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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: Wearable temperature control garment system

Ben Welter - Friday, March 16, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180070659 (inventor Peng Xu, Moraga, Calif.):

"A wearable air temperature control system has two separable parts, a garment and an external heat pump, and the two parts are connected together via a connecting tube. The garment comprises an inner layer, a middle layer which is a carrier supporting the PCM capsules, and an insulating layer. The three layers is secured together to form a laminated unitary structure, which is flexible, soft and breathable. The external heat pump circulates cold or hot water through the garment when the garment is connected. The water flows in the capillary tube embedded in the PCM capsules and recharge the PCM. As a result, the garment could achieve cooling or heating by melting or freezing the PCM material inside the PCM capsules, whether the garment is separated from or connected to the heat pump for recharging. After the garment is fully recharged, the garment can be disconnected from the heat pump which allows wearers to move or work easily outdoors only wearing the portable garment."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180070659.pdf

PepsiCo seeks technology for thermally responsive beverage containers

Ben Welter - Monday, March 12, 2018

PepsiCo is looking for thermally responsive material technology for use in beverage containers.

NineSigma, an organization that matches large manufacturers with technology providers worldwide, is managing the search.

Conceptual approaches are of interest provided there is a clear path to commercialization. A successful technology will:

• Provide the desired thermal properties for carbonated soft drinks in PET
• Be recyclable and environmentally sustainable
• Be capable of running on standard off-the-shelf labeling equipment
• Delight the customer, in feel and touch
• Must be non-toxic
• Be cost-effective

Additional desirable features:

• Applicable to a wide variety of packaging formats (PET, glass, Al, etc.)
• Relevant to broad beverage product portfolio (juices, tea, water, dairy, etc.)
• Applicable to U.S. and global markets
• GRAS approved

The path to commercialization should be shorter than two years; respondents may indicate their required timeframe if longer than that. Questions may be directed to Jonathan Jakischa, innovation technology associate at NineSigma. The submission deadline is March 30.

https://ninesights.ninesigma.com/web/pepsico-gallery/needs-listing/-/needs-portlet/viewNeed?_NeedsPortlet_WAR_NeedPortletsportlet_needId=779

PCM briefing: Thermal storage in focus at Energy Storage Europe; SaltX, Ahlstrom-Munksjö to develop insulation paper

Ben Welter - Monday, March 12, 2018

• "Life Cycle Assessment of Thermal Energy Storage Materials, Components and System Concepts" (Björn Nienborg, Fraunhofer ISE) and "Development of PCM Based on the Prediction of Phase Diagrams of Salt Hydrate Mixtures" (Christoph Rathgeber, ZAE Bayern) are among more than a dozen presentations on thermal storage at this week's Energy Storage Europe expo and conference in Düsseldorf, Germany.

• The energy storage company SaltX Technology will collaborate with specialty paper producer Ahlstrom-Munksjö to develop a large-scale manufacturing method for graphene-coated insulation paper. The paper will carry SaltX's patented nano coated salt, increasing the heat conductivity of the SaltX material by up to five times. 

• The March 2018 issue of the CIBSE Journal features a continuing professional development module sponsored by Monodraught: "Operating and enhancing PCM-cooled ventilation systems in office applications.

• New from Persistence Market Research: "Advanced Phase Change Material (PCM) Market - Global Industry Analysis and Forecast to 2020" and "Global Insulated Shipping Containers Market Research Report 2018"

• New from QYResearch: "Global Molten Salt Thermal Energy Storage (TES) Industry 2018 Market Research Report"

• Registration is open for an Industrial Fabrics Association International webinar on recent smart fabric applications used in a number of government, commercial, medical and consumer market segments. The cost for the March 15 webinar, initially presented in January, is $29 for association members, $79 for non-members. 

Arizona State University researchers have shed new light on the anomalous properties of water, using specially treated water mixed with another chemical. "As they changed the temperature at high pressures," Gizmodo reports, "they noticed a sharp change in the water's molecular behaviour as it seemed to change phases - from a liquid to a liquid."  

• The first Lego blocks made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugar cane will go on sale later this year. Lego’s current blocks are made from oil-based plastics.

• The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking bids to replace a chiller at the department's Washington, D.C., headquarters. The chiller was originally installed in 1995 to make ice at night for a thermal energy storage system.

Sunamp Ltd. is among 35 finalists preparing to pitch to investors at Cleantech Innovate in London on March 20.

GTI, a not-for-profit research organization based in Illinois, has been invited to present its hybrid solar energy system project at ARPA-E's Congressional Showcase March 12. The system stores thermal energy in inert particles for on-demand use.

