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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.




Gainesville library adding ice-based energy storage system

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 02, 2015

The county library in downtown Gainesville, Fla., is replacing its existing 195-ton chiller with a high-efficiency 130-ton chiller and five thermal energy storage tanks. The tanks will be used to collect and freeze water during off-peak hours, when electricity is cheaper. The ice will then be used to chill the building's air-conditioning system during the day. The CALMAC system is projected to save the county about $40,000 a year in energy costs.

Research roundup: Solid-liquid phase change region; latent heat and cold storage; energy requirements vs. comfort levels

Ben Welter - Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Thermal properties of n-pentadecane, n-heptadecane and n-nonadecane in the solid/liquid phase change region [International Journal of Thermal Sciences]

Parametrical analysis of latent heat and cold storage for heating and cooling of rooms  [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Phase change materials for photovoltaic thermal management [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

Analysis of energy requirements versus comfort levels for the integration of phase change materials in buildings [Journal of Building Engineering]

Research roundup: PCM in building walls; chitosan-gelatin microcapsules; STES analysis; silicon carbide powder

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thermal Energy Storage for Building: Thermodynamic and Heat Transfer
Analysis for Integration of PCMs in Building Walls
[ American Society for Engineering Education]

The Preparation and Characterization of Chitosan–Gelatin Microcapsules and Microcomposites with Fatty Acids as Thermal Energy Storage Materials [Energy Technology]

Net energy analysis of a solar combi system with Seasonal Thermal Energy Store [Applied Energy]

Preparation of Microcapsules Containing Phase Change Material and Silicon Carbide Powder with Interfacial Polycondensation Reaction Method [Materials Sciences and Applications]

Thermal storage expert Lucas Hyman joins Entropy Solutions board of advisors

Ben Welter - Monday, March 30, 2015

Lucas Hyman, P.E.Lucas B. Hyman, an internationally renowned authority on thermal energy storage, has joined Entropy Solutions Inc.’s board of advisors.

Mr. Hyman, founder and president of Goss Engineering Inc. of Corona, Calif., is a LEED-accredited mechanical engineer with more than 30 years of experience. His clients have included major universities, government agencies, schools, hospitals, industrial facilities, the military and private firms. He is the author of two books, “Sustainable On-site CHP Systems” (McGraw-Hill, 2009) and “Sustainable Thermal Storage Systems” (McGraw-Hill, 2011) and has published a number of papers and articles.

Research roundup: Nanomaterial composite PCMs; close-contact melting; mush region effect; underfloor heating; more

Ben Welter - Monday, March 30, 2015

Preparation and thermal properties characterization of carbonate salt/carbon nanomaterial composite phase change material [Energy Conversion and Management]

Close-contact melting in a horizontal cylindrical enclosure with longitudinal plate fins: Demonstration, modeling and application to thermal storage [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

A similarity solution to unidirectional solidification of nano-enhanced phase change materials (NePCM) considering the mushy region effect [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Application of PCM underfloor heating in combination with PCM wallboards for space heating using price based control system [Applied Energy]

Thermal conductivities and characteristics of ternary eutectic chloride/expanded graphite thermal energy storage composites [Applied Energy]

Q&A: Determining the melting point of phase change material

Ben Welter - Monday, March 30, 2015

Sankalp Arpit, a junior research fellow at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, asks:

"I am working on phase change material in which I am doing characterization. I am getting melting point as 168 degree Celsius in DSC. When I am keeping it in quartz glass by increasing its volume, and I am keeping it in furnace and I am also attaching thermocouple to it and I am measuring it by data logger, then I am getting 179 degree Celsius. Which is the correct method?”

Dr. Mohammed Farid's reply:

"There is no melting point but rather a melting range since these are not pure compounds. I assume you are referring to the start of the melting. If the DSC is done at a very low heating rate, such as 1°C/minute, then the measurement should be accurate but not if the heating rate is high. If the sample is placed in an oven and heated very slowly then that the measured melting point is correct, especially if a clear constant temperature is observed during melting."

New building at Brussels Airport features seasonal thermal energy storage

Ben Welter - Friday, March 27, 2015

Connector, new building at Brussels Airport

The Connector, an $81 million addition to the Brussels Airport, opened to passengers this week. Seasonal thermal energy storage is among the building's energy-efficient features. The system covers about 70 percent of the energy needed to heat the building and about 30 percent of the energy needed to cool it. Rainwater from the roof is collected in a 177,000-gallon reservoir that supplies water for sanitary use.

Job posting: Junior Chemist at Entropy Solutions' lab in Alabama

Ben Welter - Thursday, March 26, 2015

Entropy Solutions has an opening at its lab in Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a skilled Junior Chemist. Candidates for this job must possess a basic knowledge of phase change materials, including synthesis and purification routes. A B.S. or M.S. degree in chemistry, with a minimum of 2 years of practical lab experience, is required.

AIRAH to hold workshop on solar heating, cooling April 23

Ben Welter - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

For our friends down under:

AIRAH — the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Airconditioning and Heating — will hold a workshop on solar heating and cooling at the University of Wollongong on April 23. The full-day event includes a tour of the university's Sustainable Buildings Research Centre, which houses rigs for the development and testing of photovoltaic thermal systems and phase change materials.

CALMAC's take on behind-the-meter energy storage

Ben Welter - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Thermal energy storage pioneer CALMAC examines the state of behind-the-meter TES and sees a future teeming with possibilities:

"Intermittency issues inherent to renewable energy generation mean that continued growth in distributed and behind-the-meter storage creates new opportunities for energy storage applications in zero energy buildings. Likewise, the rise of the green building movement has clued more contractors, engineers and architects into the cost-saving advantages of incorporating solar and energy storage for behind-the-meter generation."