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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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Microencapsulation market expected to reach $8.73 billion by 2020

Ben Welter - Friday, February 20, 2015

The global microencapsulation market is expected to reach $8.73 billion by 2020, according to the latest Grand View Research report. That's a compound annual growth rate of nearly 11 percent between 2014 and 2020. Growing demand for phase change materials in HVAC and construction applications is seen as fueling some of the growth in the microencapsulation market.

http://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/microencapsulation-market

Research roundup: Titanium-induced structure modification; latent heat storage walls; PCM in coil heat exchanger

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • Titanium-induced Structure Modification for Thermal Stability Enhancement of GeTeTi Phase Change Material [RSC Advances]

  • Thermal Performance of Latent Heat Storage Walls In Residential Buildings [BEST Conference Building Enclosure Science & Technology]

  • Thermal Performance of Microencapsulated Phase Change Material Slurry in a Coil Heat Exchanger [Journal of Heat Transfer]
  • Exergy founder on PC heat generation: 'We can put this in every house in the U.S.'

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    Henry, Project Exergy prototype computerIn an interview with Public Radio International, Project Exergy founder Lawrence Orsini talks about his vision of harnessing the heat generated by computers.

    Henry, the project's liquid-cooled, high-performance prototype, generates far more heat than a typical computer. It's made from off-the-shelf parts and is slight bigger than a tower PC. The main difference: It's paired with a small thermal storage tank filled with phase change material. The tank can hold a temperature of 93º Celsius.

    “We can put this [technology] in every house in the U.S.," Orsini says. "In fact, if we did that and we distributed the two to three percent of energy that is being used in data centers, some of our rough calculations say we can probably heat nearly 80 million houses."

    http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-02-18/someday-we-may-be-heating-homes-and-businesses-personal-computers

    New hybrid approaches aim to boost the economics of energy storage

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    Greentech Media reports that interest is growing in hybrid approaches to energy storage. European companies such as Bosch and Younicos are working on projects that combine different battery technologies in a single system. Others are combining entirely different technologies, including phase change material. One example: 

    "Fraunhofer ISE says it has successfully tested a hybrid system that combines thousands of batteries and heat storage systems into a virtual storage system. The agent-based operation system has been developed and tested within the institute’s SmartEnergyLab facility.

    "There, agent-based controllers manage a co-generation plant that also includes water storage, a heat pump with phase-change storage, and a lithium-ion battery system."

    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/how-hybridization-can-boost-the-economics-of-energy-storage

    Navy seeks bids for 'solid type' thermal storage system in Monterey

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    The Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., is seeking bids on a thermal storage system for its Turbo Propulsion Laboratory.

    "As part of the ONR funded ESTEP (Energy Systems Technology Evaluation Program) a heating system with thermal storage is being set up. The ESTEP program is designed to implement technologies that have the capability of reducing Navy and wider DoD facilities energy costs.

    "The system is designed to match demand with available renewable supply and store the excess heating in a thermal storage system for use later. The technology that will be investigated uses solid inert materials rather than liquids as they are potentially simpler to use.

    "The system forms an integral part of the Naval Postgraduate School’s energy curriculum. It is being used as a thesis project and will also be used in a planned renewable energy course within the [Mechanical and Astronautical Engineering Department] department."

    https://www.neco.navy.mil/synopsis/detail.aspx?id=422272

    Research roundup: Polyethylene-paraffin composites; horizontal tanks; activated carbon; DSC; more

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • Polyethylene/paraffin binary composites for phase change material energy storage in building: A morphology, thermal properties, and paraffin leakage study [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • Experimental determination of the heat transfer and cold storage characteristics of a microencapsulated phase change material in a horizontal tank [Energy Conversion and Management]

  • Activated carbon derived from peat soil as a framework for the preparation of shape-stabilized phase change material [Energy]

  • Thermal analysis by DSC of phase change materials, study of the damage effect [Journal of Building Engineering]

  • Characterization and thermal performance of nitrate mixture/SiC ceramic honeycomb composite phase change materials for thermal energy storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

  • Design of an ice thermal energy storage system for a building of hospitality operation [International Journal of Hospitality Management]

  • Research roundup: Electrical arc furnace dust; gypsum-based composites; electro-spun coatings; more

    Ben Welter - Monday, February 16, 2015

  • Use of PCM–polymer composite dense sheet including EAFD in constructive systems [Energy and Buildings]

  • Preparation and properties of gypsum-based energy storage materials with capric acid-palmitic acid/expanded perlite composite PCM [Energy and Buildings]

  • A simple model to predict the thermal performance of a ventilated facade with phase change materials [Energy and Buildings]

  • Polyethylene glycol/mesoporous calcium silicate shape-stabilized composite phase change material: Preparation, characterization, and adjustable thermal property [Energy]

  • Hierarchical energy management system for multi-source multi-product microgrids [Renewable Energy]

  • Use of Phase Change Materials to Develop Electrospun Coatings of Interest in Food Packaging Applications [Journal of Food Engineering]

  • PCM vs. thermal mass: A design firm's take

    Ben Welter - Thursday, February 12, 2015

    Drawing of wall containing phase change materialPhase change materials and thermal mass can be used to regulate temperatures in homes and offices. Australian design firm EME offers a brief look at the two approaches, outlining the advantages of each.

    Any material that is heavy and dense – brick, stone, concrete, earth, sand and even water – qualifies as thermal mass. Heavy, dense walls can slow the rate at which the sun's heat enters a space and the rate at which a space loses heat at night. But thermal mass can be, well, massive. 

    "One advantage of phase change," EME writes, "is that it is lighter in weight and therefore can be integrated into a retrofit situation without upgrading the structure and multi-storey buildings. Unlike thermal mass construction, phase change does not have the poetry and material sensibility that thermal mass offers. Phase change is generally concealed within a wall."

    http://emedesign.com.au/article/phase-change-material-or-thermal-mass

    Research roundup: Nanoparticle-enhanced PCMs; amphiphilic block copolymers; more

    Ben Welter - Thursday, February 12, 2015

  • Energy storage system based on nanoparticle-enhanced phase change material inside porous medium [International Journal of Thermal Sciences]

  • Highly Stable Phase Change Material Emulsions Fabricated by Interfacial Assembly of Amphiphilic Block Copolymers during Phase Inversion [American Chemical Society]

  • Improving thermal conductivity phase change materials—A study of paraffin nanomagnetite composites [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • Energy and economic analysis of a building air-conditioner with a phase change material [Energy Conversion and Management]