan. The CoolPall Flex is available in three heights with a capacity range of 140 to 767 liters. Options include standard insulation or vacuum insulated panels and water-based or PCM coolants in single or double coolant configurations. 

Harvard University's new district energy facility will feature the largest thermal storage tank in Massachusetts. The 1.3-million-gallon tank will store chilled water that will be used to cool buildings. It will also support some limited research applications.

• New from Pike Research: "Revenue From Net Zero Energy Buildings to Reach $1.3 Trillion by 2035"

• New from HeyReport: "2015-2023 World Micro-capsule Phase Change Composite Material Market Research Report by Product Type, End-User / Application and Regions / Countries

• New from HTF Market Intelligence: "Phase Change Materials Market Overview – Key Futuristic Trends and Competitive Landscape 2023"

• New from Transparency Market Research: "Cold Chain Packaging Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2017 - 2025

Ice Energy has announced the launch of "Keep Your Cool," a free HVAC replacement and energy storage program in Orange County, Calif. Under the program, qualifying businesses are eligible to receive fully installed HVAC and thermal energy storage systems, using Ice Energy’s proprietary Ice Bear unit. The system freezes water at night when demand for power is low. The stored ice is then used during the peak period of the day to provide uninterrupted cooling, using less energy and reducing air conditioning bills by up to 40 percent.

Work continues on effort to add PCM products to California energy code

Ben Welter - Friday, March 16, 2018

At its meeting earlier this month, the RAL Quality Association PCM discussed an update on an initiative to include phase change material in the Building Efficiency Standards contained in the California Code of Regulations.

The update, provided by Jeremiah Crossett, chief technology officer of NRGsim Inc., outlined the initiative’s timeline and cost projections.

Crossett is developing a database of PCM products and performing a detailed modeling study on a variety of PCM products in all California climate zones. The goal is to build a persuasive case for including PCMs in the next version of the standards, to be published in 2019.

Manufacturers of PCM building products are invited to submit products to Crossett for inclusion in the database. One or two products can be submitted for $2,000; an unlimited number can be submitted for $5,000. For Crossett’s modeling study, $2,000 covers one or two products; $5,000 covers an unlimited number.

Crossett hopes to complete work on the initiative by next winter. He said Insolcorp, which installs PCM building products in California, Nevada and other states, has been covering the costs. He asked if any members of the RAL Quality Association PCM would be interested in co-funding the initiative. Members suggested that the new PCM Industry Association of North America would be a better audience for that question. Companies interested in participating can contact Crossett at jcrossett@nrgsim.com.

Research roundup: Personal cooling device; China's cold chain; prismatic lithium ion batteries; more

Ben Welter - Friday, March 16, 2018

"Preparation and Characterization of Modified Porous Wood Flour/Lauric-Myristic Acid Eutectic Mixture as a Form-Stable Phase Change Material" [Energy & Fuels]

A novel phase based cooling system for prismatic lithium ion batteries [Institut International du Froid]

Optimization of solar photovoltaic system integrated with phase change material [Solar Energy]

A novel heat transfer enhancement technique for performance improvements in encapsulated latent heat storage system [Solar Energy]

Experimental and numerical investigation of a solar collector/storage system with composite phase change materials [Solar Energy]

Enhanced thermal conductivity of phase change material nanocomposites based on MnO2 nanowires and nanotubes for energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Enhancing the Thermosiphon-Driven Discharge of a Latent Heat Thermal Storage System used in a Personal Cooling Device [International Journal of Refrigeration]

An Overview of Current Status of Cold Chain in China [International Journal of Refrigeration]

Applications of Thermal Analysis to the Study of Phase-Change Materials [Handbook of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry]

Thermo-physical characteristics, mechanical performance and long-term stability of high temperature latent heat storages based on paraffin-polymer compounds [Thermochimica Acta]

High thermal conductive paraffin/calcium carbonate phase change microcapsules based composites with different carbon network [Applied Energy]

Patent application: Wearable temperature control garment system

Ben Welter - Friday, March 16, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180070659 (inventor Peng Xu, Moraga, Calif.):

