Research roundup: Ternary hydrated salt mixture; earth-air heat exchanger; shape-stabilized fly ash composite PCM; more
Ben Welter - Monday, October 01, 2018
• Two types of composite phase change panels containing a ternary hydrated salt mixture for use in building envelope and ventilation system
• Research on cooling performance of phase change material-filled earth-air heat exchanger
• An experimental investigation of the phase change process effects on the system performance for the evacuated tube solar collectors integrated with PCMs
From Solar Energy:
• Carbon based material included-shaped stabilized phase change materials for sunlight-driven energy conversion and storage: An extensive review
From Applied Thermal Engineering:
• Experimental Study of Water Solidification Phenomenon for Ice-on-Coil Thermal Energy Storage Application Utilizing Falling Film
From Powder Technology:
• Preparation and thermal properties of stearic acid-benzamide eutectic mixture/expanded graphite composites as phase change materials for thermal energy storage
From International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer:
• Experimental and numerical study of melting of the phase change material tetracosane
• Effect of particle size on the thermal performance of NaNO3/SiO2/C composite phase-change materials
From Materials Chemistry and Physics:
• Low-cost, shape-stabilized fly ash composite phase change material synthesized by using a facile process for building energy efficiency
From Construction and Building Materials:
• Preparation and thermal properties of encapsulated ceramsite-supported phase change materials used in asphalt pavements
Ben Welter - Monday, April 23, 2018
The latest versions of Hottgenroth modeling software include simulation of phase change materials in buildings.
“We included PCM in our components properties and can now calculate the given or taken energy hourly for every single room in an complete 3D model,” said Björn Wolff, industrial technology engineer at Hottgenroth Software GmbH & Co., Cologne, Germany.
“Especially for cooling loads it’s important to take the specific mass and heat capacity into account," Wolff explained. "Our simulation is for the dynamic simulation of heat and cooling loads using worldwide climate data. If you know specific values of them we can also simulate renewable energies like PV, heat pumps, CHP, solar thermal, ice storage etc."
Ben Welter - Friday, December 22, 2017
• Goeran Fiedler, assistant professor of prosthetics and orthotics at the University of Pittsburgh, has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study temperature control liners for prosthetics. The liners use phase change material to reduce the body’s tendency to sweat. The study will follow participants over 12 months to determine whether the liners decrease the risk of pressure sores, accidental falls and other problems.
• Axiom Exergy has been named to Food Logistics' FL100+ Top Software and Technology Providers list. The award recognized Axiom for its PCM-based "refrigeration battery," now in operation at a Whole Foods Market in Los Altos, Calif., and scheduled for installation at a Walmart store in San Diego.
• HeatVentors has won 2017’s international PowerUp! competition for innovative energy start-ups. The Hungarian company's PCM-based thermal energy storage system is designed to cut energy use by up to 40 percent.
• A thousand tons of rock will be used to store excess thermal energy in Siemens Gamesa's Future Energy System under construction in Hamburg, Germany.
• Registration is open for the Unleashing Innovation Summit 2018 to be held March 12-13 in Amsterdam. The goal of the event is to "bring together cross-industry innovation leaders to share information on the latest trends and strategies relating to creating an ecosystem and culture of innovation within an organisation."
• The agenda has been posted for the Smart Fabrics Summit in Washington, D.C. The April 24 event is hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Industrial Fabrics Association International. Topics include "Smart Fabrics Standards: A Government Regulator’s Perspective" and "Trends in Public-Private R&D Partnerships on Smart Fabrics."
• Maryanne Waweru-Wanyama, a Kenya-based journalist and blogger, offers a fresh take on Warmilu's IncuBlanket. The product uses packs filled with sodium acetate trihydrate to keep infants warm for up to five hours.
Ben Welter - Tuesday, October 17, 2017
The latest version of EnergyPlus modeling software includes an updated module for measuring the impact of phase change material on energy use in buildings.
Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, EnergyPlus is an energy simulation program that can be used to calculate heating and cooling load in a building, based on detailed information about the building’s physical make-up and mechanical systems.
With the support of a $100,000 grant from the Department of Energy, Jeremiah Crossett, chief technology officer of NRGsim Inc., worked with Dr. Edwin Lee of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to incorporate the updated PCM module into EnergyPlus.
The PCM module was originally developed more than five years ago by Ramprasad Chandrasekharan, then a graduate student in mechanical engineering at Oklahoma State University. Crossett assumed responsibility for the module soon after, debugging the FORTRAN code and modifying the logic to include the effects of subcooling and hysteresis. He began using the module in a customized version of EnergyPlus on all PCM modeling projects he worked on. The module, however, was not compatible with public versions of EnergyPlus, which was converted to the C++ programming language in 2014.
