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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.

Two Entropy advisors, Dr. Mohammed Farid and Lucas B. Hyman, are pleased to take your questions about PCMs and thermal energy storage. Send your questions to bwelter@puretemp.com. We'll select the best and post the answers here each week.

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PCM briefing: Papers sought for 4 cold chain conferences; Momentive introduces hybrid polymer modifiers

Ben Welter - Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Pharma Logistics IQ is inviting temperature controlled logistics experts to submit papers four upcoming conferences: Temperature Controlled Logistics Europe, Cold Chain-GDP & Temperature Management Latin America, Cold Chain Canada and Pharma Cold Chain and Temperature Management Summit China. Contact Pharma IQ editor Chanice Henry at chanice.henry@iqpc.co.uk.

• The CEGA congress for technical building equipment experts, hosted by Recknagel and VDI, will be held Nov. 29-30 in Baden-Baden, Germany. Dr. Bernd Boiting of the University of Münster will give a lecture about thermal energy storage using phase change material. More than 50 lectures on topics such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and building automation will be presented at the conference, which will be conducted in German.

Momentive Performance Materials has introduced ceramic powders designed to improve the thermal conductivity of plastics. The company, based in Waterford, N.Y., says its CoolFX hybrid polymer modifiers can be more cost-effective than traditional boron nitride fillers.

• In a piece in Apparel magazine, Alexium International CEO Nicholas Clark weighs in on "What Flame Retardant Apparel Manufacturers Need to Know About the Lautenberg Act."

• The European Commission has launched a major review of REACH, the European Union’s main chemical safety law, publishing a 43-page questionnaire and asking for public feedback on its strengths and weaknesses.

• In an interview in Minnesota Business, Pelican BioThermal's Adam Tetz talks about the expansion of the company's manufacturing capacity in Plymouth. The expansion will support production of single-use temperature-controlled shippers in the United States.

• New from QYResearch: "Global Paraffin Compounds Sales Market Report 2016"

A CALMAC thermal energy storage system is being installed at Pueblo's historic county courthouse in Colorado. The system creates and stores ice at night and then uses it to cool buildings during the day.

ETH Zurich is looking for a licensing or collaboration partner to work on a high-temperature thermal energy storage system that provides active control of the heat-transfer fluid outflow temperature. Possible applications include concentrated solar power plants and advanced adiabatic compressed air energy storage.

• Imagine this: Your technology on display at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit early next year. The Technology Showcase is an opportunity to get your innovative energy technology in front of investors and researchers ready to collaborate. There is no fee to apply; the application deadline is Dec. 16.

ARPA-E will hold a workshop on “Lower Grade Waste Heat Recovery” Dec. 13-14 in the San Francisco area. The workshop will convene experts in waste heat recovery, materials development and novel solid-state materials to identify innovative research paths for the development of lower grade (below 400° C) waste heat recovery systems.

ARPA-E will hold a workshop on “Fuel Cell and Heat Engine Hybrid CHP Systems” on Jan. 26-27, 2017, in the Washington, D.C. area. The workshop will convene experts in fuel cells, heat engines, materials and advanced manufacturing technologies to identify related technological solutions that would help to enable the introduction of highly efficient yet cost-effective commercial-scale combined heat and power systems.

PCM briefing: Pelican BioThermal container keeps blood cool on battlefield; GSA looking for energy storage ideas

Ben Welter - Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pelican BioThermal medic pack• New from Pelican BioThermal: Golden Hour Medic, a reusable container that allows combat medics to carry life-saving whole blood onto the battlefield. Phase change material helps keep blood near 4 degrees Celsius for up to 24 hours in harsh conditions.

Greentech Media reports that the General Services Administration is preparing an energy storage request for information that could be the first step in improving energy efficiency at more than 10,000 U.S. government buildings under the agency's control.

• The U.S. Department of Energy and the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology have agreed to form a research consortium focused on energy storage and smart grid technology. The U.S. portion of funding for the $30 million project requires congressional approval.

Hershey Co. seeks better way to ship chocolate at ideal temperature

Ben Welter - Monday, January 25, 2016

Every chocolate lover knows: Extreme heat and cold can ruin a perfectly delicious chocolate bar. The Hershey Co. is sponsoring a contest to develop a lightweight shipping system that will keep chocolate close to the temperature at which it was packed, 24° Celsius (75°F) or below, for at least 48 hours. The goal is to develop a system inexpensive enough to use year round as part of the standard packaging for small parcel shipments.

The contest represents an opportunity to become a collaborator/supplier to Hershey. In the first round of the competition, up to five groups will be selected to provide prototypes of their technologies. The group submitting the top-ranked prototype will receive $25,000 in additional development funds.

