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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.




Research roundup: Fabrication of shape-stable composite PCMs; battery thermal management; segmented heat storage; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Fabrication of shape-stable composite phase change materials based on lauric acid and graphene/graphene oxide complex aerogels for enhancement of thermal energy storage and electrical conduction [Thermochimica Acta]

Performance analysis of PCM based thermal energy storage system containing nanoparticles [International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology]

Cold temperature performance of phase change material based battery thermal management systems [Energy Reports]

Design and functionality of a segmented heat-storage prototype utilizing stable supercooling of sodium acetate trihydrate in a solar heating system [Applied Energy]

Macro-encapsulation and characterization of chloride based inorganic phase change materials for high temperature thermal energy storage systems [Applied Energy]

Parametric analysis of a residential building with phase change material (PCM)-enhanced drywall, precooling, and variable electric rates in a hot and dry climate [Applied Energy]

Fabrication of high thermal conductive shape-stabilized polyethylene glycol/silica phase change composite by two-step sol gel method [Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing]

Performance enhancement of cold thermal energy storage system using nanofluid phase change materials: A review [International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer]

Development of form stable Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) coated thermal phase change material for solar water heater applications [4th International Conference on Civil and Environmental Engineering for Sustainability]

EnerSTOCK 2018 will feature PCM experts from around the world

Ben Welter - Monday, April 09, 2018

The agenda has been posted for the 14th International Energy Storage Conference – EnerSTOCK 2018 – to be held at Cukurova University in Turkey April 25-28. Speakers and topics focusing on phase change material include:

• Mohammed Farid, New Zealand: "Industrial Applications of Energy Storage with Phase Change Materials"

• Zafer Üre, United Kingdom: "Phase Change Material (PCM) Based Energy Storage Materials and Global Application Examples"

• Mónica Delgado, Ana Lázaro, Javier Mazo, Conchita Peñalosa, José María Marín and Belén Zalba, Spain: "Experimental Analysis of a Coiled Stirred Tank Containing a Low Cost PCM Emulsion as Thermal Energy Storage System. Comparison to Other TES Systems"

• Saman Nimali Gunasekara, Monika Ignatowicz, Justin Ningwei Chiu and Viktoria Martin, Sweden: "Thermal Conductivity Measurement of Erythritol, Xylitol and Their Blends for Phase Change Materials Design - A Methodological Study"

• Laura Quant, Gonzalo Diarce, Álvaro Campos-Celador, Ana García-Romero and Jean-Pierre Bédécarrats, Spain: "A Degradation Kinetics and Supercooling Study of the Urea-Sodium Nitrate Eutectic Mixture as a PCM"

• Catarina Araújo, José André Pinheiro and Luís Bragança, Portugal: "Economic Viability, Thermal Comfort and Energy Efficiency of Phase Change Materials Applied in the North of Portugal"

• Gennady Ziskind, Israel: "Modelling Approaches for PCM-Based Storage Systems"

For more information about the conference, contact

Patent application: Heat storage material

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 05, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180094180 (applicant Hutchinson SA, Paris, France):

"The invention relates to a material including a support consisting of a porous composite material including at least one polymer phase forming a binder based on at least one polymer selected from thermoplastic polymers, elastomers, and elastomer thermoplastics, and at least one filler selected from thermally conductive fillers, the pores of the support consisting of the porous composite material being partially or entirely filled with at least one phase-change material. The invention also relates to a method for producing said material."

Research roundup: PCM-based radiant heat exchanger; thermal performance of PCM roof modules; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Design and Analysis of PCM Based Radiant Heat Exchanger for Thermal Management of Buildings [Energy and Buildings]

A new ventilated window with PCM heat exchanger – performance analysis and design optimization [Energy and Buildings]

Thermal enhancement of paraffin/hydrophobic expanded perlite granular phase change composite using graphene nanoplatelets [Energy and Buildings]

Thermal Performance of Microencapsulated Phase Change Material (mPCM) in Roof Modules during Daily Operation [Energies]

Synthesis and Characterization of Thermochemical Storage Material Combining Porous Zeolite and Inorganic Salts [Heat Transfer Engineering]

Effect of percussion vibration on solidification of supercooled salt hydrate PCM in thermal storage unit [Renewable Energy]

A review of the applications of phase change materials in cooling, heating and power generation in different temperature ranges [Applied Energy]

Experimental and numerical study on the performance of a new high-temperature packed-bed thermal energy storage system with macroencapsulation of molten salt phase change material [Applied Energy]

Energy and exergy efficiencies assessment for a stratified cold thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

Eccentricity optimization of a horizontal shell-and-tube latent-heat thermal energy storage unit based on melting and melting-solidifying performance [Applied Energy]

Numerical study on the thermal performance of lightweight temporary building integrated with phase change materials [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Thiol-yne photo-clickable electrospun phase change materials for thermal energy storage [Reactive and Functional Polymers]

Highly Graphitized 3D Network Carbon for Shape-stabilized Composite PCMs with Superior Thermal Energy Harvesting [Nano Energy]