Crossett, right, sought the DOE grant to fund the conversion of the PCM module to C++ so that it could be incorporated into EnergyPlus. The module features two major improvements to the original PCM module.
“The new model includes the effects of hysteresis,” Crossett said. “The input object is called Material Property Phase Change Hysteresis and includes two [temperature/enthalpy] curves. Instead of going up and down in the slope of a single curve, the model either stores the energy in the storage range and then releases it when the model hits the heating curve. Or the model hits the heating curve immediately, depending on the properties of the actual phase change material. This model takes into account the histories of building surface temperatures, on into the current. It does a better job of accounting for the phase change material’s performance over time.
“In the previous version, what would happen is any time temperatures would fall and then rise again, and rise and then fall again, any time temperatures were not fully linear, [the module] would show additional energy consumption. Essentially, you had this single curve and as it would get cooler it would drop the heat back into the space. So say your material’s melting at 74, 75 Fahrenheit, and you’re saving on cooling energy, and then it drops down to 73, and now it drops all the heat right back into the space. So now you’ve got more energy you’ve got to deal with in your cooling system. That’s not how it actually works in the real world. …
“That caused a whole lot of studies, done by many, many different people over the years, to be wrong. It essentially gave a false indication that phase change materials don’t work nearly as well as they really do. …
“[The new module also] models subcooling and supercooling. Each PCM has a theoretical melt and freeze point. That’s normally how these products are rated. Some companies call it a Q-value. Other companies just say it as a number, such as a phase change 23 or a phase change 29 in degrees Celsius. But in the real world, how these products actually perform is that there’s some amount of subcooling: the freezing point is not identical to the melting point. You can have supercooling as well, where once your material is frozen, you have to reach a point above the theoretical melting point in order to melt it. This model allows the thermal simulation to have different melting and freezing points. ...
"Now that EnergyPlus can accurately model PCM's performance in real buildings," Crossett said, "it is well-suited for evaluation of PCM technologies for energy codes such as California's Title 24 and green building standards such as ASHRAE 189.1."
Here's a screen grab of a portion of the new EnergyPlus PCM module:
Crossett and Lee completed work on the module in August. Version 8.8.0, released on Sept. 30, is available for free at https://energyplus.net/downloads. They plan to publish a paper on their work later this year.
Over the next six months NRGsim plans to work with PCM manufacturers to add their products to a database for the EnergyPlus program, based on the ASTM C1784-14 protocol, "Standard Test Method for Using a Heat Flow Meter Apparatus for Measuring Thermal Storage Properties of Phase Change Materials and Products."
Ben Welter - Wednesday, September 13, 2017
• The German company Covestro is providing technology for use in solar-powered micro cold rooms in India. The cold rooms employ phase change material to keep produce cool until it can be transported from farm to market. Eight hundred units will be built in the Indian state of Telangana over the next two years.
• In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Anthony Diamond talks about the musical connection he shares with Axiom Exergy co-founder Amrit Robbins. They met as undergrads at Stanford University. "I play saxophone, he’s actually a trumpet player," Diamond said. "He was like, the best jazz trumpet player on campus. So whenever I had a gig, I would call him, and vice-versa. We had an opportunity to collaborate a lot within that context. I knew that I worked really well with him and we were a really great team."
• Heat battery maker Sunamp Ltd. is one of 15 European scaleups selected to give presentations in California next week at Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley.
• Pelican BioThermal has opened a service center in Puerto Rico. The center will serve as a depot for the company’s Credo on Demand rental program and enable customers to receive and return reusable temperature controlled packaging systems.
• Facebook has announced that its cloud campus in Odense, Denmark, will be connected to a neighborhood district heating system. The company expects the system will warm 6,900 homes.
• Evelyn Wang, director of MIT’s Device Research Laboratory and an internationally recognized leader in phase change heat transfer on nanostructure surfaces, has been named associate department head of operations in the school's Department of Mechanical Engineering.
• Long-Qing Chen, professor of engineering science, mechanics and mathematics at Penn State University, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany. Chen will work with Jürgen Rödel, professor of materials science and engineering at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, on areas of mutual interest, including multiferroic thin films and phase change materials.
• MIT researchers are taking a look at 3,000-year-old technology that could help reduce the use of fossil fuels. Under the proposal, electric resistance heaters would convert excess electricity into heat. The heat would be stored in a large mass of firebricks, which can retain heat for long periods if they are enclosed in an insulated casing. The heat could be used directly for industrial processes, or it could feed generators that convert it back to electricity when the power is needed.
