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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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So, which PCM product idea was phony?

Ben Welter - Monday, January 08, 2018

In 2017's final issue of Phase Change Matters, we challenged readers to identify which of these PCM product ideas was phony: an edible additive for chocolate, a feminine pad with cooling properties, a cooling pad for chickens, a thermally responsive bra and a temperature-controlled shipping container for mosquito eggs. 

It was a trick question: All five product ideas were serious inquiries submitted to Entropy Solutions in the past year. Thanks to Holger Böhme, Shaun Mann and Kosheela Poo Palam for submitting answers - and for subscribing to our newsletter. Each will receive a PureTemp temperature-control coffee tumbler.

Research roundup: Fresh air cooling systems; CuO-nanoparticle concentration; Stefan problems and solutions; more

Ben Welter - Friday, January 05, 2018

Energy efficiency of PCM integrated in fresh air cooling systems in different climatic conditions [Applied Energy]

Effect of temperature and CuO-nanoparticle concentration on the thermal conductivity and viscosity of an organic phase-change material [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Stefan problems for moving phase change materials and multiple solutions [International Journal of Thermal Sciences]

Thermodynamic analysis of directionally influenced phase change material embedded building walls [International Journal of Thermal Sciences]

The role of vegetable oil in water based phase change materials for medium temperature refrigeration [Journal of Energy Storage]

Performance analysis of incorporating phase change materials in asphalt concrete pavements [Construction and Building Materials]

Electric vehicles batteries thermal management systems employing phase change materials [Journal of Power Sources]

Patent application: Breast prostheses with phase change material

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 04, 2018

U.S. patent application 20170367850 (applicant American Breast Care LP, Marietta, Ga.):

Breast prosthesis patent drawing"In a method of making a breast prosthesis for use by a wearer having a body temperature, a plurality of dissolvable beads is placed into an open back of a breast-shaped mold. The open back of the mold is sealed. A suspension of an uncured silicone rubber liquid [332] and a plurality of phase change material pellets [334] is injected into the mold around the beads. The uncured silicone rubber is allowed to cure, thereby forming a breast shape. The phase change material has a latent heat of fusion at a melting point so as to remove heat from the wearer when the body temperature is at least at the melting point. The breast shape is removed from the mold and the dissolvable beads are dissolved from the breast shape."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170367850.pdf

Patent application: Polymeric microparticles

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 04, 2018

U.S. patent application 20170368524 (applicant Coatex, Genay, France):

"The present invention relates to microparticles having a polymeric shell, and also to aqueous dispersions comprising these microparticles. The microparticles having a polymeric shell comprise: a) at least one acrylic copolymer of HASE type; b) at least one solid/liquid phase change material having a phase transition temperature Tf1 of greater than or equal to 20° C.; c) at least one solid/liquid phase change material having a phase transition temperature Tf2 of less than or equal to 30° C., provided that Tf2 is less than Tf1; d) optionally at least one active agent."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170368524.pdf

Research roundup: Composite PCM/concrete wall; thermal inertia in buildings; multilayer roof with two PCMs; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 04, 2018

Thermal impact study of a bio-based wall coupled with an inner PCM layer [Energy Procedia]

Numerical study of the thermal behavior of a novel Composite PCM/concrete wall [Energy Procedia]

Phase change materials for improving the building thermal inertia [Energy Procedia]

Thermal behavior in dynamic regime of a multilayer roof provided with two phase change materials in the case of a local conditioned [Energy Procedia]

Composite phase change materials with good reversible thermochromic ability in delignified wood substrate for thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

D-mannitol for medium temperature thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Novel metal coated nanoencapsulated phase change materials with high thermal conductivity for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

State and state of charge estimation for a latent heat storage [Control Engineering Practice]

Microencapsulated n-alkane eutectics in polystyrene for solar thermal applications [Solar Energy]

Improving thermal properties of shape-stabilized phase change materials containing lauric acid and mesocellular foam silica by assessing thermodynamic properties of the non-melting layer [Thermochimica Acta]

Patent application: Thermal battery with encapsulated PCM

Ben Welter - Wednesday, January 03, 2018

U.S. patent application 20170370655 (applicant Valeo Systems Thermiques, Le Mesnil St. Denis, France):

"The present invention relates to a thermal battery comprising an enclosure comprising a fluid inlet and outlet and comprising within it an encapsulated phase-change material in the form of at least one tube, at least one tube being wound in a spiral within the enclosure."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170370655.pdf

Research roundup: Eutectic fatty acids; review of automotive applications; expanded graphite composites; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Prediction of the Properties of Eutectic Fatty Acid Phase Change Materials [Thermochimica Acta]

