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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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Research roundup: Crude glycerol polyurethane composite foams; heat transfer analysis; Kalina cycle; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, October 10, 2018

From Materials:

Thermal Energy Storage and Mechanical Performance of Crude Glycerol Polyurethane Composite Foams Containing Phase Change Materials and Expandable Graphite

From International Journal of Energy Research:

Review on heat transfer analysis in thermal energy storage using latent heat storage systems and phase change materials

From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:

Recent developments in phase change materials for energy storage applications: A review

From Energy Conversion and Management:

Integrated power generation cycle (Kalina cycle) with auxiliary heater and PCM energy storage

From Minerals:

Mullite Stabilized Palmitic Acid as Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Microencapsulated phase change material (MEPCM) saturated in metal foam as an efficient hybrid PCM for passive thermal management: A numerical and experimental study
Inverse method to estimate air flow rate during free cooling using PCM-air heat exchanger

Patent application: Thermal energy storage phase change materials comprising triamines

Ben Welter - Friday, September 28, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180273819 (applicant Entropy Solutions LLC, Plymouth, Minn.)

"This invention generally relates to phase change materials, thermoregulation, thermal protection and insulation. In particular, in alternative embodiments, provided are organic Phase Change Materials having different chemical moieties including triamines, nitriles, anhydrides and/or benzoic acid and combinations thereof. ... In alternative embodiments, the Phase Change Material (PCMs) compositions and products of manufacture are used for thermal energy management and temperature stabilization in various applications such as building and insulation materials, automotive, airline, weapons systems, computers and electronics, clothing, packaging, cookware, garment and footwear, pharmaceuticals and drug storage systems, and other food and energy storage and temperature stabilization systems."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180273819.pdf

PCM briefing: Online master's degree in thermal energy storage; Alexium appoints new CFO

Ben Welter - Thursday, September 27, 2018

Dr. Luisa F. Cabeza• The enrollment period is open for an online master's degree program on thermal energy storage. The program, offered by the University of Lleida and the University of Barcelona, includes "training in technical aspects of TES and the energy system, but it also includes soft skills in patenting and entrepreneurship." The program is directed by Dr. Luisa F. Cabeza of the University of Lleida. 

Siemens Gamesa held a topping-out ceremony this week for its 30MWh electric thermal energy storage facility in Hamburg-Altenwerder, Germany. The pilot facility, which stores energy in 1,000 tons of rock fill at temperatures of 600º C, is in its final phase of construction and due to be fully commissioned in 2019.

• Lauren Boteler, a thermal/packaging engineer for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, has been named Woman Engineer of the Year by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' Electronics Packaging and Photonics Division.

Indonesia has imposed a three-year moratorium on new palm oil plantations and ordered a review of existing ones in an effort to address sustainability and environmental concerns.  

• The U.S. patent system, the first in the world to incentivize large numbers of ordinary citizens to innovate, has long been ranked No. 1 in the world. But over the past few years the system has fallen to 12th. Forbes reports that Andrei Iancu, the new director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is working to turn that around and "bring about a much-needed revitalization of the American patent system."

Alexium International has appointed Jason Lewis as chief financial officer, succeeding Aaron Krech, who resigned effective Sept. 30. Lewis has over 20 years of experience in financial roles in the specialty chemicals industry. Alexium also announced the appointment of Allen Reihman as chief commercial officer. He will lead the company’s sales, marketing and technology commercialization efforts. Alexium, based in Greer, S.C., and Perth, Australia, makes flame-retardant and PCM-enhanced fabric treatments.

10 BioPCM products added to USDA BioPreferred catalog

Ben Welter - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Phase Change Energy Solutions has joined PureTemp and Croda International in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's BioPreferred catalog. The North Carolina manufacturer has registered 10 of its phase change materials in the program: BioPCM Q4, Q6, Q8, Q15, Q18, Q20, Q23, Q25, Q27 and Q29.

The USDA defines biobased products as finished or intermediate materials composed in whole or in significant part of agricultural, forestry or marine ingredients. The program’s purpose is to increase the purchase and use of biobased products. Products that meet the USDA BioPreferred program requirements carry a distinctive label for easier identification by the consumer.