"A wearable air temperature control system has two separable parts, a garment and an external heat pump, and the two parts are connected together via a connecting tube. The garment comprises an inner layer, a middle layer which is a carrier supporting the PCM capsules, and an insulating layer. The three layers is secured together to form a laminated unitary structure, which is flexible, soft and breathable. The external heat pump circulates cold or hot water through the garment when the garment is connected. The water flows in the capillary tube embedded in the PCM capsules and recharge the PCM. As a result, the garment could achieve cooling or heating by melting or freezing the PCM material inside the PCM capsules, whether the garment is separated from or connected to the heat pump for recharging. After the garment is fully recharged, the garment can be disconnected from the heat pump which allows wearers to move or work easily outdoors only wearing the portable garment."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180070659.pdf

PepsiCo seeks technology for thermally responsive beverage containers

Ben Welter - Monday, March 12, 2018

PepsiCo is looking for thermally responsive material technology for use in beverage containers.

NineSigma, an organization that matches large manufacturers with technology providers worldwide, is managing the search.

Conceptual approaches are of interest provided there is a clear path to commercialization. A successful technology will:

• Provide the desired thermal properties for carbonated soft drinks in PET
• Be recyclable and environmentally sustainable
• Be capable of running on standard off-the-shelf labeling equipment
• Delight the customer, in feel and touch
• Must be non-toxic
• Be cost-effective

Additional desirable features:

• Applicable to a wide variety of packaging formats (PET, glass, Al, etc.)
• Relevant to broad beverage product portfolio (juices, tea, water, dairy, etc.)
• Applicable to U.S. and global markets
• GRAS approved

The path to commercialization should be shorter than two years; respondents may indicate their required timeframe if longer than that. Questions may be directed to Jonathan Jakischa, innovation technology associate at NineSigma. The submission deadline is March 30.

https://ninesights.ninesigma.com/web/pepsico-gallery/needs-listing/-/needs-portlet/viewNeed?_NeedsPortlet_WAR_NeedPortletsportlet_needId=779

PCM briefing: Thermal storage in focus at Energy Storage Europe; SaltX, Ahlstrom-Munksjö to develop insulation paper

Ben Welter - Monday, March 12, 2018

• "Life Cycle Assessment of Thermal Energy Storage Materials, Components and System Concepts" (Björn Nienborg, Fraunhofer ISE) and "Development of PCM Based on the Prediction of Phase Diagrams of Salt Hydrate Mixtures" (Christoph Rathgeber, ZAE Bayern) are among more than a dozen presentations on thermal storage at this week's Energy Storage Europe expo and conference in Düsseldorf, Germany.

• The energy storage company SaltX Technology will collaborate with specialty paper producer Ahlstrom-Munksjö to develop a large-scale manufacturing method for graphene-coated insulation paper. The paper will carry SaltX's patented nano coated salt, increasing the heat conductivity of the SaltX material by up to five times. 

• The March 2018 issue of the CIBSE Journal features a continuing professional development module sponsored by Monodraught: "Operating and enhancing PCM-cooled ventilation systems in office applications.

• New from Persistence Market Research: "Advanced Phase Change Material (PCM) Market - Global Industry Analysis and Forecast to 2020" and "Global Insulated Shipping Containers Market Research Report 2018"

• New from QYResearch: "Global Molten Salt Thermal Energy Storage (TES) Industry 2018 Market Research Report"

• Registration is open for an Industrial Fabrics Association International webinar on recent smart fabric applications used in a number of government, commercial, medical and consumer market segments. The cost for the March 15 webinar, initially presented in January, is $29 for association members, $79 for non-members. 

Arizona State University researchers have shed new light on the anomalous properties of water, using specially treated water mixed with another chemical. "As they changed the temperature at high pressures," Gizmodo reports, "they noticed a sharp change in the water's molecular behaviour as it seemed to change phases - from a liquid to a liquid."  

• The first Lego blocks made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugar cane will go on sale later this year. Lego’s current blocks are made from oil-based plastics.

• The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking bids to replace a chiller at the department's Washington, D.C., headquarters. The chiller was originally installed in 1995 to make ice at night for a thermal energy storage system.

Sunamp Ltd. is among 35 finalists preparing to pitch to investors at Cleantech Innovate in London on March 20.

