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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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Adjustable-temperature Ember mug features PCM, charging pad, bluetooth

Ben Welter - Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ember coffee mugAre you a demanding coffee drinker? You might be smitten by Ember Technologies' temperature-adjustable mug, now available for pre-order on Indiegogo. The Ember mug is packed with technical features designed to ensure that your coffee (or tea, or cocoa, or tomato bisque) stays at just the right temperature for hours:

  • "Space-grade" thermal insulation
  • Stainless-steel inner vessel
  • "Phase change cooling system"
  • Microprocessor-controlled heating system
  • High-capacity battery
  • Charging pad

You can control the temperature by twisting the base – or use the mobile app to remotely adjust the temperature, save presets for different drinks, name your mug and "select frequency and types of notifications." Not sure about that last bit. I get enough notifications as it is without adding the status of my beverage to the list.

All that technology doesn't come cheap. The 12-ounce mug is expected to retail for $149; you can order one now for $129. Estimated delivery: April 2016. In just two days, the Indiegogo campaign has raised $104,653, more than twice its goal.  

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ember-temperature-adjustable-mug#

PCMs, the gift that keeps on giving (Part 3)

Ben Welter - Monday, December 22, 2014

Here's the last in our series highlighting PCM-related gift ideas this holiday season:

  • Isaora’s Phase Change Insulated Shirt comes in black and navy. A layer of PCM microcapsules lies beneath an ultralight nylon shell. The PCMs absorb body heat when the wearer is too warm and release it when the wearer is too cold. 
  • Lava Lunch boxhttp://www.isaora.com/pages/the-pcm-insulated-shirt

  • The Lava Lunch box, right, can keep your food hot for up to five hours, depending on ambient temperatures. The secret: PCM-infused, microwaveable Lava Rocks engineered to maintain temperatures between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • http://www.amazon.com/Lava-Lunch-Heated-keeps-Lemon-Lime/dp/B00GSJFB5G

  • Chillin' Brew cooler packs use phase change material to keep beer at “beer cave” temperature of 28F much longer than the same volume of ice.

  • http://www.homedepot.com/p/Arctic-Ice-Chillin-Brew-Extra-Large-Cooler-Pack-28-3F-Degree-1211/205125071?N=5yc1vZc452Z1z0u6es

    PCMs, the gift that keeps on giving (Part 2)

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Here are a few more PCM-related gift ideas:Ministry of Supply's Apollo dress shirt

  • High-tech clothier Ministry of Supply offers PCM-infused dress shirts, sweaters and even a scarf. It's the same technology used in spacesuits to regulate an astronaut's body temperature: Phase change material absorbs heat when the wearer is overheated, then releases it when the wearer is cold.

  • http://ministryofsupply.com/collections/shop

  • This one would be difficult to gift-wrap and wouldn't fit under most trees. But it looks pretty comfy. The memory foam in Serta's iComfort mattress -- or "Sleep System," as the manufacturer calls it -- is blended with gel beads that contain phase change material.

  • http://www.dealbeds.com/serta-icomfort-insight-everfeel-mattress

  • The Chilly Dog® Cool Vest is designed for use by police and military dogs. But any dog out for a walk on a hot humid day deserves to chill out. 

  • http://store.coolvest.com/rpcm-chillydog-dog-cooling-vest-black 

    PCMs, the gift that keeps on giving

    Ben Welter - Thursday, December 11, 2014

    Phase change materials are appearing in more consumer goods every year. In the spirit of the season, we'll share links to PCM-themed gift ideas over the next few weeks.

  • Fohm Inc.'s Silhouette Pillow, "a pillow that stays cool all night long," uses phase change material in two ways: PCMs are embedded in the memory foam and in one side of the liner. 


  • Kjus Hawk ski jacket
  • Thanks to PCMs, the Kjus Hawk ski jacket "absorbs heat when you have plenty of it, and re-releases it when you need more." Assuming you have $1,200 to spare. 


  • Oppo's R5 smartphone, aimed at consumers in China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Australia, uses phase change material to "keep it at a constant cool temperature" and maintain functionality. With a width of 4.85 mm, it is advertised as the world's thinnest phone.


  • Designed by Science Photo Library, these greeting cards feature scanning electron microscope images of PCM-laden microcapsules embedded in fabric.