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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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Job posting: Operations Manager at Entropy Solutions' R&D lab in Alabama

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 12, 2015

Entropy Solutions, maker of PureTemp, the world's first 100 percent renewable phase change material, is accepting applications for the position of Operations Manager at the company's R&D lab in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Working closely with our team of top-notch scientists, the Operations Manager will help direct a wide range of project- and infrastructure-related initiatives.

Inside Federal Center South, an ASHRAE award-winning project

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tom Boysen Jr.In December, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office building in Seattle was one of nine projects recognized for innovative design with an ASHRAE Technology Award. Federal Center South received first place in the new commercial buildings category. 

The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce takes a closer look at the project, including the months of tweaking needed to reach the energy-use guarantees made by the general contractor, Sellen Construction.

“This is not your father's 1960s pickup truck,” said Tom Boysen, senior project manager. “This thing has at least four gears of cooling and two gears of heating.”

The complex system includes heat-recovery chillers that extract heat from a thermal storage tank to warm the building in the morning, when demand is high. The rooftop tank is filled with 2-foot-long panels containing phase change material that freezes and thaws at 55 degrees, serving as a battery for storing heat.

https://www.djc.com/news/en/12074091.html

Protective suit for offshore work features a PCM liner to keep the wearer comfortable

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Viking PS5040 suitGas and oil personnel don protective suits for helicopter transfer to and from offshore platforms. Viking Life-Saving Equipment's new PS5040 suit is designed for harsh weather and icy waters. The snug-fitting suit features a gas-inflated buoyancy system, integrated spray hood, easy-to-use plastic zippers and a thermal liner that contains phase change materials that absorb the excess body heat and returns it when needed.

“When it comes to passenger suits for helicopter transfer, there are a number of commonly used materials and features that are well-suited to the task,” said Jens Peter Kruse, the Danish company's vice president for personal protective equipment. “We’ve taken this into account with our new suit, and we’ve made a tremendous number of comfort and safety improvements, too.”

http://www.allaboutshipping.co.uk/2015/02/10/new-viking-etso-transport-suit-tough-to-beat

Research roundup: Under-floor heating; fire retardants; even-numbered n-alkanes; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

  • Effect of thermal conductivities of shape stabilized PCM on under-floor heating system [Applied Energy] 

  • Fire Retardant for Phase Change Material [Engineering Materials]

  • Temperature-dependent thermal properties of solid/liquid phase change even-numbered n-alkanes: n-Hexadecane, n-octadecane and n-eicosane [Applied Energy]

  • Numerical analysis on thermal behavior of solid–liquid phase change within copper foam with varying porosity [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

  • Thermal behaviour of insulation and phase change materials in buildings with internal heat loads: experimental study [Energy Efficiency]

  • Resource and revenue potential of California residential load participation in ancillary services [Energy Policy]

  • A review of large-scale electrical energy storage (including a mathematical model for thermal energy storage as a battery) [Energy Research]

  • Research roundup: Polyurethane embedded graphite; gypsum board; nanoparticle PCM slurry; more

    Ben Welter - Monday, February 09, 2015

  • Electro/photo to heat conversion system based on polyurethane embedded graphite [Applied Energy]

  • Thermal evaluation of laminated composite phase change material gypsum board under dynamic conditions [Renewable Energy]

  • Different energy balances for the redesign of nearly net zero energy buildings: An Italian case study [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

  • Experimental study on the influence of nanoparticle PCM slurry for high temperature on convective heat transfer and energetic performance in a circular tube under imposed heat flux [Applied Thermal Engineering]

  • Mortars based in different binders with incorporation of phase-change materials: Physical and mechanical properties [European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering]

  • A new approach to theoretical modeling of heat transfer through fibrous layers incorporated with microcapsules of phase change materials [Thermochimica Acta]
  • PCMs in thermal packaging: Not just a phase

    Ben Welter - Friday, February 06, 2015

    In the latest issue of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer, design engineer Richard Harrop notes that, not so long ago, water was the filler material of choice for most cooling packs. The initial response to using phase change materials was, well, a bit chilly. They were thought to be costly and unnecessary. But now, Harrop writes, "the benefits of size, weight and cost saving are apparent. It is becoming clear that the growing inclusion of PCMs is not just a phase, but rather something that we can be excited to see much more of."

    Note: The link below leads Harrop's complete piece. Ignore the "Read full article from PDF" tease at the bottom.

    http://www.samedanltd.com/magazine/15/issue/230/article/4027 

    New resource for clean energy entrepreneurs

    Ben Welter - Thursday, February 05, 2015

    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Electric Power Research Institute have launched the Clean Energy Incubator Network. Through its website, www.incubatenergy.org, the federally funded program will assist business incubators, connect industry and energy sector partners, and boost clean energy technologies emerging from universities and government labs.

    "This website of resources and tools for incubators and entrepreneurs will serve as a focal point of the network," said Matt Ringer, NREL's project manager. "With our past experience building databases for a variety of related energy resources, NREL is well positioned to develop this type of resource for the clean tech industry." 

    http://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2015/16455.html

    Research roundup: Organogel; mobilized thermal storage container; passive solar wall

    Ben Welter - Thursday, February 05, 2015

  • Organogel used as phase change material: solvent effects on structure, leakage and thermal performance [RSC Advances]

  • Experimental study on melting and solidification of phase change material in indirect contact mobilized thermal energy storage container [Chemical Industry and Engineering Progress]

  • Thermal behavior of a passive solar wall with silica aerogel and phase change materials [Proceedings of Energy Forum on Advanced Building Skins]

  • Effect of internal void placement on the heat transfer performance – Encapsulated phase change material for energy storage [Renewable Energy]
  • ARPA-E seeks technology-to-market scholars, fellows

    Ben Welter - Thursday, February 05, 2015

    ARPA-E is accepting applications for technology-to-market scholars and fellows. During their 8- to 12-week tenure, scholars will conduct analysis and research to support the commercialization of ARPA-E's energy technology projects and programs. During their two-year tenure, ARPA-E fellows will focus on identifying breakthrough energy technologies.

    http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-e-site-page/job-opportunities

    Market for microencapsulated PCM in construction is projected to top $111 million in 2018

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 04, 2015

    The global market for microencapsulated phase change material in building and construction will reach $111.4 million in 2018, according to Frost & Sullivan. That's nearly double the size of the market in 2013 and reflects a compound annual growth rate of 14.8 percent. 

    "MPCMs can provide thermal mass in buildings on a smaller scale of material mass and weight while regulating temperature comfort, making them suitable in compact and lightweight building structures," said Frost & Sullivan analyst Raghu Tantry. "Focus on green buildings has also increased the range of applications for construction products incorporating MPCM."