Schematic illustration of PEG8000 @ CQDs-derived 3D porous carbon composite PCMs

Research roundup: Personal cooling device; China's cold chain; prismatic lithium ion batteries; more

Ben Welter - Friday, March 16, 2018

"Preparation and Characterization of Modified Porous Wood Flour/Lauric-Myristic Acid Eutectic Mixture as a Form-Stable Phase Change Material" [Energy & Fuels]

A novel phase based cooling system for prismatic lithium ion batteries [Institut International du Froid]

Optimization of solar photovoltaic system integrated with phase change material [Solar Energy]

A novel heat transfer enhancement technique for performance improvements in encapsulated latent heat storage system [Solar Energy]

Experimental and numerical investigation of a solar collector/storage system with composite phase change materials [Solar Energy]

Enhanced thermal conductivity of phase change material nanocomposites based on MnO2 nanowires and nanotubes for energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Enhancing the Thermosiphon-Driven Discharge of a Latent Heat Thermal Storage System used in a Personal Cooling Device [International Journal of Refrigeration]

An Overview of Current Status of Cold Chain in China [International Journal of Refrigeration]

Applications of Thermal Analysis to the Study of Phase-Change Materials [Handbook of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry]

Thermo-physical characteristics, mechanical performance and long-term stability of high temperature latent heat storages based on paraffin-polymer compounds [Thermochimica Acta]

High thermal conductive paraffin/calcium carbonate phase change microcapsules based composites with different carbon network [Applied Energy]

PCM briefing: Thermal storage in focus at Energy Storage Europe; SaltX, Ahlstrom-Munksjö to develop insulation paper

Ben Welter - Monday, March 12, 2018

• "Life Cycle Assessment of Thermal Energy Storage Materials, Components and System Concepts" (Björn Nienborg, Fraunhofer ISE) and "Development of PCM Based on the Prediction of Phase Diagrams of Salt Hydrate Mixtures" (Christoph Rathgeber, ZAE Bayern) are among more than a dozen presentations on thermal storage at this week's Energy Storage Europe expo and conference in Düsseldorf, Germany.

• The energy storage company SaltX Technology will collaborate with specialty paper producer Ahlstrom-Munksjö to develop a large-scale manufacturing method for graphene-coated insulation paper. The paper will carry SaltX's patented nano coated salt, increasing the heat conductivity of the SaltX material by up to five times. 

• The March 2018 issue of the CIBSE Journal features a continuing professional development module sponsored by Monodraught: "Operating and enhancing PCM-cooled ventilation systems in office applications.

• New from Persistence Market Research: "Advanced Phase Change Material (PCM) Market - Global Industry Analysis and Forecast to 2020" and "Global Insulated Shipping Containers Market Research Report 2018"

• New from QYResearch: "Global Molten Salt Thermal Energy Storage (TES) Industry 2018 Market Research Report"

• Registration is open for an Industrial Fabrics Association International webinar on recent smart fabric applications used in a number of government, commercial, medical and consumer market segments. The cost for the March 15 webinar, initially presented in January, is $29 for association members, $79 for non-members. 

Arizona State University researchers have shed new light on the anomalous properties of water, using specially treated water mixed with another chemical. "As they changed the temperature at high pressures," Gizmodo reports, "they noticed a sharp change in the water's molecular behaviour as it seemed to change phases - from a liquid to a liquid."  

• The first Lego blocks made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugar cane will go on sale later this year. Lego’s current blocks are made from oil-based plastics.

• The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking bids to replace a chiller at the department's Washington, D.C., headquarters. The chiller was originally installed in 1995 to make ice at night for a thermal energy storage system.

Sunamp Ltd. is among 35 finalists preparing to pitch to investors at Cleantech Innovate in London on March 20.

GTI, a not-for-profit research organization based in Illinois, has been invited to present its hybrid solar energy system project at ARPA-E's Congressional Showcase March 12. The system stores thermal energy in inert particles for on-demand use.

Research roundup: Biomass carbon aerogels from succulents; novel hybrid cooling for lithium-ion batteries; calcium carbonate, graphene oxide shell; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, March 08, 2018

Leakage-proof Phase Change Composites Supported by Biomass Carbon Aerogels from Succulents [Green Chemistry]

Experimental Investigation of a Novel Hybrid Cooling Method for Lithium-ion Batteries [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Modified phase change microcapsules with calcium carbonate and graphene oxide shell for enhanced energy storage and leakage prevention [Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering]

A Novel Thermal Energy Storage System in Smart Building Based on Phase Change Material [IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid]

Study of Material Compatibility for a Thermal Energy Storage System with Phase Change Material [Energies]

Is a self-sufficient building energy efficient? Lesson learned from a case study in Mediterranean climate [Applied Energy]

Research roundup: Coating approach for a PCM; triple concentric-tube latent heat storage; hybrid shell materials; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Coating approach for a Phase Change Material (PCM)  [Powder Technology]

