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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.




PCM briefing: va-Q-tec opens North American headquarters; Viking Cold Solutions begins Phoenix-area installation

Ben Welter - Friday, January 19, 2018

• PCM maker va-Q-tec AG officially opened its new North American headquarters in Langhorne, Penn., this week. Va-Q-tec will use the 20,000-square-foot facility to showcase new products and to manufacture its small temperature-control shipping containers. The location will also serve as a hub for the company's rental and repair operation. “The investment in this new facility is a testament to our commitment to grow the business and expand our footprint in North America," said CEO Dr. Joachim Kuhn.

Drones that deliver sterile mosquitoes in the fight against the Zika virus will be field tested in Latin America early this year. The system, developed by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture's Insect Pest Control Laboratory, uses phase change material to keep the mosquitoes inactive during transportation. 

• New from Greentech Media: "The Next Five Years in Energy Storage According to 500 Energy Professionals"

• New from Global Info Research: "North America Advanced Phase Change Materials (PCM) Market by Manufacturers, Countries, Type and Application, Forecast to 2022"

• New from Technavio: "Global Advanced Phase Change Materials Market 2017-2021

Viking Cold Solutions has begun installing its PCM-based thermal energy storage system in a 10,000-square-foot freezer at the Bashas food distribution center in the Phoenix area. The system, which consists of salt-hydrate-filled panels suspended from warehouse ceilings, is designed to significantly reduce energy costs by shifting peak demand to nighttime hours.

• The cost of renewable energy is falling so fast that it should be a consistently cheaper source of electricity than fossil fuels by 2020, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency

Utility Dive takes a close look at Nantucket Island's "hybrid" plan to add energy storage, including thermal storage, to stave off expensive grid enhancements.

Research roundup: Composite PCM/concrete wall; thermal inertia in buildings; multilayer roof with two PCMs; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 04, 2018

Thermal impact study of a bio-based wall coupled with an inner PCM layer [Energy Procedia]

Numerical study of the thermal behavior of a novel Composite PCM/concrete wall [Energy Procedia]

Phase change materials for improving the building thermal inertia [Energy Procedia]

Thermal behavior in dynamic regime of a multilayer roof provided with two phase change materials in the case of a local conditioned [Energy Procedia]

Composite phase change materials with good reversible thermochromic ability in delignified wood substrate for thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

D-mannitol for medium temperature thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Novel metal coated nanoencapsulated phase change materials with high thermal conductivity for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

State and state of charge estimation for a latent heat storage [Control Engineering Practice]

Microencapsulated n-alkane eutectics in polystyrene for solar thermal applications [Solar Energy]

Improving thermal properties of shape-stabilized phase change materials containing lauric acid and mesocellular foam silica by assessing thermodynamic properties of the non-melting layer [Thermochimica Acta]

Research roundup: Eutectic fatty acids; review of automotive applications; expanded graphite composites; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Prediction of the Properties of Eutectic Fatty Acid Phase Change Materials [Thermochimica Acta]

Phase-change materials (PCM) for automotive applications: A review [Applied Thermal Engineering]

A polymer-coated calcium chloride hexahydrate/expanded graphite composite phase change material with enhanced thermal reliability and good applicability [Composites Science and Technology]

Synthesis and characterization of beeswax-tetradecanol-carbon fiber/expanded perlite form-stable composite phase change material for solar energy storage [Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing]

An energy-efficient composite by using expanded graphite stabilized paraffin as phase change material [Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing]

Synthesis and characterization of PEG/ZSM-5 composite phase change materials for latent heat storage [Renewable Energy]

Fabrication and characteristics of composite phase change material based on Ba(OH)2·8H2O for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Silica fume/capric acid-palmitic acid composite phase change material doped with CNTs for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Hybridizing graphene aerogel into three-dimensional graphene foam for high-performance composite phase change materials [Energy Storage Materials]

Phase Change in Spiral Coil Heat Storage Systems [Sustainable Cities and Society]

Thermal management performance of phase change materials with different thermal conductivities for Li-ion battery packs operated at low temperatures [Energy]

Geocooling with integrated PCM thermal energy storage in a Mediterranean climate [Energy]

