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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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Gibson wireless headphones feature Outlast PCM

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Gibson Trainer headphonesGuitar-maker Gibson has entered the headphone market with a bluetooth model designed with help from Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt. The Trainer, geared toward athletes, employs Outlast phase change material to keep the ear pads at a comfortable temperature. The weather- and sweat-resistant headphones are expected to be available in April with a retail price of $239.

CSP storage system has theoretical thermal efficiency of more than 74%

Ben Welter - Monday, January 05, 2015

Using a novel modeling tool for concentrated solar power, Spanish researchers have designed a more efficient storage system employing multilayered phase change material. The CSP system has a theoretical thermal efficiency of more than 74 percent and requires only a third of the molten salt needed in traditional two-tank systems.

The system was first described in "A New Thermocline-PCM Thermal Storage Concept for CSP Plants. Numerical Analysis and Perspectives," a paper presented at SolarPACES 2013. "The key aspect of this new concept," the researchers wrote, "is the inclusion of PCM layers at both ends of the tank, whose fusion temperatures are conveniently chosen to be inside the 'admissible' temperature ranges for the outlet of both charge and discharge processes."

http://social.csptoday.com/technology/research-team-pcm-storage-breakthrough

Review of state advanced energy legislation in 2014

Ben Welter - Friday, January 02, 2015

Colorado State University's Center for the New Energy Economy has released a summary of advanced energy legislation passed in U.S. states in 2014. Some 430 advanced energy bills became law, down from 713 in 2013. Changes to renewable portfolio standards were enacted in 12 states, including Maine, South Carolina and Massachusetts.

http://www.aeltracker.org/graphics/uploads/CNEE-2014-Advanced-Energy-Legislation-End-of-Year-Summary.pdf

Research roundup: Slurry PCMs in solar heating system; content-stable composites; TES in cold climates; more

Ben Welter - Friday, January 02, 2015

  • Potentialities of a Low Temperature Solar Heating System Based on Slurry Phase Change Materials [Energy Procedia]

  • Development of content-stable phase change composites by infiltration into inorganic porous supports [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • A Review of the Performance of Buildings Integrated with Phase Change Material: Opportunities for Application in Cold Climate [Energy Procedia]

  • The Effectiveness of PCM Wallboards for the Energy Refurbishment of Lightweight Buildings [Energy Procedia]

  • Temperature Regulation and Thermal Energy Storage Potential of Phase Change Materials Layer Contained at the Back of a Building Integrated Photovoltaic Panel [30th International Plea Conference, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India] [pdf]
  • Research roundup: Thermal energy storage; system design; overview of technologies; porous mullite; more

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 30, 2014

  • Optimal Chiller and Thermal Energy Storage Design for Building HVAC Systems [Purdue University]

  • A Numerical and Graphical Review of Energy Storage Technologies [Energies]

  • Lithium in thermal energy storage: A state-of-the-art review [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews] [pdf]

  • Impregnation of porous mullite with Na2SO4 phase change material for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • Synthesis and performances of novel solid–solid phase change materials with hexahydroxy compounds for thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

  • PureTemp 23 shows no corrosive effect on five metals tested in study

    Ben Welter - Friday, December 26, 2014

    PureTemp 23, one of 19 PureTemp phase change materials recently certified as 100 percent biobased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has been shown to have no corrosive effect on metals tested in a study by researchers from the University of Barcelona and the University of Lleida in Spain. The five metals tested were aluminum, copper, carbon steel, stainless steel 304 or stainless steel 316.

    http://www.puretemp.com/stories/puretemp-23-shows-no-corrosive-effect-on-five-metals-tested-in-study

    Research roundup: PCMs and indoor environments; spherical PCMs; silica aerogels; thermodynamic modeling

    Ben Welter - Friday, December 26, 2014

  • Effect of phase change materials on indoor thermal environment under different weather conditions and over a long time [Applied Energy]

  • Prediction of Spherical Phase Change Material Temperature Using RBFNN Model [Applied Mechanics and Materials]

  • Alkylated Phase Change Composites for Thermal Energy Storage Based on Surface-Modified Silica Aerogels [Journal of Materials Chemistry A]

  • Simulation of the thermal and energy behavior of a composite material containing encapsulated PCM: Influence of the thermodynamical modeling [Applied Energy] 
  • Research roundup: Residential PCM system, concentrated solar, PAN/SA-LA/ZMS, heat pumps

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 23, 2014