Successful technologies will:

• Maintain packaged chocolate temperatures at or below 75°F for 48-72 hours
• Be less than three years from commercialization
• Operate without pre-freezing of components
• Prevent chocolate from freezing
• Contain materials approved for food contact
• Contain chemical components that are generally regarded as safe
• Be adaptable to different-size shipments
• Have a price point that is compatible with consumer shipments of chocolate candy bars
• Be comparable or less in size and weight with current cold shipping systems

Entries are due Feb. 15, 2016.

https://ninesights.ninesigma.com/web/hershey-cool-ship-contest

NIH plans thermal energy storage system for Bethesda campus

Ben Welter - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The National Institutes of Health is moving ahead with plans to install a thermal energy storage system at its campus in Bethesda, Md. The system will store up to 9 million gallons of chilled water. Components will include a storage tank, at or partly below grade, with a footprint of about 12,000 square feet. The system is among upgrades designed to ensure uninterrupted cooling capability for a 240-bed hospital, three data centers and more than 12 million square feet of biomedical research facilities. 

https://federalregister.gov/a/2015-23487

EU seeks proposals for next-gen district energy pilot project

Ben Welter - Friday, May 08, 2015

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy is seeking proposals for a pilot project to develop next-generation district heating and cooling technology.   

"The pilot should contribute to developing the next generation district heating and cooling by integrating the intelligent use and control of distributed energy storage systems in the network; improving design and control of substations in the building; integrating multiple thermal generation inputs (renewable solar thermal, geothermal, waste heat) and storage, and to providing solutions for intelligent control of the overall network, in particular the thermal energy demand of the connected buildings, and both distributed and collective thermal energy storage systems."

The two-year contract is worth 1.75 million euros (1.9 million USD). The deadline for receipt of tenders is June 19, 2015. 

http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:159370-2015:TEXT:EN:HTML

Up to $55 billion available in energy savings performance contracts

Ben Welter - Friday, April 03, 2015

The Department of Energy is seeking proposals for the implementation of energy savings performance contracts at any U.S. government site worldwide. Up to $55 billion is available, spread across 12 "indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity" contracts. Thermal energy storage is among the project categories. Reed Smith offers an excellent overview of the opportunity:

"Although bidding is limited to energy service companies ... this is still a great opportunity for teaming and/or subcontracting and financing some of the most innovative projects of this decade. With smaller government spending and more focus on holding contractors accountable, DOE’s ESPC program may be a blueprint for government contractors moving forward."

http://www.reedsmith.com/DOEs-New-55-Billion-ESPC-Solicitation-03-31-2015/

Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

Ben Welter - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Phase Change Matters logoNew on LinkedIn: A group devoted to the discussion of phase change material and thermal energy storage, a place for PCM and TES experts and industry leaders from around the world to gather and share ideas. It's called Phase Change Matters, and it's intended as a highly interactive complement to the blog and newsletter of the same name.

The first topic up for discussion: PCM and off-peak cooling systems:

TES pioneers like CALMAC and Ice Energy have been installing ice-based energy storage systems for years. And district cooling has been around for decades. What are the main barriers to wider adoption of phase change material in these types of thermal energy storage systems? Complexity? Education? Cost?

You are invited to join the discussion. Here's a link to the group:

https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=6953237

Veterans Affairs pharmacy program posts RFI on temperature-controlled packaging

Ben Welter - Monday, March 16, 2015

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' outpatient pharmacy program has posted a request for information in connection with efforts to standardize its cold-chain containers. The standardized packaging will be used to mail patient prescriptions in durable, secure, temperature-controlled packaging. It will be  made up of either a mailing pouch, a mailing bag or a cooler; phase change materials; and, if needed,  additional packing or shipping materials. The purpose of this RFI is to evaluate availability, obtain statements of capability, and gauge the interest and capability of small businesses.

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=49fc8a277e73758575a5e0234d4b65b8

Navy seeks bids for 'solid type' thermal storage system in Monterey

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., is seeking bids on a thermal storage system for its Turbo Propulsion Laboratory.

"As part of the ONR funded ESTEP (Energy Systems Technology Evaluation Program) a heating system with thermal storage is being set up. The ESTEP program is designed to implement technologies that have the capability of reducing Navy and wider DoD facilities energy costs.

"The system is designed to match demand with available renewable supply and store the excess heating in a thermal storage system for use later. The technology that will be investigated uses solid inert materials rather than liquids as they are potentially simpler to use.

"The system forms an integral part of the Naval Postgraduate School’s energy curriculum. It is being used as a thesis project and will also be used in a planned renewable energy course within the [Mechanical and Astronautical Engineering Department] department."

https://www.neco.navy.mil/synopsis/detail.aspx?id=422272