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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: Method for producing a latent heat accumulator

Ben Welter - Saturday, March 09, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190071594 (applicants Schunk Carbon Technology GmbH, Bad Goisem, Austria; and Schunk Kohlenstofftechnik GmbH, Heuchelheim, Germany):

"A method for producing a latent heat accumulator, wherein a phase change material is introduced into a molded body produced by expanding a graphitic starting material, comprising the steps of: introducing the graphitic starting material into a mold, closing the mold, expanding the graphitic starting material by introducing heat, wherein the mold is heated before or after the graphitic starting material is introduced, or the energy required for expansion is introduced directly into the graphitic starting material, and after the molded body has been formed, introducing the phase change material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190071594

Research roundup: Radiant floor heating system; mitigation of supercooling; hot water stratification; more

Ben Welter - Friday, March 08, 2019

From Energies:

Analysis of Thermal Performance and Energy Saving Potential by PCM Radiant Floor Heating System based on Wet Construction Method and Hot Water

From Applied Energy:

Supercooling of phase-change materials and the techniques used to mitigate the phenomenon

From Polymer Chemistry:

Encapsulating an organic phase change material within emulsion-templated poly(urethane urea)s

From AIP Advances:

Thermal expansion effects on the one-dimensional liquid-solid phase transition in high temperature phase change materials

From Journal of Materials Chemistry A:

A thermal energy storage composite with sensing function and its thermal conductivity and thermal effusivity enhancement

From Materials Science and Engineering:

Experimental Measurements of Hot Water Stratification in a Heat Storage Tank

From Thermochimica Acta:

Modification of physical and thermal characteristics of stearic acid as a phase change materials using TiO2-nanoparticles

From Energy and Buildings:

Thermal and Structural Performance of Geopolymer Concrete Containing Phase Change Material Encapsulated in Expanded Clay
An experimental study on applying organic PCMs to gypsum-cement board for improving thermal performance of buildings in different climates

From International Journal of Biological Macromolecules:

Sodium alginate/feather keratin-g-allyloxy polyethylene glycol composite phase change fiber

From Construction and Building Materials:

Thermal properties of lightweight concrete incorporating high contents of phase change materials

From Progress in Organic Coatings:

Fabrication and characterization of microencapsulated n-heptadecane with graphene/starch composite shell for thermal energy storage

From Sustainable Energy and Fuels:

A thermal energy storage prototype using sodium magnesium hydride

From Thermal Science and Engineering Progress:

Experimental investigation of the thermal performance of a helical coil latent heat thermal energy storage for solar energy applications

From International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance:

Exploring the Efficacy of a Safe Cryotherapy Alternative: Physiological Temperature Changes from Cold Water Immersion vs Prolonged Phase Change Material Cooling

From Applied Sciences:

A Form Stable Composite Phase Change Material for Thermal Energy Storage Applications over 700° C

Patent application: PCM reservoir equipped with filling tube for a motor vehicle heat exchanger

Ben Welter - Friday, March 08, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190072304 (applicant Valeo Systemes Thermiques, Le Mesnil St. Denis, France):

"The invention relates to a phase-change material reservoir for a heat exchanger of an air-conditioning installation of a vehicle, the reservoir being arranged between two reservoir plates and having filling means, characterized in that the filling means include at least one tube delimiting a filling channel arranged outside the reservoir against a first plate of the reservoir."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190072304.pdf

PCM briefing: Boston food bank installs Viking Cold TES system; 2-day workshop on microencapsulation

Ben Welter - Friday, March 08, 2019

The Greater Boston Food Bank is reporting a 75 percent reduction in energy use during targeted peak hours since the beginning of the year after installing a Viking Cold Solutions thermal energy storage system for the refrigeration units at its 117,000 square-foot, high-efficiency Yawkey Distribution Center.

Maria Telkes• To mark Women's History Month, 24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list of "50 Things You Never Knew Were Invented by Women." MIT researcher Maria Telkes, a pioneer in the field of solar thermal storage, is on the list at No. 30. She created the first solar-heated system for her home in Dover, Mass., in 1947. The system used a phase change material, sodium sulfate decahydrate, to store solar heat.

• Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences say they have developed an inexpensive, flexible film that renders the objects it covers virtually invisible in infrared light. The film's main components are DuPont's Kevlar, a synthetic fiber with high tensile strength, and polyethylene glycol, a phase change material that can store heat. 

• French utility ENGIE has begun production at one of South Africa’s largest renewable energy projects, the 100MW Kathu Solar Park. The concentrated solar plant's molten salt storage system provides up to 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage.

• The Southwest Research Institute is hosting a two-day workshop on microencapsulation March 25-26 in San Antonio, Texas. The introductory course will cover topics such as atomization (spray drying, spray chilling, spray congealing) and spray coating (fluid bed coating, granulation). The cost is $950.

• The University of California is winning praise for its decision to end its subscription deal with Elsevier, the world’s biggest publisher of scientific journals. UC is the first major university system to push for open-access publishing. UC, which had been paying $11 million a year to Elsevier in subscription fees, generates about 10 percent of the research produced in the United States. “It’s ridiculous that, in this age of the internet, researchers are paying huge fees for access to academic papers and for publication of their own work,” the San Jose Mercury News said in a March 6 editorial.   