Ben Welter - Wednesday, January 04, 2017
Colorado's first certified International Passive House is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains north of Denver. The 1,200-square-foot MARTaK house, designed by architect and author Andrew Michler, is used primarily as an off-the-grid workspace. The structure has now been occupied continuously for six months. Has it met Michler's energy expectations?
"Yes," Michler says, "it's gone well past my expectations. ... We haven't turned on the heating system this year."
A solar array shared with a neighboring home provides all electrical power and most of the heating, with a propane-powered hydronic system serving as backup. Passive House Planning Package software was used to find the most efficient mix of insulation, windows and shading. Natural, nontoxic and recycled materials are used throughout the house.
Biobased phase change material with a melt point of 23º C is used to help even out temperature spikes. The PCM is contained in 500 square feet of ENRG Blankets made by Phase Change Energy Solutions. Most of the material is installed a south-facing interior wall.
Is it possible to measure the PCM's impact on overall performance?
"That's the question that I haven't found anybody able to answer," Michler says. "It's more about experiential. It's hard to isolate the PCM performance. There's no good modeling software for this. ...
"Overheating has been the biggest issue with passive houses, and we're seeing some anecdotal success with PCMs. We had a really warm fall, and the PCM did seem to level out the interior temperature, leveling out at 78 degrees Fahrenheit."
Has Michler used PCM in other projects? "No, this is the first. I do have interest in trying it again."
PCM briefing: Dulas introduces 52.5-liter solar fridge; Argonne's Dileep Singh is named ASM International fellow
Ben Welter - Thursday, October 27, 2016
• Dulas Ltd. has added a 52.5-liter model to its line of solar-powered refrigerators. The VC50SDD is powered by the British company's Solar Direct Drive technology and uses paraffin-based phase change material to keep vaccines and other payloads at temperatures ranging from 5°C to 43°C. With an optional "integrated solar socket," the refrigerator can also be used to charge cellphones or temperature-monitoring equipment. The World Health Organization earlier this month approved the refrigerator for purchase by UNICEF and other U.N. agencies.
• Dr. Dileep Singh of Argonne National Laboratory has been named a fellow of ASM International for his work on concentrating solar power and other energy innovations. Singh and his team developed a latent heat-based thermal energy storage system that enhances the performance of phase change material using high-conductivity graphite foam.
• Two new reports from QYResearch: "Global Thermal Energy Storage (TES) Market Professional Survey Report 2016" and "Europe Advanced Phase Change Materials (PCM) Market Report 2016."
• A handful sessions scheduled for the 2017 Energy Storage World Forum and Residential Energy Storage Forum are related to thermal energy storage: "Niche Energy Storage Technologies," led by Pierre-Guy Therond, director of new technologies at EDF Energies Nouvelles of France; "Synergistic Combinations of Energy Storage Technologies," led by John Hatton, chief commercial officer at Alpheon Energy, United Kingdom; and "Integrating Storage to Improve Renewable Generation Capacity Factor," led by Martin Wilcox, senior consultant at Mott MacDonald, United Kingdom. The conferences will be held May 8-12 in Berlin.
• MatériO has opened its new materials library in Shanghai, with more than 1,000 materials on display. MatériO, based in France, lists more than 7,400 "cutting edge" materials and technologies in its database, including Entropy Solutions' PureTemp phase change material.
• U.S. chemical production is thriving, according to a American Chemistry Council analyst, but several factors threaten long-term growth, including equipment shortages and a lack of skilled workers.
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."
• 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.
Research roundup: Simplified method for modeling TES performance; influence of chain extender on polyurethane-based PCMs; more
Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 02, 2015
• A simplified method for modeling the thermal performance of storage tanks containing PCMs [Applied Thermal Engineering]
• The State of the Art for Technologies Used to Decrease Demand in Buildings: Thermal Energy Storage [Energy Performance of Buildings]
• Performance analysis of a solar air heating system with latent heat storage in a lightweight building [Applied Thermal Engineering]
Research roundup: Thermal characteristics of microencapsulated PCM; expanded graphite and paraffin; problems associated with PCMs; more
Ben Welter - Thursday, November 05, 2015
• Micro-Encapsulated Phase-Change Materials for Latent-Heat Storage: Thermal Characteristics [pdf] [Materials and Technology]
• Improvement of thermal conductivity of paraffin by adding expanded graphite [Journal of Composite Materials]
• Figure of Merit for the Thermal Performance of Cementitious Composites Containing Phase Change Materials [Cement and Concrete Composites]
• SigmaPipe as an Education Tool for Engineers [Education for Chemical Engineers]
• Review on Latent Heat Storage and Problems Associated With Phase Change Materials [pdf] [International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology]