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 monthly PCM newsletter. Or join the discussion on LinkedIn.




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]

Team Sky equipped with Outlast-powered rain jacket for Tour de France

Ben Welter - Monday, July 20, 2015

Chris FroomeHigh-tech gear plays an important role in the grueling Tour de France. This year, Team Sky is equipped with Rapha's new Extreme Rain Jacket, designed for use on cold, rainy days. The jacket incorporates Outlast phase change technology, which absorbs, stores and releases heat as needed.

The jacket is still in development, but you might see tour leader Chris Froome slip one on if the weather turns nasty.

Research roundup: Peak load shifting TES; industrial surplus heat storage; bamboo charcoal and PCMs; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 16, 2015

Peak load shifting with energy storage and price-based control system [Energy]

Multi-layered solid-PCM thermocline thermal storage for CSP. Numerical evaluation of its application in a 50 MWe plant [Solar Energy]

Synthesis and thermal properties of poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile)-graft-polyethylene glycol copolymers as novel solid–solid phase change materials for thermal energy storage [Chinese Chemical Letters]

How Ice Based Thermal Energy Storage Can Help Cut Electricity and Fuel Costs of Indian Railways [SAE International]

Industrial Surplus Heat Storage in Smart Cities [ASME]

Solar-absorbing metamaterial microencapsulation of phase change materials for thermo-regulating textiles [International Journal of Smart and Nano Materials]

Bamboo charcoal/phase change material/stainless steel ring-spun complex yarn and its far-infrared/anion-releasing elastic warp-knitted fabric: Fabrication and functional evaluation [Journal of Industrial Textiles]

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]

What a concept: Sneakers that change colors with a tap of an app

Ben Welter - Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Shift Sneaker concept shoe

Rehabstudios, "a creative technology company" with offices in New York, London and Belfast, is developing a sneaker that can change colors with a tap on a smartphone or a click of a heel. In response to electrical impulses, phase change fibers will shift the shape of translucent materials that bend light in different ways. It's purely a concept at this point, with no prototypes or manufacturing plans. The developer is using the #ShiftSneaker hashtag to spread the word:

"Shift Sneaker users will be able to shift sneaker style and functionality by downloading different ‘packs’ from a Pack Store – a sneaker-specific app store. Styles will range from subtle glows to animated graphics from world leading designers and creatives, and rare limited editions from artists and brands."

Research roundup: PCM cooling vest; thermo-regulating fabric; design of heated enclosures

Ben Welter - Friday, June 19, 2015

Modeling the efficiency and heat gain of a phase change material cooling vest: The effect of ambient temperature and outer isolation [Journal of Industrial Textiles]

Investigation on the Thermo-Regulating Fabric by Using Phase Change Material for Modern Textile Practical Application [American Journal of Polymer Science & Engineering]

Geometrical and Thermal Parameters for Integrated Heated Enclosures Design: A Review [pdf] [Journal of Advanced Review on Scientific Research]

Research roundup: Storage evaporator for vehicle energy management; Heisler chart; PCM applications in building environment; more

Ben Welter - Friday, May 29, 2015

Modeling Air Conditioning System with Storage Evaporator for Vehicle Energy Management [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Expanding Heisler Chart to Characterize Heat Transfer Phenomena in a Building Envelope Integrated With Phase Change Materials [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Experimental evaluation at pilot plant scale of multiple PCMs (cascaded) vs. single PCM configuration for thermal energy storage [Renewable Energy]

Virtual Special Issue - PCM applications in building environment [Building and Environment]

Synthesis and Characteristics of Hygroscopic Phase Change Material: Composite Microencapsulated Phase Change Material (MPCM) and Diatomite [Energy and Buildings]

Design and calculation of a new storage tank for concentrating solar power plant [Energy Conversion and Management]

Microfluidic fabrication and thermal characteristics of core-shell phase change microfibers with high paraffin content [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Synthesis and characterization of thermal energy storage microencapsulated n-dodecanol with acrylic polymer shell [Energy]

Exergy analysis of discharging multi-tank thermal energy storage systems with constant heat extraction [Applied Energy]

Research roundup: Mini-emulsion polymerization; microcapsules in garments; diesel engine waste heat recovery

Ben Welter - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Poly(methyl methacrylate) copolymer nanocapsules containing phase-change material (n-dodecanol) prepared via miniemulsion polymerization [Journal of Applied Polymer Science]

Influences of the PCM Microcapsules on Thermal Properties of the Garment [pdf] [International Conference on Information Sciences, Machinery, Materials and Energy]

Experimental Investigation of a Cascaded Latent Heat Storage System for Diesel Engine Waste Heat Recovery [Energy Sources]

Outlast's new acrylic fiber uses unencapsulated phase change material

Ben Welter - Monday, May 11, 2015

Outlast President Martin BentzOutlast Technologies and Thai Acrylic Fibre have developed a new acrylic fiber using unencapsulated phase change material.

Outlast says the new fiber performs four times better than the existing version in regulating temperature in apparel and blankets. 

“We are using now a non-encapsulated pPCM system and we no longer work with encapsulated mPCMs here,” explained Martin Bentz, president of the Golden, Colo., company. “This change allowed us to improve the performance of the new Outlast acrylic fibers enormously. With that, the spinning and dyeing properties are enhanced.” 

Patent application: Temperature-regulating apparel with PCM

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 30, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150106992U.S. patent application 20150106992 (applicant Under Armour Inc.): "The present invention is directed toward an article of apparel effective to regulate the temperature of the wearer. In an embodiment, the article of apparel includes a base textile with a thermal regulation membrane. The thermal regulation membrane contains a plurality of system-reactive components selectively engaged heat and/or moisture. In an embodiment, the printed coating includes a cooling agent, a phase change material, and a heat dissipation material. In operation, the article of apparel is effective to delay/diminish the rise in skin temperature (compared to a garment lacking the membrane), increasing wearer comfort."