Phase Change Matters RSS


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.

Two Entropy advisors, Dr. Mohammed Farid and Lucas B. Hyman, are pleased to take your questions about PCMs and thermal energy storage. Send your questions to We'll select the best and post the answers here each week.




Research roundup: Supercooling and TES; sepiolite supported stearic acid composites; PCM-air heat exchanger; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A review on supercooling of phase change materials in thermal energy storage systems [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

Numerical calibration and experimental validation of a PCM-air heat exchanger model [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Cold Storage for a Single-Family House in Italy [Energies]

Thermal energy storage characteristics of poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride)-graft-PEG as polymeric solid–solid phase change materials [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Sepiolite supported stearic acid composites for thermal energy storage [RSC Advances]

Research roundup: Lightweight mortars; eutectic salt property prediction; magnetite; more

Ben Welter - Monday, December 12, 2016

From International High-Performance Built Environment Conference:

Thermal energy storage enhancement of lightweight cement mortars with the application of phase change materials

From Dublin Institute of Technology:

Mechanical and Thermal Evaluation of Different Types of PCM-concrete composite panels

From Energy and Buildings:

Thermophysical properties of n-tetradecane@polystyrene-silica composite nanoencapsulated phase change material slurry for cold energy storage

From Energy Conversion and Management:

Microencapsulated phase change materials for enhancing the thermal performance of Portland cement concrete and geopolymer concrete for passive building applications

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

Thermal energy storage characteristics of poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride)-graft-PEG as polymeric solid–solid phase change materials
Natural magnetite for thermal energy storage: Excellent thermophysical properties, reversible latent heat transition and controlled thermal conductivity

From Applied Energy:

MPCM with high heat capacity chart
Microencapsulated phase change materials with high heat capacity and high cyclic durability for high-temperature thermal energy storage and transportation
Highly stable graphite nanoparticle-dispersed phase change emulsions with little supercooling and high thermal conductivity for cold energy storage

From Renewable Energy:

Thermal analysis of molten ternary lithium-sodium-potassium nitrates

From Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews:

A critical review of eutectic salt property prediction for latent heat energy storage systems
Review on system and materials requirements for high temperature thermal energy storage. Part 1: General requirements

From International Journal of Refrigeration:

An apparatus to measure the thermal conductivity of insulation panels at sub-ambient temperature

Research roundup: Thermal stability of renewable diesters; microencapsulated octadecane with silica shell; more

Ben Welter - Monday, October 24, 2016

Thermal stability of renewable diesters as phase change materials [Thermochimica Acta]

Synthesis and properties of microencapsulated octadecane with silica shell as shape–stabilized thermal energy storage materials [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Synthesis and characterization of novel solid-solid phase change materials with polyurethaneurea copolymer structure for thermal energy storage [RSC Advances]

A novel multi-dimensional model for solidification process with supercooling [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Assessment of a mattress with phase change materials using a thermal and perception test [Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science]

Energy Accumulation Using Encapsulated Phase Change Materials with Recycled Material Components [Energy Procedia]

Research roundup: Composite of wood-plastic and microencapsulated PCM; heat transfer characteristics of alloys; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, October 13, 2016

Composite of Wood-Plastic and Micro-Encapsulated Phase Change Material (MEPCM) Used for Thermal Energy Storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Experimental study on phase change heat transfer characteristics of alloys [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Renewable Night Cooled Chill Water Source for Energy Efficient Indoor Radiant Cooling [International Journal of Engineering Research in Africa ]

Applied Machine Learning: Forecasting Heat Load in District Heating System [Energy and Buildings]

Melting inside a horizontal cylindrical capsule [Case Studies in Thermal Engineering]

Synthesis and thermal properties of novel sodium nitrate microcapsules for high-temperature thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Natural convection in high temperature flat plate latent heat thermal energy storage systems [Applied Energy]

Experimental investigation of paraffin wax with graphene enhancement as thermal management materials for batteries [International Conference on Electronic Packaging Technology]

Conception and experimental investigation of a hybrid temperature control method using phase change material for permanent magnet synchronous motors [Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science]

Formulation of Nano and Micro-Encapsulated Phase Change Materials with a Solar-Absorbing Metamaterial Shell [Journal of Nanoelectronics and Optoelectronics]

Experimental investigations on heat content of supercooled sodium acetate trihydrate by a simple heat loss method [Solar Energy]

Research roundup: Sodium acetate trihydrate composites; D-phase emulsification; heat transfer in PCM panels; more

Ben Welter - Monday, June 06, 2016

Experimental investigations on cylindrical latent heat storage units with sodium acetate trihydrate composites utilizing supercooling [Applied Energy]

Thermophysical properties of phase change emulsions prepared by D-phase emulsification [Energy Conversion and Management]

Fluid flow and heat transfer in PCM panels arranged vertically and horizontally for application in heating systems [Renewable Energy]

Analysis of the effect of eccentricity and operational parameters in PCM-filled single-pass shell and tube heat exchangers [Renewable Energy]

Two performance indices of TES apparatus: comparison of MPCM slurry vs. stratified water storage tank [Energy and Buildings]

PCM briefing: Thermal energy storage symposium in Switzerland; paper on development of Ebola vaccine passive storage device

Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

• Registration is open for the 3rd Swiss Symposium Thermal Energy Storage to be held Jan. 22, 2016, in Lucerne. Topics include PCM systems for high-temperature heat storage; seasonal storage with subcooling PCM; and cooling buildings, processes or batteries with phase change slurries. Cost is $300.

