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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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CSP storage system has theoretical thermal efficiency of more than 74%

Ben Welter - Monday, January 05, 2015

Using a novel modeling tool for concentrated solar power, Spanish researchers have designed a more efficient storage system employing multilayered phase change material. The CSP system has a theoretical thermal efficiency of more than 74 percent and requires only a third of the molten salt needed in traditional two-tank systems.

The system was first described in "A New Thermocline-PCM Thermal Storage Concept for CSP Plants. Numerical Analysis and Perspectives," a paper presented at SolarPACES 2013. "The key aspect of this new concept," the researchers wrote, "is the inclusion of PCM layers at both ends of the tank, whose fusion temperatures are conveniently chosen to be inside the 'admissible' temperature ranges for the outlet of both charge and discharge processes."

http://social.csptoday.com/technology/research-team-pcm-storage-breakthrough

Research roundup: Slurry PCMs in solar heating system; content-stable composites; TES in cold climates; more

Ben Welter - Friday, January 02, 2015

  • Potentialities of a Low Temperature Solar Heating System Based on Slurry Phase Change Materials [Energy Procedia]

  • Development of content-stable phase change composites by infiltration into inorganic porous supports [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • A Review of the Performance of Buildings Integrated with Phase Change Material: Opportunities for Application in Cold Climate [Energy Procedia]

  • The Effectiveness of PCM Wallboards for the Energy Refurbishment of Lightweight Buildings [Energy Procedia]

  • Temperature Regulation and Thermal Energy Storage Potential of Phase Change Materials Layer Contained at the Back of a Building Integrated Photovoltaic Panel [30th International Plea Conference, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India] [pdf]
  • Research roundup: Thermal energy storage; system design; overview of technologies; porous mullite; more

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 30, 2014

  • Optimal Chiller and Thermal Energy Storage Design for Building HVAC Systems [Purdue University]

  • A Numerical and Graphical Review of Energy Storage Technologies [Energies]

  • Lithium in thermal energy storage: A state-of-the-art review [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews] [pdf]

  • Impregnation of porous mullite with Na2SO4 phase change material for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • Synthesis and performances of novel solid–solid phase change materials with hexahydroxy compounds for thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

  • PureTemp 23 shows no corrosive effect on five metals tested in study

    Ben Welter - Friday, December 26, 2014

    PureTemp 23, one of 19 PureTemp phase change materials recently certified as 100 percent biobased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has been shown to have no corrosive effect on metals tested in a study by researchers from the University of Barcelona and the University of Lleida in Spain. The five metals tested were aluminum, copper, carbon steel, stainless steel 304 or stainless steel 316.

    http://www.puretemp.com/stories/puretemp-23-shows-no-corrosive-effect-on-five-metals-tested-in-study

    Research roundup: PCMs and indoor environments; spherical PCMs; silica aerogels; thermodynamic modeling

    Ben Welter - Friday, December 26, 2014

  • Effect of phase change materials on indoor thermal environment under different weather conditions and over a long time [Applied Energy]

  • Prediction of Spherical Phase Change Material Temperature Using RBFNN Model [Applied Mechanics and Materials]

  • Alkylated Phase Change Composites for Thermal Energy Storage Based on Surface-Modified Silica Aerogels [Journal of Materials Chemistry A]

  • Simulation of the thermal and energy behavior of a composite material containing encapsulated PCM: Influence of the thermodynamical modeling [Applied Energy] 
  • Research roundup: Residential PCM system, concentrated solar, PAN/SA-LA/ZMS, heat pumps

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 23, 2014






    Research roundup: Hardened cement paste, energy storage containers, nanocomposites

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

  • Thermophysical and Mechanical Properties of Hardened Cement Paste with Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials for Energy Storage [Materials]

  • Thermal Performance Evaluation of Two Thermal Energy Storage Tank Design Concepts for Use with a Solid Particle Receiver-Based Solar Power Tower [Energies]

  • Experimental study on solving the blocking for the direct contact mobilized thermal energy storage container [Applied Thermal Engineering]

  • Thermal conductivity enhancement of lauric acid phase change nanocomposite in solid and liquid state with single-walled carbon nanohorn inclusions [Thermochimica Acta] 
  • Research roundup: Synthesized polymeric solid-solid PCMs, corrosion of metal containers and more

    Ben Welter - Friday, December 12, 2014

    Research roundup: Graphene aerogel, polyaniline-based polymer shells, smart composites and more

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 09, 2014

    New database to help PCM selection in construction

    Ben Welter - Friday, December 05, 2014

    Using CES Selector software, researchers in Spain have created a database of phase change materials to help engineers select the right PCM for thermal energy storage in buildings. More than 300 PCMs have been entered in the database, noting thermophysical properties such as melting temperature and melting enthalpy.

    According to an abstract of the research reported in Volume 57 of Energy Procedia: "This database can be completed in the future with other relevant properties ... such as chemical properties (durability in different media etc), reported density or viscosity at a given temperature or even cost of each material."

    The full report, "New database on phase change materials for thermal energy storage in buildings to help PCM selection," is available via ScienceDirect. 

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876610214016166