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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.




Solar 2015 includes session on feasibility of seasonal ice thermal energy storage

Ben Welter - Monday, July 13, 2015

Dr. Richard D. Wilk, professor of mechanical engineering at Union College, will present research on the feasibility of seasonal ice thermal energy storage at the Solar 2015 conference at Penn State later this month. Other session topics include "The Great Solar Thermal Debate," "Research Advances in Solar Thermal," "Solar Thermal's Future: The Big Picture" and "High Performance Buildings."  

Dr. Richard D. WilkHere's a description of the July 29 poster session on seasonal ice storage:

"The system consists of a large insulated volume capable of storing large amounts of snow and ice collected in the winter, and storing it for weeks to months to produce chilled water for cooling buildings in hot weather. This project involved developing a transient heat transfer model to predict the time-dependent temperature of a snow/ice bed in a well-insulated compartment subjected to heat gain from the environment and simulated building cooling system return water. The model was used to study the effects of design parameters, like insulation type and thickness as well as the return water flow rate on the melt time."

Research roundup: PCM performance in building components; heat sink optimization; integrated TES systems; more

Ben Welter - Monday, July 13, 2015

Experimental Thermal Performance Analysis of Building Components Containing Phase Change Material (PCM) [Procedia Engineering]

A numerical method for PCM-based pin fin heat sinks optimization [Energy Conversion and Management]

Thermal energy storage in building integrated thermal systems: A review. Part 2. Integration as passive system [Renewable Energy]

Thermal properties of shape-stabilized phase change materials using fatty acid ester and exfoliated graphite nanoplatelets for saving energy in buildings [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Thermal conductivity measurement of thermochemical storage materials [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Research roundup: Encapsulation techniques; personal cooling system; adiabatic compressed air energy storage; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Encapsulation techniques for organic phase change materials as thermal energy storage medium: A review [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

A novel personal cooling system (PCS) incorporated with phase change materials (PCMs) and ventilation fans: An investigation on its cooling efficiency [Journal of Thermal Biology]

Adiabatic compressed air energy storage with packed bed thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

On the Feasibility of Providing Power System Spinning Reserves from Thermal Storage [Energy and Buildings]

Performance Analysis of Thermal Energy Storage Prototype in Thailand [pdf] [Journal of Clean Energy Technologies]

STIG cycle graphic Performance of the solar hybrid STIG cycle with latent heat storage [Applied Energy]

Shape-stabilized phase change materials based on poly(ethylene-graft-maleic anhydride)-g-alkyl alcohol comb-like polymers [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Applications of organic phase change materials embedded in adsorbents for controlling heat produced by charging and discharging natural gas [Adsorption]

Development and stress behaviour of an innovative refrigerated container with PCM for fresh and frozen goods [Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures]

Research roundup: Graphene oxide-grafted PCM; properties of granular materials; flat micro-heat pipe; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Novel slurry containing graphene oxide-grafted microencapsulated phase change material with enhanced thermo-physical properties and photo-thermal performance [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Properties of granular materials as heat transfer and storage medium in CSP application [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

PCM thermal storage system for ’free’ heating and cooling of buildings [Energy and Buildings]

Experimental study of the heat transfer characteristics of a new-type flat micro-heat pipe thermal storage unit [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Structural performance of water tank under static and dynamic pressure loading [International Journal of Impact Engineering]

Research roundup: Acoustic performance of PCM layer; bischofite in pilot plant; cooling vest side effects; more

Ben Welter - Monday, July 06, 2015

• In situ thermal and acoustic performance and environmental impact of the introduction of a shape-stabilized PCM layer for building applications [Renewable Energy]

• Thermal performance evaluation of bischofite at pilot plant scale [Applied Energy]

• Modeling the performance of a PCM cooling vest considering its side effects [International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology]

• Preparation and characterization of stearic acid/olive pomace powder composite as form-stable phase change material [International Journal of Hydrogen Energy]

Annual energy analysis of concrete containing phase change materials for building envelopes [Energy Conversion and Management]

Adsorption thermal energy storage for cogeneration in industrial batch processes: Experiment, dynamic modeling and system analysis [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Tunable thermal conduction character of graphite-nanosheets-enhanced composite phase change materials via cooling rate control [Energy Conversion and Management]

Mg-Zn-Al Eutectic Alloys as Phase Change Material for Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage [Energy Procedia]

Thermophysical characterization of a by-product from the steel industry to be used as a sustainable and low-cost thermal energy storage material [Energy]

Experimental Study on the Heat Transfer Characteristics of a Low Melting Point Salt in a Parabolic Trough Solar Collector System [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Research roundup: Predicting heat transfer through walls; post-exercise cooling garments; expanded graphite; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 02, 2015