• In a paper presented at the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, Michael Friend and Shannon Stone of Intellectual Ventures describe the development of the Arktek DF passive storage device" for the Ebola vaccine in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

• New from Decision Databases: "Global Microencapsulation Market Research Report - Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2021"

• New from MarketsandMarkets: "Advanced Energy Storage Systems Market - Global Forecast to 2020"

• A team from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, one of four finalists in ESA Education’s Fly Your Thesis! competition, intends to verify a model of phase change material performance in a microgravity environment. The team's goal is to lay groundwork for more effective temperature control in future space applications.

The San Diego City Council has approved a legally binding climate action plan that commits the eighth-largest U.S. city to 100 percent renewables and a 50 reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. 

Research roundup: Supercooling of salt hydrates; lauric acid/expanded perlite; ice thermal energy storage; more

Ben Welter - Monday, October 26, 2015

Experimental characterisation of sub-cooling in hydrated salt phase change materials [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Research on the preparation and properties of lauric acid/expanded perlite phase change materials [Energy and Buildings]

The potential of lightweight low-energy houses with hybrid adaptable thermal storage: comparing the performance of promising concepts [Energy and Buildings]

Ice thermal energy storage (ITES) for air-conditioning application in full and partial load operating modes [International Journal of Refrigeration]

Reproducibility of solidification and melting processes in a latent heat thermal storage tank [International Journal of Refrigeration]

PCM-based free cooling in buildings: A way forward

Ben Welter - Wednesday, October 07, 2015

A review of research on PCM-based free cooling in buildings suggests that increased thermal conductivity, wider governmental support and heightened public awareness are essential to wider adoption of the technology. Among the other conclusions by a team of researchers at two universities in India:

• The free-cooling concept is best suited for less humid and maximum diurnal temperature range regions. However, with careful design of heat exchangers along with dehumidification of air, free cooling can be effectively implemented even in warm and humid areas.

• By decreasing the inlet air temperature with optimal inlet air velocity, solidification time can be reduced and thus the PCM can be charged in less time.

• Supercooling can be reduced by adding nucleating agents but cannot be mitigated completely.

• Mapping of free-cooling potential zones and construction of large-scale demonstration projects are essential to making the technology commercially viable.

• Commercializing and mass implementation of free-cooling technology in residential sectors will curtail air conditioner use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Research roundup: Reheating supercooled TES unit; phase inversion emulsification; nanoencapsulated PCM via Pickering emulsification; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Characteristic of Reheating Operation in Supercooled Thermal Energy Storage Unit for Hot Water Supply or Space Heating [Energy Procedia]

A Novel Method for the Preparation of Narrow-disperse Nanoencapsulated Phase Change Materials by Phase Inversion Emulsification and Suspension Polymerization [Industrial & Engineering Chemistry and Research]

Annual performance of a solar aided coal-fired power generation system (SACPG) with various solar field areas and thermal energy storage capacity [Applied Energy]

Optimal energy management of a building cooling system with thermal storage: A convex formulation [Symposium on Advanced Control of Chemical Processes] [pdf]

Nano-encapsulated PCM via Pickering Emulsification [Nature]

A review on the development of cool pavements to mitigate urban heat island effect [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

Research roundup: PCM and night purge ventilation; seasonal cold storage; liquid cooling garment; galactitol for solar cookers; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cooling load reduction in office buildings of hot-arid climate, combining phase change materials and night purge ventilation [Renewable Energy]

Mechanical response evaluation of microcapsules from different slurries [Renewable Energy]

A seasonal cold storage system based on separate type heat pipe for sustainable building cooling [Renewable Energy]

Ground source heat pumps as high efficient solutions for building space conditioning and for integration in smart grids [Energy Conversion and Management]

Experimental study on the performance of a liquid cooling garment with the application of MEPCMS [Energy Conversion and Management]

Pore-scale and volume-averaged numerical simulations of melting phase change heat transfer in finned metal foam [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Galactitol as phase change material for latent heat storage of solar cookers: Investigating thermal behavior in bulk cycling [Solar Energy]

Energy and exergy performance assessments for latent heat thermal energy storage systems [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

Enhancements in domestic refrigeration, approaching a sustainable refrigerator – A review [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

Thermodynamic analysis and optimization of cascaded latent heat storage system for energy efficient utilization [Energy]

Tailoring Thermal Properties via Synergistic Effect in a Multifunctional Phase Change Composite Based on Methyl Stearate [Journal of Materiomics]

Study on functional and mechanical properties of cement mortar with graphite-modified microencapsulated phase-change materials [Energy and Buildings]