Phase-change materials (PCM) for automotive applications: A review [Applied Thermal Engineering]

A polymer-coated calcium chloride hexahydrate/expanded graphite composite phase change material with enhanced thermal reliability and good applicability [Composites Science and Technology]

Synthesis and characterization of beeswax-tetradecanol-carbon fiber/expanded perlite form-stable composite phase change material for solar energy storage [Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing]

An energy-efficient composite by using expanded graphite stabilized paraffin as phase change material [Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing]

Synthesis and characterization of PEG/ZSM-5 composite phase change materials for latent heat storage [Renewable Energy]

Fabrication and characteristics of composite phase change material based on Ba(OH)2·8H2O for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Silica fume/capric acid-palmitic acid composite phase change material doped with CNTs for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Hybridizing graphene aerogel into three-dimensional graphene foam for high-performance composite phase change materials [Energy Storage Materials]

Phase Change in Spiral Coil Heat Storage Systems [Sustainable Cities and Society]

Thermal management performance of phase change materials with different thermal conductivities for Li-ion battery packs operated at low temperatures [Energy]

Geocooling with integrated PCM thermal energy storage in a Mediterranean climate [Energy]

Which PCM product idea is phony? Answer correctly for a chance to win a PureTemp mug

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 02, 2018

PureTemp tumbler Entropy Solutions receives a dozen or so inquiries each week, most of them serious questions about PCM products, pricing and suitability for various applications. But some inquiries stretch the bounds of believability. Can you identify which of the product ideas below is fake? 

Send your answer to bwelter@puretemp.com. Five winners will be randomly selected from correct entries received by Jan. 4. The prize: a prototype coffee tumbler developed by Entropy Solutions several years ago, a product idea that was totally legit.

NOTE: You must be a Phase Change Matters subscriber to submit an entry. Representatives of organizations attending the first meeting of the PCM Industry Association of North America in October know the answer and are not eligible for this contest. Good luck to all the contestants!

Chocolate1. Mmm chocolate

We are exploring new ingredient technologies to produce a chocolate product that will release heat when it is consumed. Standard chocolate produces a minor cooling effect when it's melting in the mouth – the main fat is cocoa butter. The idea is to develop a new filling fat/oil that will release heat when consumed.

2. Premium padsWonder Woman

I represent a consumer goods company that is seeking materials that could help the feminine pad feel ‘cool’ in order to increase the comfort of use, especially when female is engaging in activities such as boxing, distance running and other extreme athletic challenges.

Chickens3. Chicken helper

I am hoping phase change materials could help solve a problem I have. First, I am completely serious. Second, here is the problem: I live in Texas and have 10 back yard laying hens. It is hot. Chickens start to go into heat stress at 85 degrees. Is it possible to enclose PCMs into a sort of pad for my chickens to rest near during the day?

Golden Girls4. Hot flashes

I am interested in using your product for a product I am developing for my design thesis. I am trying to make a responsive bra that senses a hot flash, and responds by turning on peltiers and "conducting" the cold through some sort of gel medium to the skin. Are any of your products the right thing for this?

Mosquito eggs5. Mosquito eggs

I'm wanting to ship mosquito eggs and need the parcel to stay dry, and within a prescribed temperature range of 10-35 degrees for up to three days. Would you be able to recommend a particular product of yours which could meet these requirements?

Patent application: Absorbent article with microencapsulated PCM

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 02, 2018

U.S. patent application 20170360620 (applicant First Quality Retail Services, Great Neck, N.Y.):

"An absorbent article is provided with microencapsulated phase change material (microPCM) particles that are embedded in and/or coated onto a layer of the absorbent article that includes a resilient sheet of an open-cell foam. The foam layer is disposed such that it is in contact with or is in proximity to the user. The microPCM particles absorb heat generated during use of the absorbent article to reduce the contact temperature on the inside of the absorbent article and improve the comfort of the user. To maximize comfort, the phase change temperature of the microPCM particles may be an average normal body temperature."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170360620.pdf

Patent application: Thermal energy storage and heat exchanger

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 02, 2018

U.S. patent application 20170363368 (applicant EnergyNest AS, Billingstad, Norway):

"Thermal energy storage and heat exchanger, distinctive in that it comprises: a number of hardened concrete thermal energy storage elements; a housing, into which said elements have been arranged; an active heat transfer and storage medium in the volume between said elements and said housing, in the form of either: a stagnant liquid or phase change material, or a dynamic fluid arranged to flow in the volume between said elements and said housing; at least one means for delivery of thermal energy to the thermal energy storage; at least one means for taking out thermal energy from the thermal energy storage; and thermal insulation."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170363368.pdf