GTI, a not-for-profit research organization based in Illinois, has been invited to present its hybrid solar energy system project at ARPA-E's Congressional Showcase March 12. The system stores thermal energy in inert particles for on-demand use.

Research roundup: Biomass carbon aerogels from succulents; novel hybrid cooling for lithium-ion batteries; calcium carbonate, graphene oxide shell; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, March 08, 2018

Leakage-proof Phase Change Composites Supported by Biomass Carbon Aerogels from Succulents [Green Chemistry]

Experimental Investigation of a Novel Hybrid Cooling Method for Lithium-ion Batteries [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Modified phase change microcapsules with calcium carbonate and graphene oxide shell for enhanced energy storage and leakage prevention [Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering]

A Novel Thermal Energy Storage System in Smart Building Based on Phase Change Material [IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid]

Study of Material Compatibility for a Thermal Energy Storage System with Phase Change Material [Energies]

Is a self-sufficient building energy efficient? Lesson learned from a case study in Mediterranean climate [Applied Energy]

Patent application: Systems for thermal management

Ben Welter - Thursday, March 08, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180068924 (Henkel IP & Holding GmbH, Dusseldorf, Germany):

"A heat-dispersing article comprising: a first conductive/protective layer, one or more porous thermally conductive, low-profile structure(s), impregnated with a sufficient quantity of a formulated phase change material (PCM) so as to substantially cover the surface and voids of said porous thermally conductive, low-profile structure, wherein said formulated PCM comprises said PCM containing 5-20% by weight of a gelling agent mixed with said PCM, and a second conductive/protective layer, wherein said one or more porous thermally conductive, low-profile structure(s) are sandwiched between said first and second conductive/protective layers, and wherein said article has: a latency of at least 100 J/cc, and an effective thermal conductivity of at least 10 W/mK."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180068924.pdf

Research roundup: Coating approach for a PCM; triple concentric-tube latent heat storage; hybrid shell materials; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Coating approach for a Phase Change Material (PCM)  [Powder Technology]

Thermal performance analysis of combined solar collector with triple concentric-tube latent heat storage systems [Energy and Buildings]

Nanoencapsulated phase change materials with polymer-SiO2 hybrid shell materials: Compositions, morphologies, and properties [Energy Conversion and Management]

Investigation on the charging process of a multi-PCM latent heat thermal energy storage unit for use in conventional air-conditioning systems [Energy]

A review of the application of carbon materials in solar thermal energy storage [Solar Energy]

Feasibility analysis for enhancement of output power of the PV panels by use of PCM (Phase Change Material) based cooling technique [pdf] [Malaya Journal of Matematik]

For Melbourne family, PCM ceiling mats ‘worth the investment’

Ben Welter - Monday, March 05, 2018

A recent two-story addition to a bungalow in suburban Melbourne, Australia, uses bio-based phase change material as a lightweight alternative to thermal mass.

Interior of Playtime HousePhase Change Energy Solutions BioPCM mats containing about 270 kilograms of phase change material were installed above the ceilings, according to architect Penny Guild of Guild Architects. The PCM has a melting point of 24 degrees C. In an e-mail interview, Guild talked about PCM use in the Playtime House project.

Q: What are the projected energy savings related to PCM use in this project?

A: “We didn’t do any specific calculations, but the manufacturer claims between 40 to 80 percent saving in energy bills. The amount of PCM that was put in the project equates to 10kw hours.”

Q: Have you worked with PCM products in the past? Are there plans to use PCM in future projects?

A: “It’s relatively new for the residential market in Australia so I haven’t used it before. The upfront costs are reasonably high, and being a new product there’s not many people that potential clients can turn for advice on its effectiveness. They can’t just ask a friend ‘did you think the PCM was good value in your house’ because no one else has used it. The clients on this project had a high degree of environmental consciousness and both had a science background of some sort (doctor and teacher) and they felt confidant enough it was worth the investment. As the project was an extension above an existing structure adding traditional heavy mass materials was basically impossible which is where the PCM came in.”

http://www.guildarchitects.com.au/northcote-house/

http://futurist--architecture.blogspot.no/2018/01/playtime-house-in-northcote.html