Research roundup: Cooling vests; palygorskite-based composites; convective solar crop dryer; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 21, 2017

An Optimal Two-Bout Strategy with Phase Change Material Cooling Vests to Improve Comfort in Hot Environment [Journal of Thermal Biology]

Preparation of palygorskite-based phase change composites for thermal energy storage and their applications in Trombe walls [Journal of Wuhan University of Technology]

Thermal performance of optimum thermal energy storage in natural convective solar crop dryer [Bhartiya Krishi Anusandhan Patrika]

Integrated Dispatch Model for Combined Heat and Power Plant with Phase-change Thermal Energy Storage Considering Heat Transfer Process [IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy]

Modeling of District Heating Networks for the Purpose of Operational Optimization with Thermal Energy Storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Study of Nusselt Number Evolution in PCM Shell-and-Tube Configuration [Euro-Mediterranean Conference for Environmental Integration]

Reduced-scale experiments to evaluate performance of composite building envelopes containing phase change materials [Construction and Building Materials]

Research roundup: Dynamic shading systems with PCM; mesoporous N-doped carbons; beeswax and photovoltaics; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Performance of a coupled transpired solar collector—phase change material-based thermal energy storage system [Energy and Buildings]

Thermal and optical characterisation of dynamic shading systems with PCMs through laboratory experimental measurements [Energy and Buildings]

Thermo-mechanical analysis of microcapsules containing phase change materials for cold storage [Applied Energy]

Introduction of organic-organic eutectic PCM in mesoporous N-doped carbons for enhanced thermal conductivity and energy storage capacity [Applied Energy]

Heat storage performance analysis and parameter design for encapsulated phase change materials [Energy Conversion and Management]

Thermal performance of copper foam/paraffin composite phase change material [Energy Conversion and Management]

Numerical study of PCM integration impact on overall performances of a highly building-integrated solar collector [Renewable Energy]

Nanoparticles Enhanced Phase Change Material (NPCM) as Heat Storage in Solar Still Application for Productivity Enhancement [Energy Procedia]

Performance enhancement of the concentrated photovoltaic using different phase change material configurations [Energy Procedia]

Experimental Analysis of Using Beeswax as Phase Change Materials for Limiting Temperature Rise in Building Integrated Photovoltaics [Case Studies in Thermal Engineering]

Research roundup: Direct steam generation solar plants; d-mannitol-copper oxide nanocomposites; modified carbon nanotubes; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Thermal energy storage evaluation in direct steam generation solar plants [Solar Energy]

Potential of cascaded phase change materials in enhancing the performance of solar domestic hot water systems [Solar Energy]

Study of thermo-physical properties and cycling stability of d-Mannitol-copper oxide nanocomposites as phase change materials [Journal of Energy Storage]

Properties Enhancement of Phase-change Materials via Silica and Al Honeycomb Panels for the Thermal Management of LiFeO4 Batteries [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Experimental Investigation and Mathematical Modelling of Thermal Performance Characteristics of Textiles Incorporating Phase Change Materials [Environmental Engineering, 10th International Conference]

Thermal storage of solar energy [Physical Rendering]

Studies on the inward spherical solidification of a phase change material dispersed with macro particles [Journal of Energy Storage]

Review of latent heat thermal energy storage for improved material stability and effective load management [Journal of Energy Storage]

The effects of modified carbon nanotubes on the thermal properties of erythritol as phase change materials [Energy Conversion and Management]

Experimental study on the cooling charge and discharge characteristics of a PCM based fin-tube thermal energy storage exchanger [Procedia Engineering]

Energy Saving Potential of PCMs in Buildings under Future Climate Conditions [pdf] [Applied Sciences]

Experimental study of carbon fiber reinforced alkali-activated slag composites with micro-encapsulated PCM for energy storage [Construction and Building Materials]

Research roundup: Axisymmetric lattice Boltzmann model; slurry flow in heated helical coils; sebacic acid/CNT sponge PCM; more

Ben Welter - Monday, November 27, 2017

Optimized demand side management (DSM) of peak electricity demand by coupling low temperature thermal energy storage (TES) and solar PV [Applied Energy]