Research roundup: Biomass carbon aerogels from succulents; novel hybrid cooling for lithium-ion batteries; calcium carbonate, graphene oxide shell; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, March 08, 2018

Leakage-proof Phase Change Composites Supported by Biomass Carbon Aerogels from Succulents [Green Chemistry]

Experimental Investigation of a Novel Hybrid Cooling Method for Lithium-ion Batteries [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Modified phase change microcapsules with calcium carbonate and graphene oxide shell for enhanced energy storage and leakage prevention [Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering]

A Novel Thermal Energy Storage System in Smart Building Based on Phase Change Material [IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid]

Study of Material Compatibility for a Thermal Energy Storage System with Phase Change Material [Energies]

Is a self-sufficient building energy efficient? Lesson learned from a case study in Mediterranean climate [Applied Energy]

Patent application: Systems for thermal management

Ben Welter - Thursday, March 08, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180068924 (Henkel IP & Holding GmbH, Dusseldorf, Germany):

"A heat-dispersing article comprising: a first conductive/protective layer, one or more porous thermally conductive, low-profile structure(s), impregnated with a sufficient quantity of a formulated phase change material (PCM) so as to substantially cover the surface and voids of said porous thermally conductive, low-profile structure, wherein said formulated PCM comprises said PCM containing 5-20% by weight of a gelling agent mixed with said PCM, and a second conductive/protective layer, wherein said one or more porous thermally conductive, low-profile structure(s) are sandwiched between said first and second conductive/protective layers, and wherein said article has: a latency of at least 100 J/cc, and an effective thermal conductivity of at least 10 W/mK."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180068924.pdf

Research roundup: Coating approach for a PCM; triple concentric-tube latent heat storage; hybrid shell materials; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Coating approach for a Phase Change Material (PCM)  [Powder Technology]

Thermal performance analysis of combined solar collector with triple concentric-tube latent heat storage systems [Energy and Buildings]

Nanoencapsulated phase change materials with polymer-SiO2 hybrid shell materials: Compositions, morphologies, and properties [Energy Conversion and Management]

Investigation on the charging process of a multi-PCM latent heat thermal energy storage unit for use in conventional air-conditioning systems [Energy]

A review of the application of carbon materials in solar thermal energy storage [Solar Energy]

Feasibility analysis for enhancement of output power of the PV panels by use of PCM (Phase Change Material) based cooling technique [pdf] [Malaya Journal of Matematik]

For Melbourne family, PCM ceiling mats ‘worth the investment’

Ben Welter - Monday, March 05, 2018

A recent two-story addition to a bungalow in suburban Melbourne, Australia, uses bio-based phase change material as a lightweight alternative to thermal mass.

Interior of Playtime HousePhase Change Energy Solutions BioPCM mats containing about 270 kilograms of phase change material were installed above the ceilings, according to architect Penny Guild of Guild Architects. The PCM has a melting point of 24 degrees C. In an e-mail interview, Guild talked about PCM use in the Playtime House project.

Q: What are the projected energy savings related to PCM use in this project?

A: “We didn’t do any specific calculations, but the manufacturer claims between 40 to 80 percent saving in energy bills. The amount of PCM that was put in the project equates to 10kw hours.”

Q: Have you worked with PCM products in the past? Are there plans to use PCM in future projects?

A: “It’s relatively new for the residential market in Australia so I haven’t used it before. The upfront costs are reasonably high, and being a new product there’s not many people that potential clients can turn for advice on its effectiveness. They can’t just ask a friend ‘did you think the PCM was good value in your house’ because no one else has used it. The clients on this project had a high degree of environmental consciousness and both had a science background of some sort (doctor and teacher) and they felt confidant enough it was worth the investment. As the project was an extension above an existing structure adding traditional heavy mass materials was basically impossible which is where the PCM came in.”

http://www.guildarchitects.com.au/northcote-house/

http://futurist--architecture.blogspot.no/2018/01/playtime-house-in-northcote.html

PCM briefing: PCM symposium in Würzburg; research opening at CIC Energigune

Ben Welter - Friday, March 02, 2018

• The 2nd symposium on the use of PCM in buildings will take place March 14-15 in Würzburg, Germany. It is part of the demonstration project PCM Demo II. The free event is aimed at specialists and decision makers who would like to get informed about the topic, such as architects, planners, building physicists, energy consultants, municipalities and building cooperatives. Thomas Wollheim of va-Q-tec AGThomas Haussmann of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Felix Klinker of ZAE Bayern and Felix Pawelz of Rubitherm are among the scheduled speakers.  

