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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: Thermal management system

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 21, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180045432 (applicant Rolls-Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Ind.):

"A thermal management system includes a closed dynamic cooling circuit, and a closed first steady-state cooling circuit. Each circuit has its own compressor, heat rejection exchanger, and expansion device. A thermal energy storage (TES) system is configured to receive a dynamic load and thermally couple the dynamic cooling circuit and the first steady-state cooling circuit. ... TES is a heat exchanger that includes a TES material such as wax or other material that can store energy, including via a phase change material which, as known in the art, stores and releases energy at a phase change temperature while changing phase from, for instance, a liquid to a solid."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180045432.pdf

Patent application: Encapsulated PCM and thermal battery

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 11, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180010862 (Valeo Systemes Thermiques, Le Mesnil Saint-Denis, France):

Valeo patent drawing"The present invention relates to an encapsulated phase-change material comprising a phase-change material (3) contained within a tube (5), said tube being made of plastic and that it has a sealing weld (9) at least at one of its ends. ... The presence of sealing welds allows good sealing and also reduces the risk of leakage of phase-change material notably when the latter is in the liquid phase."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180010862.pdf

Research roundup: Protective clothing for firefighters; PCM-integrated wall insulation; TES using diesel engine exhaust; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 11, 2018

Guidelines for the specification of a PCM layer in Firefighting Protective Clothing Ensembles [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Summer thermal performances of PCM-integrated insulation layers for light-weight building walls: effect of orientation and melting point temperature [Thermal Science and Engineering Progress]

Numerical investigation on cooling behaviour of buildings using phase change material [International Journal of Renewable Energy Technology]

An experimental investigation of PCM based thermal energy storage system using diesel engine exhaust-gas [International Journal of Renewable Energy Technology]

Thermal storage/management system with phase change materials for building [Advances in Mechanical Engineering]

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: 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]

Patent application: Heating and cooling technologies

Ben Welter - Friday, December 15, 2017

U.S. patent application 20170354190 (applicant Charles J. Cauchy, Traverse City, Mich.):

"A heating and cooling device is disclosed comprising at least one integral low voltage heating and cooling source and an efficient flexible heat distribution means having a thermal conductivity of from 375 to 4000 W/mK for distributing the heat and cool across a surface. Further aspects include thermal interface compounds to provide full thermal contact as well as the use of a phase change material to provide a long lasting heating and/or cooling effect without the use of external electrical input. Preferred applications include automotive and furniture seating heating and cooling, along with outdoor garments having distributed heating and cooling effects."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170354190.pdf

Patent application: Passively temperature controlled storage container for an automobile

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 16, 2017

U.S. patent application 20170328623 (inventor David Legare, Ava, N.Y.):

"Thermal protection for sensitive items stored for extended periods of time in a passenger vehicle is a requirement that has not been adequately addressed by the industry. A primary object of this invention therefore, will be to provide a convenient and versatile means for forming and integrating a storage container employing appropriate phase change materials to create a controlled temperature environment for heat-sensitive articles inside an automobile, truck, or other enclosed road vehicle. As such, the invention will afford protection where summer temperatures build up to levels inside the stationary vehicle which could exceed safe limits for heat sensitive items that might be stored in the vehicle for an extended period of time; ie an hour or more. An additional optional objective will be to further include a phase change material with a substantially lower melting point to protect sensitive items from freezing during the winter months."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170328623.pdf

Sunamp expands factory, warehouse space

Ben Welter - Thursday, October 26, 2017

Sunamp Ltd. is moving its phase change production unit into a 15,000-square-foot factory and warehouse space near the company's headquarters in East Lothian, Scotland. The new space is three times the size of Sunamp's current production space and will allow the company to bring in test rigs and a vehicle lift to meet the needs of its automotive division. Sunamp says the move will free up "much needed lab space at headquarters to expand our current chemical material and HVAC product R&D operations."

Other recent developments at Sunamp:

Sunamp EV• The company showcased its cooling system for refrigerated vans at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle event in Millbank, England, last month. The system, developed with bodybuilder Paneltex, route optimization software maker Route Monkey and the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, integrates low-temperature PCMs in electric delivery vans for supermarket deliveries. It was among the winners in a proof of concept competition sponsored by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK.

• Along with other companies involved in the Smart Islands Energy Systems (SMILE) initiative, Sunamp is gearing up for the implementation phase of the Orkney pilot project, starting in November. Sunamp's heat batteries are among nine smart-grid technologies to be demonstrated in the four-year SMILE project, launched in May 2017 and funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program.

• Sunamp's PCM heat batteries were featured this week on the UK television show "Grand Designs."

http://mailchi.mp/sunamp/sunamp-news-update?e=53caf0f79a

Patent application: Air-conditioning system for a machine

Ben Welter - Monday, September 25, 2017

U.S. patent application 20170267066 (applicant Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill.):

"An air-conditioning system including a primary circuit and a secondary circuit is provided. The primary circuit includes a flow of refrigerant, an evaporator and a chiller configured to exchange heat between a coolant and the refrigerant. The secondary circuit includes a heat exchanger in fluid communication with the chiller to receive the coolant. The heat exchanger includes a phase change material in heat exchange relationship with the coolant, such that the coolant exchanges heat with the phase change material to store thermal energy in the phase change material. The air-conditioning system is implemented in a machine in which during an idle-off state, the stored energy in the heat exchanger is discharged to provide an air-conditioning effect."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170267066.pdf