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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: Temperature control device with PCM

Ben Welter - Monday, December 10, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180347869 (inventors Anthony Boule, Toulouse, France; Pierre Lapalus, Marseille, France):

"The invention relates to a portable device for regulating the temperature of an element, comprising: an engagement part adapted to be placed in contact with the element, a temperature regulation unit comprising a thermoelectric module having two sides (41, 42), a first side (41) of the thermoelectric module being thermally coupled with the engagement part (2). The device further comprises: a reception part (5) adapted to removably receive a phase change material (PCM) (6), a second side (42) of the thermoelectric module being thermally coupled with the reception part (5), such that a phase change material (PCM) (6) provided in the reception part will also be thermally coupled with the second side (42) of the thermoelectric module."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180347869.pdf

Patent application: Device and method for cooling a liquid

Ben Welter - Friday, December 07, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180347870 (applicant Gerrit Sonnenrein, Paderborn, Germany):

"A device, for cooling a liquid, especially a beverage, comprising a cold accumulator and a thermal line, the cold accumulator and the liquid to be cooled being thermally connected by means of the thermal line, and the cold accumulator comprising a phase change material, the device also comprising means for dissipating heat from at least the thermal line, and the cold accumulator comprising a carrier material into which the phase change material is integrated."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180347870.pdf

Patent application: In-flight service cart

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 06, 2018

DHL in-flight cart patent drawingU.S. patent application 20180346122 (applicants Tower Cold Chain Solutions Ltd. and DHL Supply Chain Ltd., Great Britain):

"An in-flight service cart for use on an aircraft for maintaining a payload such as foodstuffs and the like within a selected temperature range, said in-flight service cart including: a housing (3) having a storage volume; and at least one thermally insulated container (5) removably mounted within the housing, said container having an outer casing, a thermally conductive inner casing, thermal insulation located between the outer casing and the inner casing, said thermal insulation including at least one vacuum insulation panel, a payload volume for storing foodstuffs, an opening providing access to the payload volume, a closure member for closing the opening, at least one thermal energy storage unit located within the inner casing, said thermal energy storage unit(s) including a phase change material that is arranged to change phase at a temperature greater than or equal to -10° C.; wherein the inner casing and closure member  define the payload volume for storing the foodstuffs, and the thermal energy storage unit(s) is positioned in thermal contact with the inner casing, the arrangement being such that the inner casing provides a thermally conductive pathway for conducting heat entering the container to the thermal energy storage unit."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180346122.pdf

Patent application: Shipping system for temperature-sensitive materials

Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Cold Chain Technologies patent drawingU.S. patent application 20180328644 (applicant Cold Chain Technologies, Franklin, Mass.):  

"Shipping system for storing and/or transporting temperature-sensitive materials. In one embodiment, the system includes an outer box having four side walls, bottom closure flaps, and top closure flaps. A vacuum insulated panel (VIP) is detachably coupled to one of the top closure flaps and is removably covered by a cover. An insulation unit is removably positioned within the outer box, the insulation unit including a plurality of VIPs arranged to define a cavity bounded by a bottom wall and four side walls. A disposable liner is removably mounted on the insulation unit. The liner may be a thermoformed sheet and may cover the interior and top surfaces of the insulation unit. A plurality of temperature-control members and a product box may be removably positioned in the liner."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180328644.pdf

Patent application: Apparatus for controlling environmental conditions of substances

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 29, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180333330 (inventor Ron Nagar, Tel Aviv, Israel):

"An apparatus, comprising an environmental control element configured to control at least one environmental condition of a substance contained within a chamber, the environmental control element includes a thermal insulator configured to provide a thermal shield to the substance and a phase change material (PCM) configured to thermally regulate at least one environmental condition. The environmental control element is configured to control the environmental condition without use of an external power source, thereby allowing the apparatus to be thermally self-recharging."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180333330.pdf

Patent application: Cooling device for charging station

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 29, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180334049 (applicant Porsche AG, Stuttgart, Germany):

"A cooling device cools a charging station or a multiplicity of charging stations of a charging park. The respective charging station has an internal coolant duct for a coolant to flow through the charging station, an input-side coolant connection, an output-side coolant connection, a coolant circuit with a cooling assembly for cooling the coolant, and a pump for pumping the coolant in the coolant circuit. The coolant duct of the respective charging station is integrated into the coolant circuit. A heat accumulator or a multiplicity of heat accumulators is integrated into the coolant circuit."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180334049.pdf

Patent application: Cables made of phase change material

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 29, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180334775 (applicant E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., Wilmington, Del.):

"A phase change material (PCM) is useful for thermal management in various applications such as automotive, building, packaging, garments, and footwear, and in devices such as wires and cables. The cable described herein comprises a core and a PCM layer surrounding the core. The PCM layer comprises a PCM composition, which in turn comprises a 1,3-propanediol fatty acid ester. The core consists of a yarn, strand or wire made of a natural or synthetic polymeric material or a metal."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180334775.pdf

Patent application: Multi-circuited phase change composite heat exchangers

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 29, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180340738 (applicant Alliance for Sustainable Energy LLC, Golden, Colo.):

"Disclosed herein are multi-circuit thermal energy storage (TES) systems connected in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The two circuits (a refrigeration circuit and a secondary fluid circuit) are designed to work together, but they might contain separate units. In certain configurations, the TES system may use a phase change composite (PCC) with high thermal conductivity, which allows for efficient heat transfer within the PCC. Thus, the PCC itself may be used as the heat transfer media between a refrigerant and a secondary fluid, allowing the refrigerant/secondary fluid heat exchanger in typical configurations of HVAC systems to be removed."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180340738.pdf

Patent application: Ceramic phase change container

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 29, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180339833 (applicant Blueleaf Lab Oy, Espoo, Finland):

Blueleaf patent drawing"An article for holding foodstuff. The article comprises a receptacle (4) having a wall with an inner surface for holding the foodstuff and an opposite outer surface. The wall is formed of a first material, such as a ceramic material, having a first thermal conductivity. The articles also has a shell (1; 5) spaced apart from the outer surface of the receptacle such as to define an interstitial chamber (2, 3) between the shell and the outer surface of the receptacle. The shell is at least partially formed of a ceramic material with a second thermal conductivity. Within the interstitial chamber, there is disposed a phase change material which abuts with at least the outer surface of the wall of the receptacle. The first thermal conductivity being greater than the second thermal conductivity, so as to allow for heat transfer through the wall to the phase change material, which will accumulate the heat."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180339833.pdf

Patent application: Use of a phase change material system

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 29, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180340740 (applicant BorgWarner Inc., Auburn Hills, Mich.):

"A number of variations may include a vehicle system which includes an engine. The vehicle system may also include a phase change material which may be disposed in a phase change material device. The phase change material may be released into a vehicle cooling system upon user command. The PCM device may be constructed and arranged to increase a temperature of a vehicle cabin without the engine being turned on when the phase change material is released."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180340740.pdf