Outlast Technologies of Golden, Colo., will be among the exhibitors at the International Battery Seminar & Exhibit March 27-29 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Betabrand Microclimate Office WrapOutlast is using LinkedIn to showcase Outlast partners and their newest products. First up: Betabrand's Microclimate Office Wrap, a lightweight cardigan-style wrap designed to regulate body temperature "for all-day comfort." 

• The environmental group CDP reports that more than 100 cities worldwide now get the majority of their power (70 percent or more) from renewables. And a study by the International Renewable Energy Agency confirms the potential for increased use of renewable energy in Europe's heating and cooling sector.

• New from Coherent Market Insights: "Chilled Water Storage Systems by Market ... Opportunity Analysis, 2017-2025"

• New from Global Market Insights: "Phase Change Materials Market Size By Product (Paraffin, Non-Paraffin, Salt Hydrates, Eutectics) ... Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2017-2024"

CIC Energigune, an energy research center in Spain's Basque Country, is looking to fill a post-doctoral position in its Thermal Energy Storage group. The selected candidate will focus on the development of advanced PCMs tailored for TES applications at low to medium temperatures, including solid-solid PCMs, shape-stabilized PCMs and encapsulated PCMs.   

• In an Accenture survey of 360 chemical companies in 12 countries, 80 percent of respondents said they are increasing their investments in digital technologies for plants, in particular plant management and product quality. 

• The final agenda has been released for the ARPA-E Summit in Washington, D.C., March 13-15. U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is among the speakers. Also on tap: A discussion of "High Power Systems and Thermal Management Challenges in Defense" and a demonstration of an "Additively Manufactured Record High Thermal Conductivity Polymer Composite Heat Exchanger."

• Two Fraunhofer CSE projects, SunDial and Energy Storage Integration Lab, were on display Friday at the MIT Energy Conference Showcase in Cambridge, Mass. SunDial is an energy storage and distribution management system. The ESI Lab simulates a connected home of the future with a range of electric devices, including rooftop solar, energy storage, smart loads and EV charging. 

• Leaving the North American Free Trade Agreement could cost the United States $22 billion in lost chemical exports and create a tariff burden of up to $9 billion, the American Chemistry Council says.

Axiotherm joins RAL Quality Association PCM

Ben Welter - Thursday, March 01, 2018

Axiotherm GmbH of Germany has joined the RAL Quality Association PCM, a European-based organization established in 2004 to develop standards for the phase change material industry.

Axiotherm, a subsidiary of ESDA Technologie GmbH, specializes in developing macro-encapsulation of phase change materials for various applications. The company's HeatSel capsule, for example, is designed to increase the capacity of water-based heat and cold storage systems.

Dirk Buttner at Swiss TES symposium, January 2018Dirk Büttner, Axiotherm's chief research officer, said the European Commission recently recognized HeatSel's market potential.

"Out of 135 applications in the Horizon 2020 SME's energy category, the Hi-ThermCap project proposal was rated with the highest score and thus ranks first among the most innovative ideas in Europe," said Büttner, right. "Within the scope of the project Axiotherm is now also striving for validation by an external testing of their products performed by one of the association’s monitoring institutes, ZAE or ISE."

Croda International, which is working with Axiotherm on thermal energy storage applications, is also a member of the association. Other members are Microtek Laboratories, Rubitherm, EMCO, va-Q-tec, PCM Technology, Global Energy Systems Europe, Sasol, Sunamp Ltd., Pluss Advanced Technologies and Entropy Solutions.

The association held its semiannual meeting in Düsseldorf, Germany, on Thursday. Crystal Air PCM Ltd. was invited as a guest but had to cancel because of severe weather in Ireland. The company will be invited to make a presentation at RAL's next meeting, scheduled for Nov. 15, 2018, in Düsseldorf.

Research roundup: Thermal protective clothing; nanosilica-enhanced PCM; active-passive ventilation wall; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Reversible thermochromic microencapsulated phase change materials for thermal energy storage application in thermal protective clothing [Applied Energy]

Micro encapsulated & form-stable phase change materials for high temperature thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

Thermal performance of an active-passive ventilation wall with phase change material in solar greenhouses [Applied Energy]

A novel nanosilica-enhanced phase change material with anti-leakage and anti-volume-changes properties for battery thermal management [Energy Conversion and Management]

Synthetic Comb-Like Phase-Change Material Poly(Acrylonitrile-co-Lauric Acid) Copolymer for Low Temperature Energy Management [Materials Science Forum]

Fundamental incorporation of the density change during melting of a confined phase change material [Journal of Applied Physics]

Preliminary investigation of thermal behaviour of PCM based latent heat thermal energy storage [E3S Web of Conferences]