Reyad Sawafta“BioPCM is now certified with 100% biobased content and listed among the USDA BioPreferred products, demonstrating our commitment to sustainability as we work to meaningfully reduce energy consumption," said Dr. Reyad Sawafta, chief scientific officer at Phase Change Energy Solutions.

Seven CrodaTherm products qualified for the program in 2016. PureTemp first qualified in 2014, and 23 PureTemp formulations are now designated as 100 percent biobased by the program.

Phase change material is not currently one of the 109 categories in the USDA's BioPreferred Program. Phase Change Energy Solutions, Croda and PureTemp became certified through a voluntary labeling initiative. The USDA published a proposal last week to add PCMs as a category of biobased products eligible for procurement preference by federal agencies and their contractors.

The BioPreferred Program was created by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 and expanded by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. Under the program, federal agencies are required, with some exceptions, to purchase biobased products within designated product categories when the purchase price of the product exceeds $10,000 or when the quantity of such products or functionally equivalent products purchased over the preceding fiscal year equaled $10,000 or more.

Research roundup: Myristic acid with ethyl cellulose shell; phase-change acoustic heat engine; hybrid personal cooling system; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, September 25, 2018

From Applied Energy:

Microencapsulation and thermal properties of myristic acid with ethyl cellulose shell for thermal energy storage
Fast and experimentally validated model of a latent thermal energy storage device for system level simulations
Numerical simulation and experimental validation of the solar photovoltaic/thermal system with phase change material
Low-temperature energy conversion using a phase-change acoustic heat engine

From Journal of Energy Storage:

Exploring additives for improving the reliability of zinc nitrate hexahydrate as a phase change material (PCM)

From Energy:

Laboratory assessment of residential building walls containing pipe-encapsulated phase change materials for thermal management
Review on thermal performances and applications of thermal energy storage systems with inorganic phase change materials

From Nano Energy:

Nanoconfinement effects on thermal properties of nanoporous shape-stabilized composite PCMs: A review

From International Journal of Thermal Sciences:

Study of heat and fluid flow during melting of PCM inside vertical cylindrical tube

From Building and Environment:

A new hybrid personal cooling system (HPCS) incorporating insulation pads for thermal comfort management: Experimental validation and parametric study

From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:

An analytical technique for the optimal designs of tube-in-tank thermal energy storage systems using PCM

From 2nd International conference on Advances in Mechanical Engineering:

Study of freezing characteristics of water based grapheme Nano-fluid PCM in a spherical capsule [pdf]
Enhancement of thermal conductivity of PCM using filler graphite powder materials [pdf]

From 10th International Conference on Applied Energy:

A Numerical Investigation into the Heat Transfer and Melting Process of Lauric Acid in a Rectangular Enclosure with Three Values of Wall Heat Flux

USDA seeks to add PCM category to BioPreferred Program

Ben Welter - Monday, September 24, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing to add phase change material as a category of biobased products eligible for procurement preference by federal agencies and their contractors.

USDA BioPreferred labelPhase change material is not currently one of the 109 categories in the USDA's BioPreferred Program. But biobased PCM products are still eligible to participate in the program if they become certified through a voluntary labeling initiative, explained Caroline Tapscott, BioPreferred Program scientist. Products made by three PCM manufacturers – Croda Inc., Phase Change Energy Solutions and PureTemp LLC – qualified for the BioPreferred catalog through that initiative.

The current minimum biobased content for products in such "certification-only" categories is 25 percent. The USDA is proposing to raise the minimum to 71 for phase change materials. All PCM products now listed in the catalog meet that threshold.

The BioPreferred Program was created by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 and expanded by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. The purpose is to increase the use of biobased products.

Under the program, federal agencies are required, with some exceptions, to purchase biobased products within designated product categories when the purchase price of the product exceeds $10,000 or when the quantity of such products or functionally equivalent products purchased over the preceding fiscal year equaled $10,000 or more.

In the document describing the proposed rule changes, the USDA says it "has been unable to obtain data on the amount of phase change materials purchased by federal procuring agencies" but "believes that some federal agencies and their contractors do and would likely purchase these types of products."