Investigation of solid-liquid phase change in the spherical capsule using axisymmetric lattice Boltzmann model [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Thermodynamic assessment of binary erythritol-xylitol phase diagram for phase change materials design [Calphad]

Thermal Properties Optimization of Microencapsulated a Renewable and Non-toxic Phase Change Material with a Polystyrene Shell for Thermal Energy Storage Systems [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Heat transfer analysis of microencapsulated phase change material slurry flow in heated helical coils: A numerical and analytical study [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Experimental test bed design and development for PCM-water exchangers characterization [Sustainable Cities and Societies]

Synthesis of novel phase change material microcapsule and its application [Polymer]

Sebacic acid/CNT sponge phase change material with excellent thermal conductivity and photo-thermal performance [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Research roundup: Direct evaporative cooling unit; diatomite-stabilized paraffin; hyperbranched polyurethane; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Enhancement in free cooling potential through PCM based storage system integrated with Direct Evaporative Cooling (DEC) unit [Energy]

A Numerical Study on Phase Change Inside a Spherical Capsule [Exergetic, Energetic and Environmental Dimensions]

Performance of a thermal energy storage composite by incorporating diatomite stabilized paraffin as phase change material [Energy and Buildings]

Phase Change Materials for Application in Energy-Efficient Buildings [Cost-Effective Energy Efficient Building Retrofitting]

Thermal energy storage using poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) incorporated hyperbranched polyurethane as solid-solid phase change material (PCM) [Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research]

Comparative Research on Solar Phase Change Material Storage Wall Systems under Different Summer Working Conditions [Energies]

The Application of Carbon Materials in Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage (LHTES) [Thermal Transport in Carbon-Based Nanomaterials]

H2O2-microwave treated graphite stabilized stearic acid as a composite phase change material for thermal energy storage [Royal Society of Chemistry]

Sodium acetate–urea composite phase change material used in building envelopes for thermal insulation [Building Services Engineering Research & Technology]

Integration of Pore Confinement and Hydrogen-Bond Influence on the Crystallization Behavior of C18 PCMs in Mesoporous Silica for Form-Stable Phase Change Materials [Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering]

Research roundup: Enthalpy-temperature plots; solar wall collector; vertical U-tube heat exchanger; more

Ben Welter - Monday, November 20, 2017

From Journal of Energy Storage:

Enthalpy-temperature plots to compare calorimetric measurements of phase change materials at different sample scales
Preparation and enhanced thermal performance of novel (solid to gel) form-stable eutectic PCM modified by nano-graphene platelets

From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:

An implicit algorithm for melting and settling of phase change material inside macrocapsules

From Energy Procedia:

Experimental study of a solar wall collector with PCM towards the natural ventilation of model house
Experimental Study of Solar - Phase Change Material Wall for Domestic Hot Water Production under the Tropical Climate

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Efficiency analysis of utilizing phase change materials as grout for a vertical U-tube heat exchanger coupled ground source heat pump system

From Sustainable Cities and Societies:

PCM Thermal Energy Storage in Solar Heating of Ventilation Air—Experimental and Numerical Investigations

From International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer:

Evaluation of thermophysical properties of refrigerant clathrates with additives

From Solar Energy:

A comprehensive study on the effect of hot water demand and PCM integration on the performance of SDHW system

Research roundup: Cascaded cold storage unit with multiple PCMs; evolution of global heat transfer coefficient; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Evolution of global heat transfer coefficient on PCM energy storage cycles [Energy Procedia]

Thermal performance analysis of a cascaded cold storage unit using multiple PCMs [Energy]

An experimental investigation of discharge/solidification cycle of paraffin in novel shell and tube with longitudinal fins based latent heat storage system [Energy Conversion and Management]

An alternative approach for assessing the benefit of phase change materials in solar domestic hot water systems [Solar Energy]

Organic-inorganic hybrid shell microencapsulated phase change materials prepared from SiO2/TiC-stabilized pickering emulsion polymerization [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Preparation of phase change material emulsions with good stability and little supercooling by using a mixed polymeric emulsifier for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Optimal design of PCM thermal storage tank and its application for winter available open-air swimming pool [Applied Energy]