Phase Change Matters RSS

 

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.

RECENT POSTS

TAGS

ARCHIVE

Research roundup: Nanofluid-based PCMs; microencapsulation of n-alkanes; finned solar PV PCM; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, May 31, 2018

From Chemical Engineering Journal:

Glycolysis of Advanced Polyurethanes Composites containing Thermoregulating Microcapsules

From Applied Thermal Engineering:
From Applied Energy:

From International Journal of Thermal Sciences:

From Chemical Engineering Science:

Research roundup: Variable conductance heat pipe; micro-nanoencapsulated n-eicosane with PMMA shell; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

From Thermal Science and Engineering Progress:

Experimental investigation into the feasibility of using a variable conductance heat pipe for controlled heat release from a phase-change material thermal store

From Thermochimica Acta:

Form-stable phase change nanocomposites for thermal energy storage based on hypercrosslinked polymer nanospheres

From International Journal of Thermal Sciences:

Non-monotonously tuning thermal conductivity of graphite-nanosheets/paraffin composite by ultrasonic exfoliation

From Sustainable Computing: Informatics and Systems:

A review of thermal management and innovative cooling strategies for data center

From Renewable Energy:

Numerical analysis of a latent heat thermal energy storage system under partial load operating conditions

From Energy Conversion and Management:

Graphene embedded form stable phase change materials for drawing the thermo-electric energy harvesting

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

Performance of novel Na2SO4-NaCl-ceramic composites as high temperature phase change materials for solar power plants (Part II)

From Materials Chemistry and Physics:

Synthesis and Characterization of Micro-Nanoencapsulated n-eicosane with PMMA Shell as Novel Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage

PMMA shell as novel phase change material

PCM briefing: Sunamp's copper heat exchangers; renewable energy's 'next big thing'

Ben Welter - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

• The industry group Copper Alliance takes a look at Sunamp Ltd.'s use of copper heat exchangers in its PCM-equipped heat battery systems: "Copper has a few properties that make it ideal for this application, including high thermal conductivity, lack of corrosion when in contact with the PCM, and the ability to satisfy potable water regulations required to fully certify Sunamp’s products."    

Bloomberg's David Fickling explains why the development of lower-cost energy storage technologies will be renewable energy's "next big thing."

• Swedish researchers have produced a bio-based material that is reported to be stronger than spider silk and all other known bio-based materials, whether fabricated or natural. Working with cellulose nanofiber, the essential building block of plants, researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology have developed larger, lightweight materials for use in airplanes, cars, furniture and other products.

Ecozen Solutions of India, which makes PCM-equipped portable solar cold rooms for use on small farms, was profiled this week in India Climate Dialogue

• New from Global Info Research: "Global Microencapsulation Technology Market 2018 by Manufacturers, Countries, Type and Application, Forecast to 2023"

• New from Market Research Future: "Global Advanced Energy Storage Systems Market Research Report - Forecast to 2027"

• New from HongChun: "2018 Global Molten Salt Solar Energy Thermal Storage and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Industry Depth Research Report"

Horizon 2020's RealValue group has released findings on its three-year, small-scale energy storage project. The group, led by Glen Dimplex and consisting of 13 partner organizations, installed smart electric thermal storage systems in 750 commercial and residential properties in Ireland, Germany and Latvia. Among the findings: "Smart control of SETS devices simultaneously reduces charging costs of the devices while improving the thermal comfort of the end user. It also has potential to manage congestion." 

Patent application: Self-warming insulation

Ben Welter - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180142383 (applicant PrimaLoft Inc., Latham, N.Y.):

"The invention provides an insulation material that includes exothermic fibers, heat capturing fibers capable of retaining heat, and synthetic fibers. The heat capturing fibers having a density of at least 1.17 g/cm3or 2.0 Dtex linear density. Also provided are articles comprising, and methods of making the inventive insulation material. ... In some embodiments, the heat capturing fibers are selected from fibers containing ceramic, fibers containing carbon, and fibers containing phase change material (PCM)."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180142383.pdf

Patent application: Artificial turf system with energy management material

Ben Welter - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Artificial turf patent drawing
U.S. patent application 20180142426 (inventors Reyad Sawafta and Jeffrey Bruner, Greensboro, N.C.):

"An artificial turf system comprising: an artificial turf mat [10]; and artificial turf fibers [60] disposed on a surface of the artificial turf mat, the artificial comprising at least one energy management material, wherein the at least one energy management material comprises a phase change material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180142426.pdf

Patent application: Cooling pillow with phase change material

Ben Welter - Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Werner cooling pillow patent drawingU.S. patent application 20180140116 (applicant Marc L. Werner, Plantation, Fla.):

"A cooling pillow generates a gust of cooled air when compressed. A solid, resilient, compressible foam block forms a core of the cooling pillow. A phase change material layer adhered to a surface of the foam block. Holes can be formed in the foam block to enhance the feel of the pillow and to improve the speed at which air is displaced when the cooling pillow is compressed."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180140116.pdf

Updated PCM testing specifications are now available on RAL website

Ben Welter - Monday, May 28, 2018

A revised version of a document outlining the RAL Quality Association PCM’s quality testing program has been approved by the association's governing body and is now available on the association's website.

RAL quality mark“Quality and Testing Specifications for Phase Change Materials,” also known as RAL-GZ 896, sets out the general principles for PCM. The document defines PCM, PCM composites, PCM objects and PCM systems; establishes performance requirements; and outlines the nature and scope of monitoring measures.

Improvements to RAL-GZ 896 include:

• Clearer structure and wording. 

• Heat flow meter measurements are now permissible. This will make measuring larger PCM products much easier.

• Reduced testing frequency during cycling. The prior edition required testing the quality criteria at fixed intervals during cycling. The new edition recommends testing at intervals during cycling (to reduce the risk that cycling is continued until the end despite the sample has already failed) and the intervals are wider. These changes are designed to reduce the cost of testing.

• Segregation, an important criterion for salt hydrates especially, was approved as an additional quality requirement.

• Better explanation of monitoring.

“The now published document is a huge improvement” said Stefan Thomann, the association's managing director. “Over a period of two years, an expert task group added crucial requirements, new measurement methods and better explanation and guidance. The RAL Quality Mark as an independent proof of outstanding quality has become even more meaningful now.”

http://www.pcm-ral.org/pcm/en/2018/05/25/new-quality-testing-specifications-published

Patent application: Passive thermal system comprising heat pipe and PCM for use in space

Ben Welter - Thursday, May 24, 2018

WorldVu Satellites patent drawing
U.S. patent application 20180134416, (applicant WorldVu Satellites Ltd., Arlington, Va.):

"A passive thermal system for use in a satellite and other aerospace applications includes a container having a heat-pipe working fluid disposed in a first chamber and a Phase Change Material (PCM) disposed in a second chamber that substantially surrounds the first chamber. The first chamber contains a wick for transporting the heat-pipe working fluid. The exterior of the first chamber has fins, etc., that extend into the PCM for heat spreading and increased interface area."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180134416.pdf

Patent application: Phase change heat storage-type electrical water heater

Ben Welter - Tuesday, May 22, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180135886 (applicant Pioneer Energy Co. Ltd., Suzhou, China):

"The utility model relates to a phase change heat storage-type electrical water heater, comprising a phase change heat storage device, wherein the phase change heat storage device comprises a housing; the housing is internally filled in with a phase change material; a heat exchange pipe is embedded in the phase change material; the heat exchange pipe has one end connected with a circulating medium inflow pipe and the other end connected with a circulating medium outflow pipe; the circulating medium inflow pipe and the circulating medium outflow pipe are externally connected with a circulating medium backflow pipe there-between; the circulating medium inflow pipe, the heat exchange pipe, the circulating medium outflow pipe and the circulating medium backflow pipe form a circulating system in which a circulating medium flow; the circulating medium backflow pipe is provided with a circulating pump, an electrical heater, a function switching valve and a heat exchanger in turn; and the heat exchanger is provided with a water inlet pipe for heating tap water and a water outlet pipe. Compared with the prior art, the phase change heat storage-type electrical water heater heats water for a long time, has a high yield of hot water, and is safe and reliable."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180135886.pdf

PCM briefing: Texas undergrads win ASHRAE equipment grant; 1414 Degrees among exhibitors at Australia energy storage conference

Ben Welter - Monday, May 21, 2018

• A University of North Texas research project, “Design of Energy Recovery Heat Exchanger Coupled with Phase Change Materials for Building Temperature Control,” is one of 25 undergraduate projects awarded a 2018 equipment grant from ASHRAE. The grants, totaling more than $113,000, will help the winning students complete undergraduate projects at schools around the world.

• New from HTF Market Intelligence: "United States Cold Chain Equipments Market Report 2018"

• New from Future Market Insights: "Salt Hydrate Market: Global Industry Analysis 2012 - 2016 and Opportunity Assessment; 2017-2027"

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

CouchBed

• The retail market is full of PCM-topped mattresses, pillows and seat cushions. Here's the first fold-out couch we've seen that features the temperature-control technology. The CouchBed, made by an Arizona company, is a 10-inch memory foam mattress that’s “made with 100% CertiPur certified ultra-dense memory foam, combined with phase change material to actively cool the sleeping surface."

• The U.S. Department of Energy has announced $72 million for new projects to advance high-temperature concentrating solar power technologies. The high-temperature thermal storage systems targeted by this program seek to achieve at least 700 degrees C, which would boost the efficiency and lower the cost of electricity. Awardees include Brayton Energy, Hampton, N.H, $7.6 million; National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colo., $7 million; and Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M., $9.5 million.

• Under a new joint development agreement, the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy will join Cleanergy AB's board of directors and help the Swedish firm advance its concentrated solar power and storage technology. The agency will fund a “substantial part” of Cleanergy's research and development work on thermal energy storage. Cleanergy, in turn, will be able to test its technology using the agency's facility in Ouarzazate, Morocco.

• A Ph.D. candidate at Delft University of Technology outlines a strategy to maximize the potential of aquifer thermal energy storage and phase out the use of natural gas in the Netherlands.

• Thermal energy storage company 1414 Degrees will be among more than 60 companies from around the world scheduled to attend the Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition May 23-24 at the Adelaide Convention Center. Other exhibitors include Tesla, Toshiba, GE and Victron Energy.