The USDA is proposing to add 29 other biobased categories as well, including adhesives, concrete curing agents, exterior paints and facial care products. Public comments on the proposed rule changes will be accepted until Nov. 13, 2018.

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/09/14/2018-19681/designation-of-product-categories-for-federal-procurement

Research roundup: Heat capacities of potential organic PCMs; asphalt binders; novel smart textile; modeling hysteresis; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, September 18, 2018

From Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics:

Heat capacities of potential organic phase change materials

From Renewable Energy:

Effects of microencapsulated phase change materials on the performance of asphalt binders
An improved, generalized effective thermal conductivity method for rapid design of high temperature shell-and-tube latent heat thermal energy storage systems
Multi-objective optimisation of thermal energy storage using phase change materials for solar air systems

From Energy:

A comprehensive study of properties of paraffin phase change materials for solar thermal energy storage and thermal management applications
Evaluation of a novel solar driven sorption cooling/heating system integrated with PCM storage compartment

From Chemical Engineering Journal:

Shape-stabilized phase change materials based on porous supports for thermal energy storage applications
Novel smart textile with phase change materials encapsulated core-sheath structure fabricated by coaxial electrospinning

From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:

Experimental research on the effective heating strategies for a phase change material based power battery module
Modeling hysteresis in the phase transition of industrial-grade solid/liquid PCM for thermal energy storages

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Determination of heat transfer coefficients in direct contact latent heat storage systems

Research roundup: Thermoplastic polyurethane blends; simulation of supercooling and convection; battery thermal management; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, September 11, 2018

From Frontiers in Materials:

Thermoplastic polyurethane blends with thermal energy storage/release capability

From Energies:

Review of Reactors with Potential Use in Thermochemical Energy Storage in Concentrated Solar Power Plants

From Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics:

Towards the simulation of supercooling and convection in phase change materials using a thermal lattice Boltzmann method

From Nanomaterials:

Palm Kernel Shell Activated Carbon as an Inorganic Framework for Shape-Stabilized Phase Change Material

From Journal of Power Sources:

A comprehensive review on a passive (phase change materials) and an active (thermoelectric cooler) battery thermal management system and their limitations

From Applied Energy:

Process integration of thermal energy storage systems – Evaluation methodology and case studies

From Journal of Nanomaterials:

Effects of Biceramic AlN-SiC Microparticles on the Thermal Properties of Paraffin for Thermal Energy Storage

Biobased PCM is put to the test at new high school in Arizona

Ben Welter - Monday, September 10, 2018

A pilot study is underway to gauge the effectiveness of phase change material to reduce and shift HVAC load at a new high school outside Phoenix, Ariz.

Canyon View High School, which opened last month in Waddell, features a number of energy-saving technologies and products, including BioPCM mats made by Phase Change Energy Solutions. Two nearly identical buildings – one with BioPCM installed in walls and ceilings, one without  will allow the effect of PCM to be measured. Each building is roughly 30,000 square feet and each has two levels of classroom spaces.

DLR Group, which designed Canyon View, funded the pilot study, with contributions by Phase Change Energy Solutions and Chasse Building Team. During the yearlong study, HVAC energy use and interior temperatures will be recorded in both the test and the control buildings.

Mark E. RichardsMark E. Richards, right, served as project manager, applications engineer and systems installer for Phase Change Energy Solutions. He answered questions about the project.

Q: What factors did you consider in developing a plan for PCM type, quantities and location?

A: "Available space for PCM to fit within the architectural requirements. Also the HVAC loads as well as design temperature criteria."

Q: Describe the BioPCM products chosen for this project (peak melt points, thermal storage capacity, containment media).

A: "ENRG Blanket powered by BioPCM Q23M27 and Q23M51."

Q: How are the BioPCM mats recharged? Using the HVAC system, nighttime air, or other means?

A: "Initially we will be using the HVAC system. The purpose of the study is to experiment and determine the most economical solution. The second floor can do a night purge more effectively since it has large air-handling unit. The first-floor systems are 2 pipe fan coils."

