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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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Patent application: Exhaust system with actuated flow bypass

Ben Welter - Friday, February 15, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190053330 (Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co., St. Lous, Mo.):

"An exhaust system is provided that includes an exhaust aftertreatment unit, first and second exhaust pathway in communication with and upstream of the exhaust aftertreatment unit, a thermally activated flow control device operable in a first and second mode, and a thermal storage device. ... The thermal storage device or thermal flywheel may also include a phase change material, an in one form a phase change material that changes phase at a temperature between 180° C. and 45° C."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190053330.pdf

Patent application: Battery pack containing phase change material

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 14, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190051955 (applicant Consortium de Recherche BRP / Universite de Sherbrooke, Canada):

"A battery pack for a vehicle is presented. The battery pack comprises a plurality of bricks, each brick of the plurality of bricks comprising a phase change material block, a side of the phase change material block defining a plurality of channels, and a plurality of battery cells, each battery cell being disposed at least in part in the phase change material block; and at least one connector for electrically connecting a first one of the plurality of bricks to a second one of the plurality of bricks, the at least one connector being disposed at least partially in one of the plurality of channels."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190051955.pdf

Patent application: Mattress for improved sleep

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 07, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190038040 (applicant Technogel Italia S.r.l., Pozzoleone, Italy):

"Mattresses and mattress toppers having an upper layer including a high heat capacity material are disclosed. The mattress is configured to reduce a core body temperature of the body supported thereon, and thus induce improved sleep, measurable as an increase in the time spent in slow wave sleep relative to standard mattresses having lower heat capacities. The high heat capacity of the mattress may be attributable to the geometry and nature of the support material and optional additives, including polymer gels and phase change materials. Methods for improving sleep quality and uses of the high heat capacity mattresses to improve sleep quality are also disclosed."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190038040.pdf

Patent application: Thermal energy storage apparatus

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 07, 2019

CCT thermal storage patent drawingU.S. patent application 20190041139 (applicant Climate Change Technologies Pty. Ltd., Adelaide, Australia):

"A thermal energy storage apparatus, including: a block of a heat-absorbing material, and a plurality of heat storage elements, the heat storage elements including a phase change material stored in a containment vessel; wherein each heat storage element is in thermal contact with the block of heat-absorbing material. ... The phase change material may include silicon metalloid or a eutectic, hypereutectic or hypoeutectic silicon composition."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190041139.pdf

Patent application: PCM evaporator and heat dissipating apparatus

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 07, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190041144 (applicant Man Zai Industrial Co. Ltd., Tainan City, Taiwan):

Man Zai PCM evaporator drawing"A heat dissipating apparatus has a phase change material evaporator, a condenser, a refrigerant output tube, and a refrigerant input tube. The evaporator has a base having an evaporation chamber, a refrigerant inlet and a refrigerant outlet, a reinforcement panel mounted in the evaporation chamber and dividing the evaporation chamber into two spaces, and multiple heat conduction fins separately arranged in the two spaces. An opening area of the refrigerant outlet is larger than an opening area of the refrigerant inlet. The evaporator, the refrigerant output tube, the condenser and the refrigerant input tube form a closed refrigerant circulation loop with a refrigerant filled therein. Gas pressure of a gas-phased refrigerant in the two spaces can be increased. With pressure difference between the refrigerant outlet and the refrigerant inlet, the gas-phased refrigerant can be accelerated to flow toward the refrigerant outlet and flowability of the refrigerant can be increased."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190041144.pdf

Patent application: Aliphatic materials in heating and cooling applications

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 06, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190033009 (applicant Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc., Woodridge, Ill.):

"Aliphatic materials and their use in passive heating and cooling applications are generally disclosed. In some embodiments, dibasic acids and esters (diesters) thereof and their use in passive heating and cooling applications are disclosed. In some embodiments, C18 dibasic acids and esters thereof are disclosed, including their use in passive heating and cooling applications. In some embodiments, various olefins, including alkenes and olefinic acids and esters, are disclosed, including their use in passive heating and cooling applications."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190033009.pdf

Patent application: Contact lens with metered liquid system

Ben Welter - Monday, January 28, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190025610 (applicants California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., and University of Southern California, Los Angeles):

Contact lens patent drawing"A contact lens fluid delivery device having a liquid reservoir connected to a channel with a flow regulator is described. Other eye hydration and variable dioptric power contact lenses are described herein. Also described are implantable liquid delivery apparatuses having a liquid storage reservoir connected to a channel with a flow regulator. These devices and apparatuses are useful for specific, targeted delivery of therapeutic liquids within a subject. In some embodiments, the devices incorporate actuation chambers which provide a driving force releasing the fluid into the targeted area e.g., the eye. The actuation chambers described herein can contain phase change materials or osmotic chambers or a combination thereof to drive the release of fluid."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190025610.pdf

Patent application: Thermal kinetic energy recovery system for hybrid vehicle

Ben Welter - Monday, January 28, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190023113 (applicant Eaton Corp., Cleveland, Ohio):

"A transmission system selectively coupled to an engine crankshaft of an internal combustion engine arranged on a vehicle includes a waste heat recovery (WHR) system, a brake assembly and a phase-change thermal heat storage system. The WHR system selectively circulates a WHR fluid in the transmission system. The brake assembly selectively couples a transmission output shaft to a drive axle. The brake assembly is configured to operate in a braking mode that retards relative rotation between the transmission output shaft and the drive axle while generating heat. The heat storage system includes a housing defining at least one cavity and a fluid transfer manifold. A phase-change material is disposed in the cavity that is configured to change phase during the braking mode."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190023113.pdf

Patent application: Phase change materials from wax-based colloidal dispersions

Ben Welter - Monday, January 28, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190023959 (applicant Henry Co. LLC, El Segundo, Calif.):

"This invention generally relates to phase-change materials (“PCM” or “PCM materials”) made from colloidally-protected wax-based microstructures. This invention also relates to such PCM materials configured in various physical forms. This invention further relates to a process of configuring such PCM materials for a variety of end-use applications in which dampening of temperature fluctuations by absorption and desorption of heat is desired. This invention further relates to preparing colloidally-protected wax-based microstructures in particulate form that function as PCM materials."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190023959.pdf

Patent application: Cooling fabric with PCM coating

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190017200 (applicant Bedgear LLC, Farmingdale, N.Y.):

Bedgear patent drawing"A three-layer circular knitted jacquard fabric includes a first layer having a yarn made from a first material. A second layer of the fabric includes a yarn made from a second material. A third layer of the fabric includes a yarn made from a third material. At least one of the materials includes ultra-high weight molecular polyethylene. The second layer is positioned between the first layer and the third layer such that the second layer provides loft between the first layer and the third layer. ... In some embodiments, a top layer, such as, for example, the first layer can be coated with a phase change material and a bottom layer, such as, for example, the third layer can be coated with a phase change material. It is envisioned that the first layer and/or the third layer can be soaked with a phase change material and/or can be infused with a phase change material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190017200.pdf