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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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PCMs, the gift that keeps on giving (Part 3)

Ben Welter - Monday, December 22, 2014

Here's the last in our series highlighting PCM-related gift ideas this holiday season:

  • Isaora’s Phase Change Insulated Shirt comes in black and navy. A layer of PCM microcapsules lies beneath an ultralight nylon shell. The PCMs absorb body heat when the wearer is too warm and release it when the wearer is too cold. 
  • Lava Lunch boxhttp://www.isaora.com/pages/the-pcm-insulated-shirt

  • The Lava Lunch box, right, can keep your food hot for up to five hours, depending on ambient temperatures. The secret: PCM-infused, microwaveable Lava Rocks engineered to maintain temperatures between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • http://www.amazon.com/Lava-Lunch-Heated-keeps-Lemon-Lime/dp/B00GSJFB5G

  • Chillin' Brew cooler packs use phase change material to keep beer at “beer cave” temperature of 28F much longer than the same volume of ice.

  • http://www.homedepot.com/p/Arctic-Ice-Chillin-Brew-Extra-Large-Cooler-Pack-28-3F-Degree-1211/205125071?N=5yc1vZc452Z1z0u6es

    Research roundup: Efficacy of PCMs in mortars, Trombe wall, supercooling suppression

    Ben Welter - Friday, December 19, 2014

    Amsterdam is home to world's most-sustainable building

    Ben Welter - Thursday, December 18, 2014

    The Edge, AmsterdamThe Edge, Deloitte’s new headquarters in Amsterdam, has won BREEAM certification as the world’s most-sustainable building.

    The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology, licensed for use by independent, trained assessors, rates buildings on criteria such as energy and water use, waste management, transportation links and materials sourcing. The Edge earned the highest BREEAM score yet recorded, 98.36 percent. One Embankment Place in London held the previous record, 96.31.

    The 430,000-square-foot building was designed by PLP Architecture of London. Its energy-efficient design includes passive temperature control, Ethernet-powered LED lighting, 44,000 square feet of rooftop solar panels and an aquifer thermal energy storage unit 500 feet below ground that generates all energy required for heating and cooling.

    PCMs, the gift that keeps on giving (Part 2)

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Here are a few more PCM-related gift ideas:Ministry of Supply's Apollo dress shirt

  • High-tech clothier Ministry of Supply offers PCM-infused dress shirts, sweaters and even a scarf. It's the same technology used in spacesuits to regulate an astronaut's body temperature: Phase change material absorbs heat when the wearer is overheated, then releases it when the wearer is cold.

  • http://ministryofsupply.com/collections/shop

  • This one would be difficult to gift-wrap and wouldn't fit under most trees. But it looks pretty comfy. The memory foam in Serta's iComfort mattress -- or "Sleep System," as the manufacturer calls it -- is blended with gel beads that contain phase change material.

  • http://www.dealbeds.com/serta-icomfort-insight-everfeel-mattress

  • The Chilly Dog® Cool Vest is designed for use by police and military dogs. But any dog out for a walk on a hot humid day deserves to chill out. 

  • http://store.coolvest.com/rpcm-chillydog-dog-cooling-vest-black 

    Research roundup: Hardened cement paste, energy storage containers, nanocomposites

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

  • Thermophysical and Mechanical Properties of Hardened Cement Paste with Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials for Energy Storage [Materials]

  • Thermal Performance Evaluation of Two Thermal Energy Storage Tank Design Concepts for Use with a Solid Particle Receiver-Based Solar Power Tower [Energies]

  • Experimental study on solving the blocking for the direct contact mobilized thermal energy storage container [Applied Thermal Engineering]

  • Thermal conductivity enhancement of lauric acid phase change nanocomposite in solid and liquid state with single-walled carbon nanohorn inclusions [Thermochimica Acta] 
  • PCMs enlisted in fight against Ebola

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Cooling garments powered by phase change material are among the innovations advancing in the U.S. Agency for International Development's "Fighting Ebola: a Grand Challenge for Development."

    The program, begun in October, is focused on finding innovative ways to help health care workers contain the Ebola virus and provide better care for people who contract it. More than 1,500 ideas from around the world have been submitted to the program.    

    The first round of awards focuses on improving the safety and comfort of the personal protective equipment worn by health care workers in the heat and humidity of West Africa. 

    USAID is partnering with the Global Good Fund/Intellectual Ventures to rapidly evaluate several cooling solutions, including off-the-shelf, rapidly deployable cooling garments now used by military. These garments can be worn under personal protective equipment. 

    Other ideas winning support:


    http://www.ebolagrandchallenge.net/news/2014/12/12/united-states-announces-results-of-grand-challenge-to-fight-ebola

    Western Refrigeration using PCMs in coolers, freezers

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    In countries like India, where power failures are commonplace, refrigerators and freezers need backup. Western Refrigeration and other manufacturers are incorporating phase change material in their coolers and freezers to keep food cold during outages -- and help the appliances operate more efficiently. 

    http://www.process-worldwide.com/engineering_construction/operational_excellence/operational_excellence/articles/470050

    Global demand for PCMs projected to hit $1.47 billion by 2019

    Ben Welter - Monday, December 15, 2014

    The global demand for advanced phase change materials is expected to reach $1.47 billion by 2019. The latest research report on the industry by Markets and Markets attributes the growth to increasing demand for advanced PCM in several areas, including thermal energy storage, building/construction, HVAC, cold chain, shipping, packaging/transportation, textiles and electronics.

    The main types of advanced PCMs are salt hydrates, paraffins and biobased compounds. "Biobased PCM is estimated to have the highest CAGR from 2014 to 2019," the report said. "Prices of biobased PCM are also likely to fall significantly during the same period."

    http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/advanced-phase-change-material-pcm-market-1087.html

    Seattle building wins ASHRAE technology award

    Ben Welter - Monday, December 15, 2014

    Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District headquarters

    A three-story Seattle office building is one of nine projects recognized for innovative design with an ASHRAE Technology Award. Federal Center South, home to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District, received first place in the new commercial buildings category.

    Among the innovative energy conservation technologies incorporated in the 209,000-square-foot building are thermal energy storage using phase change material and "a 100% outside air ventilation system with heat recovery of exhaust serving a raised floor ventilation air distribution system." 

    The projected annual energy cost for the building was modeled at $80,740, compared to ASHRAE's baseline of $135,791.

    http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96914-ashrae-announces-technology-award-winners

    Research roundup: Synthesized polymeric solid-solid PCMs, corrosion of metal containers and more

    Ben Welter - Friday, December 12, 2014