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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: Pelican BioThermal is looking for VP for new products; Ice Energy completes project at North Hollywood movie theater

Ben Welter - Friday, August 05, 2016

Pelican BioThermal has posted an opening for a vice president of engineering and new product development. The VP will "lead a team of highly-driven and innovative engineers to design and develop the next generation of best-in-class temperature controlled packaging solutions for the life sciences industry." 

Appearing at this week's Advances in Thermal Management 2016 conference in Denver, Colo.: Mark Hartmann, chief technology officer at Outlast Technologies, discussed the use of thermal materials to manage the heat generated by lithium-ion batteries. Croda International's CrodaTherm biobased phase change materials were on display at booth 35. Outlast materials scientist Joe Kelly spoke at the companion conference, Battery Power 2016

• The U.S. Department of Energy has introduced two new tools designed to help cities nationwide make more strategic energy decisions based on actual and estimated data and analysis. The City Energy Profile tool uses robust data science methodologies to derive data on energy use and costs for 23,400 cities. The Local Energy Toolbox allows cities to build a customizable list of actions to help make strategic energy decisions.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems has begun verification testing of a solar thermal power system at the company's new facility in Yokohama, Japan. The hybrid system combines a low-temperature Fresnel evaporator, a high-temperature thermal storage system and a tower-type superheater that collects sunlight by heliostats.

• Safety expert John D. Modine is the new chief executive at the American Chemistry Council's Chemtrec division.

Ice Energy has installed four Ice Bear 30 thermal storage units at a Cinemark movie theater in North Hollywood, Calif. Ice Energy says the project qualifies for energy efficiency rebates from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

PCM briefing: Alexium adds clients in bedding industry; new research on temperature-controlled pharma packaging

Ben Welter - Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Alexium International has announced an agreement to sell its new flame-retardant phase change material to a U.S.-based textile finisher serving the bedding industry. Alexium, based in Perth, Australia, and Greer, S.C., announced in May that it had reached a PCM sales agreement with one of the world's largest producers of mattress ticking. "Alexium is now in production or full-scale trials with six global mattress fabric finishers," said CEO Nicholas Clark "and for the first time, a major manufacturer in apparel is evaluating our flame retardant phase change material technology." 

• New from Research and Markets: "Temperature Controlled Pharmaceutical Packaging Solutions (TCPPS) Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2016-2026."

TheM dining mat• Months after falling short of raising $30,000 on IndieGoGo, developers of a PCM-powered thermal dining placemat called TheM said in January that they hoped to develop a successful design by the end of February. The team is now apologizing again, telling backers: "The PCM material did not work as intended and [we are] trying to develop a solution that can still add value to the innovation. Please bear with us and within the next 60 days [we hope] to have a product with which [we] can reward your support and patience."

Ira Smith, director of strategic development for global transport and biologistics at Pelican BioThermal, is among the panelists at the FlyPharma conference in Brussels this week. The topic: The increasing appeal of inter-continental rail freight services and sea freight.

Glacier Tek cooling vests are profiled in the June issue of OR Today magazine. The vests, which use PureTemp bio-based phase change material to maintain thermal comfort, are being marketed as a way to address heat stress among surgeons and operating room staff, who endure "bright lights, sterile gowns, lead aprons, physical exertion and time stress."

GreenCE is offering a free hourlong webinar, "Reinventing Green Building: Focus on Carbon & Leverage Technology," at 1 p.m. June 14. Instructors will discuss the limitations of LEED certification in various U.S. market segments and identify alternatives to LEED certification. 

• The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has named Peter Green as the new deputy laboratory director for science and technology. Green is a professor of materials science and engineering, chemical engineering and applied physics at the University of Michigan.  

Monodraught's Cool-Phase cooling and ventilation system has been specified for Harrogate's new civic headquarters, now under construction in County Durham, England. The system combines a phase change material thermal energy store with an intelligently controlled air handling unit to actively ventilate and cool buildings without the use of refrigerants. The company says the system contributes credits toward BREEAM standards for lifecycle costs, indoor air quality and low- and zero-carbon technologies. 