Development and verification of an EnergyPlus-based algorithm to predict heat transfer through building walls integrated with phase change materials [Construction and Building Technology]

Hybrid numerical methods combining discretized multidimensional and segmented-quasi-one-dimensional models for simulating thermofluid systems [International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow]

Effects of Two Cooling Garments on Post-exercise Thermal Comfort of Female Subjects in the Heat [pdf] [Fibers and Polymers]

Design of a low-temperature solar heating system based on a slurry phase change material (PCS) [Energy and Buildings]

The stabilizing effect of expanded graphite on the artificial aging of shape stabilized phase change materials [Polymer Testing]

Research roundup: Galactitol-mannitol mix; palmitic acid copolymers; biomedical applications; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cyclic stability of the eutectic mixture of galactitol and D-mannitolA eutectic mixture of galactitol and mannitol as a phase change material for latent heat storage [Energy Conversion and Management]

A Novel Solid-Solid Phase Change Material Based on Poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile) Grafting With Palmitic Acid Copolymers [Journal of Macromolecular Science]

Development of thermal energy storage materials for biomedical applications [Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology]

Economic top-down evaluation of the costs of energy storages—A simple economic truth in two equations [Journal of Energy Storage]

Preparation of Erythritol-Graphite Foam Phase Change Composite with Enhanced Thermal Conductivity for Thermal Energy Storage Applications [Carbon]

Solar Water Distillation Using Energy Storage Material [Procedia Earth and Planetary Science]

A Review on Solar Water Distillation Using Sensible and Latent Heat [Procedia Earth and Planetary Science]

Research roundup: Polyurethane/docosane microcapsules; district heating; nanoparticles; water tank shapes; more

Ben Welter - Monday, June 29, 2015

New Polyurethane/Docosane Microcapsules as Phase-Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage [Chemistry - A European Journal]

On-sun demonstration of a 750° C heat transfer fluid for concentrating solar systems: Dense particle suspension in tube [Solar Energy]

Thermodynamic analysis and performance assessment of an integrated heat pump system for district heating applications [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Preparation and properties of lauric acid/diatomite composites as novel form-stable phase change materials for thermal energy storage [Energy and Buildings]

A New Phase Change Material Based on Potassium Nitrate with Silica and Alumina Nanoparticles for Thermal Energy Storage [pdf] [Nanoscale Research Letters]

Comparative study of the influences of different water tank shapes on thermal energy storage capacity and thermal stratification [Renewable Energy]

Energy Storage Applications | An Introduction to Phase Change Materials [Thermal Energy Storage Using Phase Change Materials]

Assessing the feasibility of incorporating phase change material in hot mix asphalt [Sustainable Cities and Society]

Research roundup: PCM and cement; nanotube composites; expanded graphite; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, June 25, 2015

Application of Phase Change Materials to Improve the Thermal Performance of Cementitious Material [Energy and Buildings]

Study on the phase change thermal storage performance of palmitic acid/carbon nanotubes composites [Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing]

Positive influence of expanded graphite on the physical behavior of phase change materials based on linear low-density polyethylene and paraffin wax [Thermochimica Acta]

CO2 mitigation accounting for Thermal Energy Storage (TES) case studies [Applied Energy]

Binary Solid-Liquid Equilibrium Systems Containing Fatty Acids, Fatty Alcohols and Triolein by Differential Scanning Calorimetry [Fluid Phase Equilibria]

Development of a numerical model for the reaction zone design of an aqueous sodium hydroxide seasonal thermal energy storage [Solar Energy]

Power plant cooling research focuses on tiny paraffin beads in 'rotary heat exchanger'

Ben Welter - Monday, June 22, 2015

Drexel University offers a detailed look at the novel dry-cooling technology being studied to reduce water use at thermoelectric plants. The research team, which includes Drexel, the University of Memphis, Evapco, WorleyParsons and the Electric Power Research Institute, is focusing on phase change material in the form of tiny wax beads:

PCM cooling unit"The group’s design uses large mesh disks, 20 meters in diameter, woven from quarter-inch-thick tubes filled with tiny bead-like capsules of paraffin just a few millimeters in diameter. The discs would be stacked 15 meters-high in a cylinder the team calls a 'rotary heat exchanger unit.' With the look of a sophisticated water wheel, the unit will have openings on the top and bottom for hot water to flow in, cooled water to drain out and ambient air to keep the system moving.

"As the hot water enters the unit from the steam condenser, the beads in the mesh will absorb the heat. The discs will continue to rotate as the water enters the unit. When the heated portion of the disc reaches the cooling side of the unit, ambient air is pumped in to let the beads release the heat before returning to the atmosphere outside the plant. The cooled beads spin back to the other side as the disc rotates, ready to repeat the process."