Thermal performance analysis of combined solar collector with triple concentric-tube latent heat storage systems [Energy and Buildings]

Nanoencapsulated phase change materials with polymer-SiO2 hybrid shell materials: Compositions, morphologies, and properties [Energy Conversion and Management]

Investigation on the charging process of a multi-PCM latent heat thermal energy storage unit for use in conventional air-conditioning systems [Energy]

A review of the application of carbon materials in solar thermal energy storage [Solar Energy]

Feasibility analysis for enhancement of output power of the PV panels by use of PCM (Phase Change Material) based cooling technique [pdf] [Malaya Journal of Matematik]

PCM briefing: PCM symposium in Würzburg; research opening at CIC Energigune

Ben Welter - Friday, March 02, 2018

• The 2nd symposium on the use of PCM in buildings will take place March 14-15 in Würzburg, Germany. It is part of the demonstration project PCM Demo II. The free event is aimed at specialists and decision makers who would like to get informed about the topic, such as architects, planners, building physicists, energy consultants, municipalities and building cooperatives. Thomas Wollheim of va-Q-tec AGThomas Haussmann of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Felix Klinker of ZAE Bayern and Felix Pawelz of Rubitherm are among the scheduled speakers.  

Outlast Technologies of Golden, Colo., will be among the exhibitors at the International Battery Seminar & Exhibit March 27-29 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Betabrand Microclimate Office WrapOutlast is using LinkedIn to showcase Outlast partners and their newest products. First up: Betabrand's Microclimate Office Wrap, a lightweight cardigan-style wrap designed to regulate body temperature "for all-day comfort." 

• The environmental group CDP reports that more than 100 cities worldwide now get the majority of their power (70 percent or more) from renewables. And a study by the International Renewable Energy Agency confirms the potential for increased use of renewable energy in Europe's heating and cooling sector.

• New from Coherent Market Insights: "Chilled Water Storage Systems by Market ... Opportunity Analysis, 2017-2025"

• New from Global Market Insights: "Phase Change Materials Market Size By Product (Paraffin, Non-Paraffin, Salt Hydrates, Eutectics) ... Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2017-2024"

CIC Energigune, an energy research center in Spain's Basque Country, is looking to fill a post-doctoral position in its Thermal Energy Storage group. The selected candidate will focus on the development of advanced PCMs tailored for TES applications at low to medium temperatures, including solid-solid PCMs, shape-stabilized PCMs and encapsulated PCMs.   

• In an Accenture survey of 360 chemical companies in 12 countries, 80 percent of respondents said they are increasing their investments in digital technologies for plants, in particular plant management and product quality. 

• The final agenda has been released for the ARPA-E Summit in Washington, D.C., March 13-15. U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is among the speakers. Also on tap: A discussion of "High Power Systems and Thermal Management Challenges in Defense" and a demonstration of an "Additively Manufactured Record High Thermal Conductivity Polymer Composite Heat Exchanger."

• Two Fraunhofer CSE projects, SunDial and Energy Storage Integration Lab, were on display Friday at the MIT Energy Conference Showcase in Cambridge, Mass. SunDial is an energy storage and distribution management system. The ESI Lab simulates a connected home of the future with a range of electric devices, including rooftop solar, energy storage, smart loads and EV charging. 

• Leaving the North American Free Trade Agreement could cost the United States $22 billion in lost chemical exports and create a tariff burden of up to $9 billion, the American Chemistry Council says.

Axiotherm joins RAL Quality Association PCM

Ben Welter - Thursday, March 01, 2018

Axiotherm GmbH of Germany has joined the RAL Quality Association PCM, a European-based organization established in 2004 to develop standards for the phase change material industry.

Axiotherm, a subsidiary of ESDA Technologie GmbH, specializes in developing macro-encapsulation of phase change materials for various applications. The company's HeatSel capsule, for example, is designed to increase the capacity of water-based heat and cold storage systems.

Dirk Buttner at Swiss TES symposium, January 2018Dirk Büttner, Axiotherm's chief research officer, said the European Commission recently recognized HeatSel's market potential.

"Out of 135 applications in the Horizon 2020 SME's energy category, the Hi-ThermCap project proposal was rated with the highest score and thus ranks first among the most innovative ideas in Europe," said Büttner, right. "Within the scope of the project Axiotherm is now also striving for validation by an external testing of their products performed by one of the association’s monitoring institutes, ZAE or ISE."

Croda International, which is working with Axiotherm on thermal energy storage applications, is also a member of the association. Other members are Microtek Laboratories, Rubitherm, EMCO, va-Q-tec, PCM Technology, Global Energy Systems Europe, Sasol, Sunamp Ltd., Pluss Advanced Technologies and Entropy Solutions.

The association held its semiannual meeting in Düsseldorf, Germany, on Thursday. Crystal Air PCM Ltd. was invited as a guest but had to cancel because of severe weather in Ireland. The company will be invited to make a presentation at RAL's next meeting, scheduled for Nov. 15, 2018, in Düsseldorf.