Phase Change Matters RSS

 

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.

RECENT POSTS

TAGS

ARCHIVE

PCM briefing: Italian cyclists reach Cambodia; new HQ for Cold Chain Technologies

Ben Welter - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Chiara RicciardiRiccardo Rocchi and Chiara Ricciardi, the Italian couple who began an 18,000-kilometer bike ride last June to raise awareness about diabetes, have reached Cambodia. Ricciardi has type 1 diabetes and needs a daily dose of insulin. She is using Pelican BioThermal's Credo ProMed pack to keep insulin at the right temperature. The pair topped the 14,000-kilometer mark last week. They've pedaled across 18 countries, averaging 47 km per day. They hope to arrive at their final destination, Singapore, by June.

• With German Chancellor Angela Merkel on hand, Viessmann officially opened its $53 million research and development center in Allendorf this month. Viessmann, maker of the Ice Store heating and cooling system, says the Viessmann Innovation Center will employ 100 people and represents the biggest single investment in the company's 100-year history. 

Cold Chain Technologies, which is celebrating it 50th anniversary this year, has moved its headquarters to Franklin, Mass.

Ben VanderPlas of Sonoco ThermoSafe and Chris Anderson of Cardinal Health are among the speakers scheduled for next month's Temperature Controlled Logistics in Biopharmaceuticals USA conference in Princeton, N.J. 

• The global market for green and bio polyols, valued at $2.6 billion in 2015, is projected to reach $4.7 billion by 2021, according to new research from MarketsandMarkets.

• Australian start-up 1414 Degrees recently raised AUD $2.5 million in private funding, most of which will go toward installing a molten silicon thermal storage system at a hydroponic farm.

Peli BioThermal is among 50-plus companies to receive a 2017 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation. The company was recognized for achievement in temperature-assured shipping of pharmaceuticals. The award winners are invited to attend a Buckingham Palace reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth

Patent application: Fecal incontinence device

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 20, 2017

U.S. patent application 20170105827 (Renew Medical Inc., Foster City, Calif.):

Renew Medical Inc. patent drawing"A device for treating fecal incontinence in a subject is provided. The device includes a plug configured for positioning mostly within an anal canal of the subject. ... A phase change material can also be used in stem portion 12 and optionally cap portion 14; the material can be stiff under room temperature and soft at body temperature. Plug 10 can be filled with such a material and deformed while molten (e.g. by stretching the plug from its ends) to as to form a more deliverable structure with reduced cap portion diameter when the material sets. Once in the body, the material melts and plug 10 assumes its natural configuration providing the anchoring and sealing necessary for treating fecal incontinence."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170105827.pdf

PCM briefing: California utility will buy up to 100 Ice Bears for residential use; Malouf unveils new graphite-PCM pillow

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 09, 2017

Ice Energy will join forces with the Southern California Public Power Authority to provide up to 100 Ice Bear 20 cooling units for residential use within utility's 12 member territories in 2017. Installations will begin in June. The Ice Bear 20 stores cooling energy during off-peak hours by freezing water in an insulated tank. During peak hours, the company says, the stored ice delivers up to four hours of cooling, reducing the typical peak load by 95 percent. The new deployment is designed to demonstrate the Ice Bear 20's grid value to utilities. The units will be installed in single-family homes chosen by Ice Energy based on site visits. Homes that need 4-, 5- or 6-ton air-conditioning systems replaced are the likely targets. The utilities pay for the Ice Bears; it's unclear at this point who will pay installation costs. If all 100 Ice Bear 20s are purchased, the total cost to the utilities will be $1.33 million (not including installation).

Malouf CarbonCool pillow• Bedding maker Malouf's new CarbonCool Plus OmniPhase pillow combines the temperature-regulation properties of graphite and microencapsulated phase change material. "At the molecular level," Furniture Today reports, "the material inside the capsules changes from a solid to a liquid when the temperature is high and vice versa when the temperature is low. This continuous cycle is designed keep the pillow surface between 87 and 91 degrees, which research shows is the ideal skin temperature range for deep sleep." The queen size shown here retails for $299.99.

• New from Absolute Reports: "United States Advanced Phase Change Materials (PCM) Market By Manufacturers, States, Type And Application, Forecast To 2022"

SPX Flow's new FLEX Series refrigerated air dryer uses phase change material to tightly regulate temperatures and reduce compressor cycling.

Prongo insulin bagPluss Technologies' PronGo bag, introduced last year for consumers to transport frozen and chilled food and beverages, is  now being promoted as a way to keep insulin at the right temperature for up to 10 hours. The 3-liter bag comes with two sets of PCM cooling packs. It's available on Amazon.in for about $52. In an interview with Express Pharma, company director Samit Jain talked about the Prongo and another new product, Celsure, a passive shipper designed to keep pharma products "at the right temperature for 96 hours and beyond at the tropical temperatures that countries like India, South East Asia and Africa have."

1414 Degrees, the Australian company that has developed a way to store electricity as thermal energy by heating and melting containers full of silicon, is now scaling up the technology and plans to launch the first commercial systems this year. Executive Chairman Kevin Moriarty said the company is waiting for AusIndustry, a division of Australia's Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, to sign off on the 10MWh project in February so manufacture can begin.