PCM briefing: Clean energy award for midcareer women; a PCM primer for architects and engineers

Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Nominations are open through Jan. 8 for the 2016 C3E Awards, which recognize outstanding midcareer women who are advancing clean energy. Each winner will receive $8,000 and national recognition at the annual C3E Symposium. 

• The full text of "Phase Change Materials: A primer for Architects and Engineers," edited by Sarah McCormack and Philip Griffiths, is available for free on ResearchGate.

A 17-year-old high school student in Barcelona spotted renewable energy giant Abengoa's financial problems a year ago. “If it does not act soon, there is a strong risk Abengoa will go into bankruptcy,” Pepe Baltá wrote in a research paper, citing accounting flaws apparently overlooked by Deloitte and Standard & Poor’s.

Renewable electricity accounted for more than 50 percent of U.S. electricity capacity additions in 2014, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reports. Solar led the pack, adding 5.5 gigawatts.

NETenergy, five other clean-tech startups join Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 10, 2015

NETenergy of Chicago is one of six clean-technology startups selected to join the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator, a five-year, $10 million program designed to accelerate innovative environmental technologies. The thermal energy storage company’s module integrates with air conditioning systems in small commercial buildings to shift energy demand and consumption to off-peak hours. 

The other five companies are 7AC Technologies, Beverly, Mass.; Go Electric Inc., Anderson, Ind.;  Heliotrope Technologies, Alameda, Calif.; Polyceed Inc., Encinitas, Calif.; and ThermoLift Inc., Stony Brook, N.Y.

Each company will receive up to $250,000 in cash and in-kind technical consultation. Innovation Incubator is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151210005131/en/Wells-Fargo-Adds-Clean-Technology-Startups-Innovation

NREL lays off 15 solar energy researchers, plans further cuts at Colorado lab

Ben Welter - Thursday, October 08, 2015

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., laid off 15 solar energy researchers this week and announced plans to eliminate 50 to 60 other positions via buyouts. Reduced federal funding for the Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office – from $289 million in 2012 to $233 million this year – forced NREL to shift the priorities of its solar research program, spokesman George Douglas told the Denver Post. Additional cuts will come in areas such as business systems, information technology and public affairs.

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_28934958/nrel-cutting-4-workforce-lays-off-solar-researchers

Research roundup: Economic analysis of CSP/TES systems; copper fins; ice storage AC systems; paraffin/palygorskite composite PCMs

Ben Welter - Monday, September 28, 2015

Methods for Analyzing the Economic Value of Concentrating Solar Power with Thermal Energy Storage [NREL]

Heat Transfer Enhancement Through PCM Thermal Storage by Use of Copper Fins [Thermal Science]

Optimal Energy Reduction Schedules for Ice Storage Air-Conditioning Systems [Energies]

Paraffin/palygorskite composite phase change materials for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

New director sought for National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Ben Welter - Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Alliance for Sustainable Energy is seeking candidates for the position of director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. The current director, Dr. Dan Arvizu, is retiring this fall. 

Alliance, which manages NREL for the U.S. Department of Energy, is seeking candidates who have "a demonstrated record of inspiring and guiding a research organization toward a compelling vision for impact, proven skill in leading innovation in science and engineering, a track record for delivering high-quality research results that are relevant and impactful, and experience in guiding operational excellence that enables mission accomplishment while meeting contractual requirements."

https://www.nrel.gov/labdirectorsearch/position-description.html

New resource for clean energy entrepreneurs

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 05, 2015

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Electric Power Research Institute have launched the Clean Energy Incubator Network. Through its website, www.incubatenergy.org, the federally funded program will assist business incubators, connect industry and energy sector partners, and boost clean energy technologies emerging from universities and government labs.

"This website of resources and tools for incubators and entrepreneurs will serve as a focal point of the network," said Matt Ringer, NREL's project manager. "With our past experience building databases for a variety of related energy resources, NREL is well positioned to develop this type of resource for the clean tech industry." 

http://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2015/16455.html