Installation of BioPCM matsQ: Describe the equivalent (non-PCM) spaces in the control building. Were standard construction materials and techniques used in walls and ceilings?

A: "The test spaces are of equivalent construction, use and orientation. Metal frame, with rigid and batt insulation, plaster (stucco) exterior and drywall interior. Roof is metal deck with foam on top. See CVHS BioPCM Test Rooms. These show the rooms that have all six surface temperatures monitored as a part of the thermal comfort analysis."

Q: Describe the two types of HVAC systems used in each building.

A: "Chiller water fan coils with electric heat serve first-level zones and a single chilled water air handler with variable air volume boxes with electric resistance reheat per zone serves the second level."

Q: What modifications are needed to typical HVAC systems used in this type of building to optimize the performance of the BioPCM products?

A: "No physical changes required. We will experiment with building management system sequence of operations to determine optimal settings."

Q: ENRG Blanket is produced in three fire class ratings, Class A, Class C and Plenum. Which were used in this project? Did local building codes present any special challenges in material selection or deployment?

A: "We used class A material as required by International Building Code and look at authority having jurisdiction. There was no material installed in a return air plenum."

Q: Have you used thermal modeling to project the level of cost savings?

A: "No."

DAQ system panelQ: How will energy savings be calculated?

A: "Since we are measuring HVAC energy for the chilled water and electrical power in five-minute intervals we can monetize easily based on the local tariffs and compare the PCM building directly to the non-PCM building. We have separate HVAC power metering for each floor."

Q: Is there anything you’d like to add about the project?

A: "DLR Group, specifically Premnath ‘Prem’ Sundharam, global sustainability leader for DLR, came up with the concept to leverage a DLR Group innovations grant funding opportunity to test BioPCM not previously been done at this scale. This pilot study, known as Thermal Mass 2.0, would not have been possible without his enthusiasm and vision. The Agua Fria Unified School District is also to be recognized for being a willing partner in this effort as well as Chasse Building Team for helping coordinate the installation of the data acquisition system (DAQ).

"The installation of DAQ system was challenging and costly. Phase Change Energy Solutions provided the BioPCM, the DAQ equipment and labor to install it significantly below cost. Dr. Reyad Sawafta, chief technology officer, and Scott Queen, VP sales, should be recognized for their commitment to proving PCM performance at this scale. We should have a pretty good idea how the two buildings compare to each other by the end of the year and look forward to analyzing the data.

"We are also studying the thermal comfort effects of BioPCM by monitoring surface temperature in two classrooms in each building of the same, type, use and occupancy. All six surfaces of each room are logged every five minutes. We monitored room temperatures during construction before the HVAC systems were active and after the PCM was installed to see how the PCM performed in a passive application. The PCM rooms were on average 2.1 F cooler than non PCM spaces pre-HVAC system operation. See chart."

Research roundup: Impact of doping on bonding energy hierarchy; battery thermal management; more

Ben Welter - Friday, September 07, 2018

From Journal of Applied Physics:

Impact of doping on bonding energy hierarchy and melting of phase change materials

From International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer:

Two zone model for mushy region of solid–liquid phase change based on Lattice Boltzmann method

From Applied Sciences:

Synthesis and Investigation of Thermal Properties of Highly Pure Carboxylic Fatty Esters to Be Used as PCM

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

Fabrication of novel slurry containing graphene oxide-modified microencapsulated phase change material for direct absorption solar collector

From Buildings:

Potential of Thermal Energy Storage Using Coconut Oil for Air Temperature Control

From International Journal for Research in Engineering Application and Management:

Development of Phase Change Material/ Cooling Plate Coupled Battery Thermal Management System Using CFD

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

A novel graphite-PCM composite sphere with enhanced thermo-physical properties

From Journal of Cleaner Production:

Building-integrated solar thermal system with/without phase change material: Life cycle assessment based on ReCiPe, USEtox and Ecological footprint

From Thermal Science and Engineering Progress:

Role of metallic foam in heat storage in the presence of nanofluid and microencapsulated phase change material

From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:

Heat and flow analysis of a water droplet on hydrophobic and hydrophilic phase change material