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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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PCM briefing: Cleanergy lands CSP contract in China; ASHRAE extends global reach

Ben Welter - Monday, July 03, 2017

• Team Sky cyclists competing in this year's Tour de France are using Inuteq's Siku vest to cool down after each stage. The Dutch company's hybrid vest combines PCM and evaporative cooling technologies. Inuteq says it is supplying its cooling products to two other teams: Bahrain Merida and Cannondale Drapac.

Calmac, the New Jersey company whose thermal energy storage tanks help cool more than more than 4,500 buildings worldwide, including the corporate headquarters of JC Penney, Marriott and Google, was profiled in Inc. magazine last week.  

Ember Technologies' temperature-controlled mug is a finalist in the 2017 International Design Excellence Awards in the Kitchen & Accessories category. The winners will be announced Aug. 16 at the International Designers Society of America conference in Atlanta. 

Cleanergy AB of Sweden has signed an agreement to deploy a 200-MW concentrating solar energy project in China. A Cleanergy spokeswoman confirmed that phase change material will be used in the CSP project's thermal storage system but declined to provide details about the PCM. 

Midsize energy and chemical companies are among the least prepared for the disruption that technological innovation and other changes will bring, a new report from Capital One Commercial Bank says.

• A U.S. House appropriations subcommittee last week advanced a bill that would impose deep cuts in renewable energy and efficiency programs at the Department of Energy and eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, ARPA-E.

ASHRAE has announced the formation of a new ASHRAE Region in Europe and strategic partnerships with two European organizations: the UK-based Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers and the Belgium-based Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning Associations.

• PCM will be among the topics at the 3rd International Conference: Innovative Materials and Smart Technologies for Environmental Safety. The conference will take place Sept. 27-29 in Latvia. The student conference includes a lecture titled "Heat Transfer Enhancement in Phase-Change Materials" by Dr. Gennady Ziskind, professor of mechanical engineering at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. 

BASF, Cargill, Procter & Gamble and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH have joined together in a development partnership to help establish a sustainable certified and transparent supply chain of coconut oil in the Philippines and Indonesia.  

• New from Zion Market Research: "Temperature Controlled Packaging Market: Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecasts 2016–2024"

Bio-Based World News reports that the biobased sector of Finland's economy is now worth 60 billion euros. About 60 percent of the sector is rooted in the country's forest industry. 

PCM briefing: ASHRAE offers building restoration guidelines; TNT lands customers for new va-Q-tec shipper

Ben Welter - Monday, April 18, 2016

ASHRAE has proposed guidelines that balance the need for energy conservation and authenticity in the restoration of historic buildings. The guidelines address planning and operation, mechanical systems, building envelopes and lighting.

• Express delivery company TNT has signed up two global customers for its new cold chain packaging and shipping solution, va-Q-tec Ltd.'s Medpak VI°C, which officially launches this month. One is a clinical trial company; the other is a biotech company.

• In partnership with 3D Systems and the U.S. Department of Energy, the University of Maryland has used the latest 3D printing technology to manufacture a heat exchanger which is said to be 20 percent more efficient than current technology.

• The 2017 Zayed Future Energy Prize competition, which recognizes "significant contributions in the global response to the future of energy," is now open for entries. Winners are eligible to win up to $1.5 million. This year's winners included BYD Company Ltd. of China, the world's largest rechargeable battery supplier; and Kopernik, an Indonesia nonprofit that distributes solar lights, solar home systems, water filters and clean cookstoves in developing countries.  

PCM briefing: 12 principles for green energy storage; 24x7 operation for EnergyNest pilot project

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 23, 2016

University of Michigan researchers have developed a set of 12 principles for green energy storage. No. 10: "Substitute non-toxic and non-hazardous materials."

EnergyNest AS has agreed to hire additional staff to provide around-the-clock operation of its thermal energy storage pilot facility at the Masdar Institute's beam-down solar power plant in Abu Dhabi. The increased staffing – seven engineers and technicians – is necessary for EnergyNest to demonstrate system performance over many charge/discharge cycles.

CALMAC founder Calvin D. MacCracken has been posthumously inducted into the ASHRAE Hall of Fame. CALMAC's IceBank energy storage technology, which shifts cooling production to off-peak hours, is among MacCracken's 80 patents.

Monodraught says it's getting positive feedback on the low-energy cooling and ventilation strategy the company developed for Cambridge University's Greenwich House. Monodraught installed its Cool-Phase systems and Windcatcher X-Air in a number of open plan office areas, several meeting rooms and a café area. The system combines a thermal energy store containing phase change material with an intelligently controlled air-handling unit.

• Mattress ticking producer Fine Cotton Factory has doubled its production space in Toronto to 80,000 square feet. The company is planning to introduce several products this year, including copper-infused fabrics and phase change yarns.

In a piece on coolpack.com, four industry experts offer a new way to measure the performance of passive cold-chain shipping containers. They say a "performance curve" chart could simplify the design process. [pdf]

University of Nebraska team's thermal ice storage system wins ASHRAE design award

Ben Welter - Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A thermal ice storage system designed by a team from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln won first place in the HVAC calculation category of ASHRAE's 2015 Student Design competition. 

Competitors were asked to design an efficient HVAC system for a hypothetical three-story classroom and office building with a peak cooling load of 157 tons in Doha, Qatar. The Nebraska team's ice storage system allowed chiller size to be reduced to 100 tons and still meet load. The students demonstrated that the ice system's higher initial cost would be offset by the lower cost of the chiller and reduced energy needs during peak demand for cooling.  

