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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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Patent application: Cooling device for charging station

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 29, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180334049 (applicant Porsche AG, Stuttgart, Germany):

"A cooling device cools a charging station or a multiplicity of charging stations of a charging park. The respective charging station has an internal coolant duct for a coolant to flow through the charging station, an input-side coolant connection, an output-side coolant connection, a coolant circuit with a cooling assembly for cooling the coolant, and a pump for pumping the coolant in the coolant circuit. The coolant duct of the respective charging station is integrated into the coolant circuit. A heat accumulator or a multiplicity of heat accumulators is integrated into the coolant circuit."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180334049.pdf

Patent application: Cables made of phase change material

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 29, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180334775 (applicant E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., Wilmington, Del.):

"A phase change material (PCM) is useful for thermal management in various applications such as automotive, building, packaging, garments, and footwear, and in devices such as wires and cables. The cable described herein comprises a core and a PCM layer surrounding the core. The PCM layer comprises a PCM composition, which in turn comprises a 1,3-propanediol fatty acid ester. The core consists of a yarn, strand or wire made of a natural or synthetic polymeric material or a metal."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180334775.pdf

Patent application: Multi-circuited phase change composite heat exchangers

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 29, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180340738 (applicant Alliance for Sustainable Energy LLC, Golden, Colo.):

"Disclosed herein are multi-circuit thermal energy storage (TES) systems connected in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The two circuits (a refrigeration circuit and a secondary fluid circuit) are designed to work together, but they might contain separate units. In certain configurations, the TES system may use a phase change composite (PCC) with high thermal conductivity, which allows for efficient heat transfer within the PCC. Thus, the PCC itself may be used as the heat transfer media between a refrigerant and a secondary fluid, allowing the refrigerant/secondary fluid heat exchanger in typical configurations of HVAC systems to be removed."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180340738.pdf

Patent application: Ceramic phase change container

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 29, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180339833 (applicant Blueleaf Lab Oy, Espoo, Finland):

Blueleaf patent drawing"An article for holding foodstuff. The article comprises a receptacle (4) having a wall with an inner surface for holding the foodstuff and an opposite outer surface. The wall is formed of a first material, such as a ceramic material, having a first thermal conductivity. The articles also has a shell (1; 5) spaced apart from the outer surface of the receptacle such as to define an interstitial chamber (2, 3) between the shell and the outer surface of the receptacle. The shell is at least partially formed of a ceramic material with a second thermal conductivity. Within the interstitial chamber, there is disposed a phase change material which abuts with at least the outer surface of the wall of the receptacle. The first thermal conductivity being greater than the second thermal conductivity, so as to allow for heat transfer through the wall to the phase change material, which will accumulate the heat."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180339833.pdf

Patent application: Use of a phase change material system

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 29, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180340740 (applicant BorgWarner Inc., Auburn Hills, Mich.):

"A number of variations may include a vehicle system which includes an engine. The vehicle system may also include a phase change material which may be disposed in a phase change material device. The phase change material may be released into a vehicle cooling system upon user command. The PCM device may be constructed and arranged to increase a temperature of a vehicle cabin without the engine being turned on when the phase change material is released."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180340740.pdf

Patent application: Solid-liquid phase change driven heat engine

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 29, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180320518 (inventor Yanming Wei, Ontario, Canada):

"A new kind of solid-liquid-solid cyclic phase change heat engine is presented with optional but highly recommended multiple cylinders aka multiple stages cascading powertrain. Unlike the traditional Rankine engine or Stirling engine, hereby the gaseous phase is prohibited, and the conventional turbine is abandoned too. Under the drive of heat flux, low expansion volume of the working Phase Change Material (PCM) replaces the high expansion volume of hot gas, and in compensation, high expansion pressure replaces the low expansion pressure of hot gas. ... Inspired by [Donald] Trump's book “the art of deal,” I audaciously make technical trade-off to combine but isolate standard hydraulic oil and PCM in a hydraulic ensemble, despite minor existence of PCM leakage, corrosion and excessive friction, which are caused by the non-ideal viscosity & fluidity."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180320518.pdf

Patent application: Method and mechanisms to use PCMs to improve vehicle comfort

Ben Welter - Monday, November 12, 2018

Toyota patent drawingU.S. patent application 20180321703 (applicant Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc., Erlanger, Kentucky): 

"A temperature moderation apparatus is structured to be positioned in vehicle passenger compartment. The apparatus includes an outer shell defining an interior of the shell, the wall has an exterior surface structured and positioned for physical contact with a skin surface of a vehicle occupant. The outer shell wall also has a plurality of through-holes formed therein. A phase change material element is positioned within the shell interior. The phase change material element includes a stretchable, thermally-conductive outer wall and a quantity of phase change material positioned therein. A pressurization mechanism is coupled to the phase change material element, the pressurization mechanism is structured to pressurize the phase change material element so as to force portions of the phase change material element to extend from the interior of the shell into associated ones of the through holes and past the outer shell wall exterior surface."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180321703.pdf

Patent application: Article of apparel with PCM

Ben Welter - Monday, November 12, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180317574 (applicant Under Armour Inc., Baltimore, Md.):

"The present invention is directed toward an article of apparel including a base textile with a comfort regulation membrane. The comfort regulation membrane contains a plurality of system-reactive components selectively engaged heat and/or moisture. In an embodiment, the printed coating includes a cooling agent, a phase change material, and a heat dissipation material. The system reactive components may be provided in particulate form, being suspended in a binder. In operation, the article of apparel is effective to delay/diminish the rise in skin temperature (compared to a garment lacking the membrane) and/or improve the overall moisture management capacity of the substrate, either of which may improve wearer comfort."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180317574.pdf

Patent application: A transportation box with PCM

Ben Welter - Monday, November 12, 2018

Pluss patent application drawingU.S. patent application 20180320947 (inventors Devendra Jain, Nidhi Agarwal, Ravi A.T. Teja and Deepraj Sarmah, Gurgaon, India): 

"A transportation box comprising a plurality of first phase change materials (16), a plurality of second phase change materials (20), a first box (18) adapted to enclose a payload box (10), a second box (22) and an outer box (14). The payload box (10) is embedded with the plurality of second phase change materials (20). Further, each of the plurality of first phase change materials (16) is placed above and below the payload box (10). The second box (22) is adapted to contain temperature sensitive products and is nestable within the payload box (10). The first box (18) is nestable within the outer box (14). The plurality of first phase change materials (16) and the plurality of second phase change materials (20) are arranged in a manner such that air in between controls heat flow into and within the first box (18)."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180320947.pdf

Patent application: Thermal storage units and methods of making and using them

Ben Welter - Monday, November 12, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180320987 (applicant University of Texas Board of Regents, Austin, Texas):

"Sugar alcohol blends of galactitol and mannitol and compositions comprising such blends are disclosed as phase change materials (PCMs). A method of forming carbon nanotubes on a carbon substrate is described. Carbon substrates with carbon nanotubes, in particular, conformal layers of carbon nanotubes on carbon substrates, are also disclosed, as are methods of making and using these materials. Thermal storage units are also provided. The thermal storage units can comprise a heat exchange path through which a heat exchange medium flows, and a thermal storage medium in thermal contact with the heat exchange path."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180320987.pdf