Patent application: Systems, devices and methods for bodily fluid sample transport

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

U.S. patent application 20170020425 (applicant Theranos Inc., Palo Alto, Calif.):

Theranos patent drawing"Bodily fluid sample transport systems, devices, and method are provided. In at least one embodiment described herein, methods are provided for the physical transport of small volumes of bodily fluid in liquid form from one location to another location. By way of nonlimiting example, the samples are collected in liquid form at a collection site, transported in liquid form, and arrive at an analysis site in liquid form. In many embodiments, the liquid form during transport is not held in a porous matrix, wicking material, webbing, or similar material that prevents sample for being extracted in liquid form at the destination site. ... In one embodiment, the thermal control material may be but is not limited to embedded phase change material (PCM) material that maintains the temperature at a prior, or desired temperature."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170020425.pdf

Research roundup: Encapsulated paraffin wax and sand nanoparticles; 1,6-hexanediol/lauric acid; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 26, 2017

New hybrid nanofluid containing encapsulated paraffin wax and sand nanoparticles in propylene glycol-water mixture: Potential heat transfer fluid for energy management [Energy Conversion and Management]

Thermal properties and stabilities of the eutectic mixture: 1,6-hexanediol/lauric acid as a phase change material for thermal energy storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Adaptability research on phase change materials based technologies in China [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

Design of a Low cost Non Electrical Type Baby Incubator for Developing Country [pdf] [International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research]

Patent application: Devices, systems and kits for regulating skin temperature for mammals

Ben Welter - Monday, January 23, 2017

U.S. patent application 20170014266 (applicant Slumber Science LLC, Sunnyvale, Calif.):

"A heat transfer system may include a heat transfer machine adapted to thermally couple to an heat transfer pack housed within an heat transfer device and transfer heat from the heat transfer pack using a power supply. The heat transfer device may include a housing and a heat transfer pack. The heat transfer pack may be adapted to thermally couple to the heat transfer machine, transfer heat to the heat transfer machine while thermally coupled to the heat transfer machine, and transfer heat from a mammal's skin when the heat transfer device is in contact with the mammal's skin and uncoupled from the heat transfer machine. ... The heat transfer pack may include one or more phase change materials."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170014266.pdf

Warmilu infant blankets are headed to Kenya for testing

Ben Welter - Friday, January 20, 2017

Grace Hsia, co-founder and CEO of Warmilu LLC, reports that her Michigan startup shipped three infant warming blankets to Kenya this week for regulatory review. 

Warmilu infant warmerThe IncuBlanket, designed to help preterm infants born in remote parts of developing countries, will undergo testing by Kenya's Pharmacy and Poisons Board. Once approval is granted, the nonprofit Relief for Africa Foundation, based in Ann Arbor and Nairobi, plans to distribute between 2,500 and 5,000 IncuBlankets throughout the East African nation. Hsia says Warmilu is close to signing distribution agreements with two other medical device distributors.

The IncuBlanket, which has been successfully tested in clinical trials in India, uses packs filled with sodium acetate trihydrate to keep infants warm for up to five hours.

Warmilu recently moved from a small incubator space into a 2,000-square-foot production facility in Ann Arbor.

"It has been just an amazing dream come true, opening this space up and being able to cut and sew our IncuBlankets here," said Hsia, whose company now has six employees. "[We will] be able by March to make all of our InstaWarmer packs here." 

Patent application: Heat deformable material for face seal

Ben Welter - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

U.S. patent application 20170007861 (applicant Scott Technologies Inc., Boca Raton, Fla.):

Respirator patent application drawing"Thermally deformable face seals and respirators including such face seals. The thermally deformable face seal structures comprise composite phase change materials that mold to the face of a user to provide a personalized but one-size-fits-all facial fit having excellent shape retention after use and long term durability. The phase change material is applied onto a base component to cover all or substantially all of the surface area of the base component and adapts to the face of the user to provide a secure, leak-free seal."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170007861.pdf

Patent application: Protective dressing with reusable PCM insert

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 29, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160374847 (applicant Hill-Rom Services Inc., Batesville, Ind.):

Protective dressing patent drawing"A protective dressing includes an outer dressing and an adhesive layer. The outer dressing includes an opening and a cavity sized to receive a phase-change material (PCM) insert (1408) inserted through the opening. The adhesive layer is configured to adhere to a patient's skin surrounding an anatomic site. When adhered to the patient's skin, the PCM insert modifies the patient's skin at the anatomic site. The PCM insert may be removed and replaced with another PCM insert. For example, a warm PCM insert may be replaced with a refrigerated PCM insert. The opening of the outer dressing may be self-sealing. The opening of the outer dressing may be sealed with an upper layer dressing coupled to the PCM cooling insert."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20160374847.pdf

Patent application: Insulated storage and transport system

Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 07, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160347532 (applicant Savsu Technologies, Bethpage, N.Y.)

"A thermal storage system includes a thermally insulated storage container and a payload container adapted to retrievably house a temperature sensitive payload. The system includes layers of first and second phase change materials arranged in a stack with the payload container. The first phase change material has a phase change temperature within a target temperature range of the payload, and the second phase change material has a phase change temperature outside the target temperature range. The layers are arranged to isolate the payload from the second phase change material. In the case of biological materials that must not freeze while stored in the container, this arrangement enables a cold pack containing the layers of phase change materials to be placed in direct contact with the contents container even with a cold pack starting temperature well below the freezing point of the contents."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20160347532.pdf