Team members are Kristin Hanna, Garrett Johnson and Mark Wilder. Their faculty advisor is Dr. David Yuill, an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska and vice chair of ASHRAE's technical committee on instruments and measurements.

https://ashrae.org/news/2015/ashrae-announces-recipients-of-student-design-competition-applied-engineering-challenge

'Post-occupancy evaluation' gains traction among sustainability architects

Ben Welter - Friday, August 07, 2015

Dr. Nancy Foster Florida Keys Environmental Center

"Post-occupancy evaluation," the process of measuring a new building's actual performance, is an essential part of the design feedback loop. Is that impressive-looking thermal energy storage system delivering the projected energy savings? POE is gaining momentum among sustainability architects to address the frequent gap between promises and reality, Peter Fairley writes in this month's issue of Architectural Record. 

Does this scenario sound familiar?

"The value of getting feedback on projects hit home for [New Orleans–based Eskew+Dumez+Ripple] after the opening of its first LEED-certified building: the Dr. Nancy Foster Florida Keys Environmental Center [show above] in Key West. The 30,000-square-foot multipurpose facility, occupied by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2006, was predicted to consume 735,000 kilowatt-hours per year—28 percent fewer than the ASHRAE baseline. In its first two years of operation, however, the LEED Silver building was consuming almost twice that amount.

"Faulty settings in the building-management system were the culprit: two months after commissioning, a software upgrade wiped out the settings tuned by the commissioning agent. A local consultant's efforts to fix the problem fell short. Ultimately, humidity and mold issues convinced the owner to bring Eskew+Dumez+Ripple and the commissioning agent back into the picture nearly two years later. The problems were then quickly resolved. Energy consumption immediately fell below what designers had originally predicted.

"Eskew+Dumez+Ripple determined that from that point forward they would attempt to track energy consumption of all their LEED projects. They wanted to understand the variables affecting performance and get a jump on any issues that arose. "

http://archrecord.construction.com/tech/techfeatures/2015/1508-Post-Occupancy-Evaluation.asp

Papers sought for 2016 conference on building design for Gulf, Mediterranean climates

Ben Welter - Friday, May 08, 2015

Papers are being sought for a 2016 conference focused on building design and system technologies.  

Nesreen GhaddarThe second International Conference on Efficient Building Design: Materials and HVAC Equipment Technologies will take place Sept. 22–23, 2016, in Beirut, Lebanon.  The conference objective is to present advanced research on better building design, adapted to the hot, humid Gulf climate and the moderate, humid Mediterranean climate, according to conference chair Nesreen Ghaddar.

"This conference will serve as a platform for presenting advanced research in these topics with the intent to highlight emerging new HVAC technologies with renewables integration, optimal ventilation and indoor air quality and adapting alternative refrigerants to warmer climates," said Ghaddar, a professor of mechanical engineering at the American University of Beirut, one of the sponsors. "Specifically, direction is sought on which HVAC technologies best utilize solar PV power, what techniques to use for separate sensible and latent heat management, and how to develop hybrid systems that combine mechanical and mixed ventilation methods."

Abstracts are due Sept. 15, 2015.

https://www.ashrae.org/membership--conferences/conferences/2016-2nd-international-conference-efficient-building-design#call

New School's University Center, Federal Center South win AIA sustainability awards

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 23, 2015

New School University CenterThe New School's University Center, a 370,000-square-foot mixed-use building in Manhattan, has made the American Institute of Architects' list of the Top 10 Most Sustainable Projects of 2015. The LEED Gold building, right, features a thermal energy storage system that makes ice at night, when electricity is cheaper, to help cool the structure during the day. University Center was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Federal Center South, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office building in Seattle, was honored as the AIA's Top 10 Plus winner. The building's HVAC system includes heat-recovery chillers that extract heat from a thermal storage tank to warm the building in the morning, when demand is high. A rooftop tank is filled with 2-foot-long panels containing phase change material that freezes and thaws at 55 degrees, serving as a battery for storing energy. Federal Center South was designed by ZGF Architects.

http://www.archdaily.com/623000/aia-names-top-10-most-sustainable-projects-of-2015/

Thermal storage expert Lucas Hyman joins Entropy Solutions board of advisors

Ben Welter - Monday, March 30, 2015

Lucas Hyman, P.E.Lucas B. Hyman, an internationally renowned authority on thermal energy storage, has joined Entropy Solutions Inc.’s board of advisors.

Mr. Hyman, founder and president of Goss Engineering Inc. of Corona, Calif., is a LEED-accredited mechanical engineer with more than 30 years of experience. His clients have included major universities, government agencies, schools, hospitals, industrial facilities, the military and private firms. He is the author of two books, “Sustainable On-site CHP Systems” (McGraw-Hill, 2009) and “Sustainable Thermal Storage Systems” (McGraw-Hill, 2011) and has published a number of papers and articles.

http://www.puretemp.com/stories/tes-expert

Inside Federal Center South, an ASHRAE award-winning project

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tom Boysen Jr.In December, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office building in Seattle was one of nine projects recognized for innovative design with an ASHRAE Technology Award. Federal Center South received first place in the new commercial buildings category. 

The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce takes a closer look at the project, including the months of tweaking needed to reach the energy-use guarantees made by the general contractor, Sellen Construction.

“This is not your father's 1960s pickup truck,” said Tom Boysen, senior project manager. “This thing has at least four gears of cooling and two gears of heating.”

The complex system includes heat-recovery chillers that extract heat from a thermal storage tank to warm the building in the morning, when demand is high. The rooftop tank is filled with 2-foot-long panels containing phase change material that freezes and thaws at 55 degrees, serving as a battery for storing heat.

https://www.djc.com/news/en/12074091.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