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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.




New patent: Thermal energy storage device

Ben Welter - Wednesday, March 04, 2015

U.S. patent 8966902, "Storage and recovery of thermal energy based on counter current principle of heat transfer medium transportation": "A thermal energy storage device is provided. The device has a heat exchanger arrangement for guiding a flow of a heat transfer medium between a first end and a second end of the heat exchanger arrangement, and a heat storage material surrounding the heat exchanger arrangement."

Dow, NEST team up on TES pilot project in Abu Dhabi

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Dow Chemical is collaborating with NEST AS of Norway on a thermal energy storage pilot project in Abu Dhabi. The project, to be undertaken at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology's concentrated solar power installation in Masdar City, will study the feasibility of a novel TES system developed by NEST. Dow will supply technical support and 2.6 metric tons of its Dowtherm A heat transfer fluid.

Frigesco flash defrost system wins ACR News Award

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Frigesco Ltd.'s low-energy flash defrost system was among the winners at last week's ACR News Awards in London, earning Refrigeration Product of the Year honors.

The British company's technology harnesses waste heat to defrost refrigeration systems more efficiently, reducing supermarket cooling costs by up to 20 percent. Phase change material is used to store the waste heat. 

Other ACR winners include Toshiba, Cool Designs Ltd. and Sainsbury Triple Zero Stores.

Research roundup: PCMs for building applications; concretes and mortars; nanoparticle dispersion; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 03, 2015

  • Phase change materials for building applications: A state-of-the-art review and future research opportunities [Energy and Buildings]

  • Mechanical and thermo-physical behaviour of concretes and mortars containing phase change material [Energy and Buildings]

  • A review on thermophysical properties of nanoparticle-dispersed phase change materials [Energy Conversion and Management]

  • Study on solidification of phase change material in fractal porous metal foam [Fractals]

  • Improving the efficiency of photovoltaic cells using PCM-infused graphite and aluminum fins [Solar Energy]

  • Performance of indirect through pass natural convective solar crop dryer with phase change thermal energy storage [Renewable Energy]

  • Thermal energy storage properties of the capric acid–stearic acid binary system and 48# paraffin–liquid paraffin binary system [International Journal of Sustainable Energy]

  • Research roundup: Hydrated salts/silica; population balance modeling; HVAC retrofit; TES caverns; more

    Ben Welter - Monday, March 02, 2015

  • The dependence of phase change enthalpy on the pore structure and interfacial groups in hydrated salts/silica composites via sol-gel [Journal of Colloid and Interface Science]

  • Time-Temperature Charge Function of a High Dynamic Thermal Heat Storage with Phase Change Material [Energy and Power Engineering]

  • Performance of Suspended Finned Heat Pipes in High-temperature Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

  • Numerical investigation of hydrodynamics and thermal performance of a specially configured heat pipe for high-temperature thermal energy storage systems [Applied Thermal Engineering]

  • Population balance modeling for the charging process of a PCM cold energy storage tank [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

  • Development and Optimization of an Innovative HVAC System with Integrated PVT and PCM Thermal Storage for a Net-Zero Energy Retrofitted House [Energy and Buildings]

  • Effect of separation distance on the mechanical stability and thermal performance of twin hot-water storage caverns [Solar Energy]

  • Corrosion properties of a ternary nitrate/nitrite molten salt in concentrated solar technology [Renewable Energy]

  • In buildings across Australia, PCM use is state of the art (and science)

    Ben Welter - Monday, March 02, 2015

    An Australian magazine offers a wide-ranging look at how architects, designers and engineers are using phase change materials in the land down under. Products made by BASF, DuPont, Phase Change Energy Solutions, Tate Access Floors, GlassX and Phase Change Products can be found in high-tech concrete, wallboard, glass and cooling systems across Australia.

    Bed show buzz: Temperature-regulating foams and fibers

    Ben Welter - Friday, February 27, 2015

    In its recap of last month's bedding trade show in Las Vegas, BedTimes magazine highlights two PCM-related "megatrends":

    "Foam wave. The swelling popularity of foam components in all feels—often with poured gel and other temperature-regulating ingredients, cuts, contours, processes and treatments—cannot be overstated. Period."

    "Yarns and fibers at the forefront. Many accessories and mattress fabrics contained viscose yarns that vendors sang the praises of—from 'cooling' to 'antibacterial.' Merino and other wools, organic cotton and other natural fibers had a strong showing among pillow and quilt fills. Other linens and accessories moved in the opposite direction—think polyester 'performance fibers.' "

    Patent application: Composite construction panels and applications

    Ben Welter - Friday, February 27, 2015

    U.S. patent application 20150056404 (assignee Phase Change Energy Solutions Inc.):

    "In some embodiments, a composite construction panel comprises a substrate layer, a cover layer separated from the substrate layer by one or more spacers, and at least one mat disposed between the substrate layer and the cover layer, wherein the mat comprises at least one phase change material disposed in at least one phase change region."

    Armstrong says PCM ceiling tiles can help schools meet new rules

    Ben Welter - Friday, February 27, 2015

    Jeremy SumerayArmstrong Ceilings hosted a seminar in London this month explaining how schools can meet new regulations aimed at improving ventilation and thermal comfort in British classrooms.

    Phase 2 of the Priority School Building Programme will rebuild or refurbish 277 schools across England at a cost of more than $3 billion.

    Jeremy Sumeray, Armstrong’s head of sustainability, said the new Priority School Building Programme provides an ideal opportunity to install lightweight thermal mass. According to a report in Specification Online:

    "He revealed how the use of such lightweight thermal mass – recyclable ceiling tiles which incorporate phase change material (PCM) - in a classroom at Belvoir High School in Nottingham had resulted in consistently lower peak temperatures with natural ventilation compared to an identical classroom with standard ceiling tiles."