PCM briefing: Energy Storage Europe includes sessions on thermal storage; C-Therm offers webinar on thermal performance of textiles

Ben Welter - Monday, March 04, 2019

• The Energy Storage Europe conference and trade fair, set for March 12-14 in Dusseldorf, Germany, includes a number of sessions on thermal energy storage: "Heat Storage - an essential contribution to energy transition," Oliver Baudson, TSK Flagsol Engineering GmbH; "Advanced Thermal Energy Storage Concepts," Dr. Robert Pitz-Paal, DLR Institute of Solar Research; "High Temperature Storage," Doron Brenmiller, Brenmiller Energy; "Material and Component Development for Thermal Energy Storage," Christoph Rathgeber, ZAE Bayern; and "Thermal Energy Storage for Cost-Effective Energy Management & CO2 Mitigation," Dr. Dan Bauer, German Aerospace Center - DLR e.V.

• The deadline for submitting paper proposals for next fall's Advanced Building Skins conference in Bern, Switzerland, is March 10. The list of topics includes thermal performance of phase change materials.

• Thermal battery maker Sunamp Ltd.'s collaboration with the University of Edinburgh’s School of Chemistry won the "Powerful Partnership" award at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2019 last month. The organizations began work on the development of new phase change materials in 2010. 

• Croda International Plc has been recognized for its commitment to "a deforestation-free supply chain." Croda earned an A- in that category in CDP's climate change report for 2018, up from a B the previous year. The specialty chemical company says it has a special focus on palm oil and is committed to supplying RSPO-certified palm oil derivatives. 

• Thermal instrumentation maker C-Therm Technologies Ltd. is hosting a free webinar this week, "Quantifying Thermal Performance of Textiles (Warm Feel / Cool Touch)." The webinar, aimed at "anyone working in the product performance testing of textiles and fabrics where temperature regulation is an important function," will be held at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday.

Patent application: System for providing a single serving of a frozen confection

Ben Welter - Saturday, March 02, 2019

Sigma patent drawingU.S. patent application 20190053514 (applicant Sigma Phase Corp., Concord, Mass.):

"A system for providing a single serving of a frozen confection, wherein the system comprises a pod [910, right] comprising at least one ingredient for providing a single serving of a frozen confection; the system cools the pod; the system introduces water into the pod; the system simultaneously stirs the contents of the pod while scraping at least one wall of the pod to prevent a build-up of the frozen confection on the at least one wall of the pod; and the system ejects the frozen confection out of the pod. ... In one preferred form of the invention, at least one container holding a eutectic solution [915] is disposed adjacent to the pod seat of nest. This eutectic solution is used to store “cold” at the nest. More particularly, coolant unit is used to cool the eutectic solution to the point of freezing, and then the eutectic solution absorbs heat from pod 910, whereby to produce the frozen confection."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190053514.pdf

Need a PCM coating on that coat? Ohio company has a solution

Ben Welter - Friday, March 01, 2019

Therma-SprayMCMENT Inc., an Ohio company that makes a PCM spray designed for use by consumers, launched a new website last month, teamapini.com, to market the product.

"We have been working on the Team Apini Therma-Spray product for a couple of years to give consumers a way to apply PCM technology to the clothing, bedding or other textile products they may already own," said Monte Magill, the company's senior vice president for PCM technologies. The coating is designed to absorb and release thermal energy to enhance thermal comfort.

"It is a water-based formulation containing microencapsulated PCMs and a heat curable binder material to affix the microPCMs to the various textile substrates," said Magill, who has worked in the PCM industry since the mid-1990s. "We do the final packaging in house but have the microPCMs and the binder formulation contract manufactured."

Therma-Spray-treated socks are also available on the site. The company has been selling Infinite R PCM products for the building and construction industry on its main site, mcmentinc.com, since 2016.

Magill says more retail products are in the pipeline: "Look for Team Apini thermal underwear, henleys, pillow cases and sheeting, a bunzy protector (seat cushion thermal protector for home, auto, camping, stadium, etc.), heating and cooling packs (for work, first responder and dietary applications) as well as an equestrian line we are working on now for both horse and rider (dressage focus)."

Patent application: Three-dimensional polymeric fiber matrix layer for bedding products

Ben Welter - Friday, March 01, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190053632 (applicant Serta Simmons Bedding LLC, Atlanta, Georgia)

"A three dimensional polymeric fiber matrix layer including a phase change material coated thereon for use in a bedding product such as a mattress is disclosed. The phase change material is selected to provide improved cooling properties, which along with the free volume provided by the three dimensional polymeric fiber matrix markedly improves temperature management when used in a bedding product."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190053632.pdf

Related:

Upcycled mattress nucleus of essential foam elements

Patent application: Self-heating personal covering

Ben Welter - Friday, March 01, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190059619 (applicant Aspen Surgical Products Inc., Caledonia, Mich.):

"Disclosed is a self-heating personal covering that includes a first layer and a second layer that is parallel to and opposite of the first layer, and at least a portion of the second layer is fastened to at least a portion of the first layer. The self-heating personal covering also includes at least one heat source positioned between the first layer and the second layer. The at least one heat source is held in a prescribed position by the first layer and the second layer, and includes a material that undergoes an exothermic reaction upon exposure to oxygen. ... [At] least one heat distributing structure is a layer of phase change material. The layer of phase change material may be positioned between the at least one heat source and the second layer."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190059619.pdf

Patent application: Cushioning arrangement for temperature control of a sole structure

Ben Welter - Friday, March 01, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190062614 (applicant Nike Inc., Beaverton, Ore.):

"A sole structure for an article of footwear includes a chamber having a first barrier element, a second barrier element, and a tensile member. The tensile member is disposed within an interior void defined by the first barrier element and the second barrier element. The sole structure further includes a phase change material [70, above] disposed within the interior void and operable between a first state in a first temperature range and a second state in a second temperature range. The first temperature range is from 30° C. to 35° C. and the second temperature range is from 35° C. to 42° C. The sole structure further includes an insulating member disposed between the chamber and a ground contacting surface."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190062614.pdf