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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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PCM briefing; Tariff relief for U.S. chemical producers; registration open for green chemistry conference in Portland

Ben Welter - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

• Legislation signed into law this week by President Obama will provide tariff relief to U.S. chemical producers that import raw materials and intermediate products. “With 80 percent of specialty chemical manufacturers importing raw materials for which there is no domestic source, this bill is a huge deal,” said William E. Allmond IV, vice president of government and public relations at the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates.

• The global thermal energy storage market will top $3 billion by 2023, according to a report published by Market Research Engine, “Global Thermal Energy Storage Market by Technology for Commercial and Industrial, Utilities, and Residential End Use Applications – Trends and Forecast 2016-2023.” 

Arsenal's new jerseyArsenal has unveiled new uniforms for the 2016-17 soccer season. The Puma jerseys feature ACTV Thermo-R technology. Strategically placed tape infused with microencapsulated phase change material absorbs excess heat and releases it back to the body when needed.

• Registration is open for the Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference June 14-16 in Portland, Ore. The theme for the 20th annual conference is "Advancing Sustainable Solutions by Design." Technical session topics include sustainable materials, chemical manufacturing processes, next-generation catalysis and chemical building blocks.    

Allen Yun, formerly director of strategic initiatives for OPTUM, is joining Pelican BioThermal as director of global services

• A survey suggests that many U.S. companies will not meet OSHA's new hazard communication standards on time. The deadline for compliance is June 1.

More than 8.1 million people worldwide are now employed by the renewable energy industry, up 5 percent from last year, the International Renewable Energy Agency says.

• The Environmental Protection Agency's chemical data reporting rule brings challenges and opportunities, writes James G. Votaw, a partner with the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. The next CDR reports, covering chemical manufacture and import activities during the period 2012-2015, must be submitted to the EPA by Sept. 30. 

PCM briefing: NASA testing PCM heat exchanger for Orion spacecraft; 'too much' renewable energy in Texas, California

Ben Welter - Wednesday, April 13, 2016



NASA has partnered with the International Space Station to test the next generation of phase change material heat exchangers for use aboard the Orion spacecraft. The PCM HX helps maintain a comfortable environment by absorbing and ejecting excess heat. The test platform pumps a mix of propylene glycol and water through the PCM HX at temperatures between -10º and 30º Celsius. The wax PCM was developed by UTC Aerospace Systems.

ARPA-E is looking for input on the development of low-cost occupancy sensors to help minimize the energy used to heat and cool buildings.

• A study by the International Renewable Energy Agency found that many developing nations that now rely on a "high share of renewable energy in their power mix" are increasingly turning to fossil fuels to meet growing demand for cheap electricity.

• The world's renewable energy capacity grew by a record 152 gigawatts in 2015, or about 8.3 percent, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Solar capacity grew by 47 gigawatts, or 26 percent, as the cost of PV panels continued to fall.

• Appearing at last month's Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop in Melbourne, Frank Bruno, associate research professor at the University of South Australia, said phase change material thermal storage is cheaper than batteries for solar storage, costing around $200 (AUD) per kilowatt-hour of storage capacity, compared to $1,500/kWh for batteries.

Installer magazine takes a close look at Viessmann's Ice Store home heating and cooling system.

• A provocative headline in the MIT Technology Review last week: "Texas and California Have Too Much Renewable Energy." The rapid growth of wind and solar, with no large-scale storage in place, has made a mess of energy prices in those states.

Global wind map features 1-km resolution, shows wind speed at 3 different heights

Ben Welter - Thursday, October 22, 2015

Global Wind Atlas

With help from the Technical University of Denmark, the International Renewable Energy Agency has launched its new Global Wind Atlas, providing accurate wind data down to the kilometer. Previously, global wind data was publicly available at a 10-kilometer resolution at best. The increased detail, plus the ability to display wind speed at three different heights, will help wind energy planners reduce risk and costs in the search for ideal locations for wind farms. 

http://irena.masdar.ac.ae/?map=103

Renewable jobs up 18% in 2014, IRENA reports

Ben Welter - Friday, July 10, 2015

The renewable energy industry employed more than 7.7 million around the world in 2014, the International Renewable Energy Agency reports. That's an 18 percent increase from the previous year’s figure of 6.5 million.

The five countries with the largest renewable energy employment were China, Brazil, the United States, India and Germany. Employment in the United States increased by 16 percent, reaching 724,000 jobs.

The IRENA report, "Renewable Energy and Jobs — Annual Review 2015," also provides a first estimate of employment related to large hydro power, an estimated 1.5 million jobs worldwide. That figure is not included in IRENA's overall jobs total for 2014.

http://www.windsystemsmag.com/article/detail/966/renewables-industry-employment-up-18-percent-

IRENA introduces 'world's largest collection' of renewable energy standards, patents

Ben Welter - Monday, July 06, 2015

The International Renewable Energy Agency has launched what it calls "the world’s largest collection of global renewable energy standards and patents."

The International Standards and Patents in Renewable Energy platform, also known as INSPIRE, allows users to search and analyze 400 international standards and more than 2 million patents for renewable energy technology.

IRENA collaborated with the European Patent Office and the International Electrotechnical Commission to develop the platform.

“The INSPIRE platform provides a strategic window into the innovation and growth taking place in the renewable energy sector,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Amin. “It consolidates vast collections of renewable energy patents and standards, which can foster collaboration between innovators, spur improvement through product comparison and help identify partners by matching domestic energy needs to innovative energy solutions.”