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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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New School's University Center, Federal Center South win AIA sustainability awards

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 23, 2015

New School University CenterThe New School's University Center, a 370,000-square-foot mixed-use building in Manhattan, has made the American Institute of Architects' list of the Top 10 Most Sustainable Projects of 2015. The LEED Gold building, right, features a thermal energy storage system that makes ice at night, when electricity is cheaper, to help cool the structure during the day. University Center was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Federal Center South, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office building in Seattle, was honored as the AIA's Top 10 Plus winner. The building's HVAC system includes heat-recovery chillers that extract heat from a thermal storage tank to warm the building in the morning, when demand is high. A rooftop tank is filled with 2-foot-long panels containing phase change material that freezes and thaws at 55 degrees, serving as a battery for storing energy. Federal Center South was designed by ZGF Architects.

http://www.archdaily.com/623000/aia-names-top-10-most-sustainable-projects-of-2015/

TES startup NETenergy wins $100,000 Pritzker Foundation Prize

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chicago startup NETenergy, an energy storage and management services provider, is among the winners at the 2015 Clean Energy Challenge. NETenergy was awarded the $100,000 Pritzker Foundation Prize.

The company's thermal energy storage units use phase change composites to store cold energy, allowing customers to shift A/C production to off-peak hours, when electricity is cheaper. The units are paired with software that manages energy use. NETenergy is led by Said Al-Hallaj, who is CEO of AllCell Technologies and an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, and Mike Pintar, an MBA candidate at the university's Booth School of Business.  

http://chicagoinno.streetwise.co/2015/04/15/clean-energy-tech-8-startups-get-funding-a-the-clean-energy-challenge

Trane/CALMAC system is finalist in 2015 chiller competition

Ben Welter - Wednesday, April 08, 2015

An ice-enhanced, air-cooled chiller plant is among the finalists in Consulting-Specifying Engineer's 2015 Product of the Year competition. The system, which combines Trane's EarthWise plants with CALMAC's IceBank tanks, shifts energy demand to off-peak hours, when electricity is cheaper.

The three other finalists in the chiller category: The Danfoss Variable Twin Turbo series of water-cooled, evaporative cooled compressors; the 1,500-ton capacity Daikin Magnitude magnetic bearing chiller; and the WaterFurnace WC Screw Chillers. 

http://www.csemag.com/single-article/consulting-specifying-engineer-2015-product-of-the-year-finalists-chillers/4034db578361f5779737d4b2816ed92a.html

Outlast PCM/down filling material makes FabricLink's Top 10

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Outlast Technologies' Universe PCM/down filling material has won a place on FabricLink's list of top 10 textile innovations for 2014-2015. The filling material "adds lightness, fluffy volume and naturalness, while regulating and optimizing the climate comfort."

The award honors commercially available materials and technologies that have launched during the past year. Other winners this year include 3M's Thinsulate Featherless Insulation, Carhartt's flame-resistant Extremes Arctic outerwear and Freudenberg's nonwoven polyester lining material.

http://www.fabriclink.com/Consumer/TopTen-2014.cfm

Ohio teen's PCM proposal wins MIT THINK award

Ben Welter - Monday, March 23, 2015

Aditya JobAn Ohio teen's proposal to use phase change material to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic panels is one of three winners in MIT's annual THINK competition. Aditya Jog, a sophomore at Mason High School near Cincinnati, will receive $2,000 to build his project, a $500 scholarship and project mentorship from MIT students.

"Photovoltaic cells have the potential to utilize the planet’s most plentiful renewable energy source, yet their widespread use has been impeded because of relatively low efficiency," he wrote in his application. "The solar to electrical conversion efficiency of photovoltaic devices suffers when they operate at elevated temperatures. Current solutions rely on active heat dissipation, increasing both capital and operating costs. This proposal offers an alternative, passive heat dissipation system that employs a solid-liquid phase change material as a temperature regulator."

The THINK Scholars Program, sponsored this year by Thomson Reuters, is run by a team of MIT undergraduate students.

http://www.todayspulse.com/news/news/local/mhs-student-1-of-3-winners-of-mit-think-scholars-c/nkXk4/

PLUSS Polymers' neonate cooler wins Plasticon Award

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 10, 2015

PLUSS Polymers of India has won a 2015 Plasticon Award for its MiraCradle neonate cooler. MiraCradle is a low-cost passive cooling device for treating newborns suffering from birth asphyxia. It was developed in collaboration with Christian Medical College of Vellore, India. The device uses Pluss Polymers' "form-stable" phase change materials, savE FS-21 and FS-29.

http://www.mpponline.in/pluss-polymers-felicitated-with-plasticon-award-2015/

Frigesco flash defrost system wins ACR News Award

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Frigesco Ltd.'s low-energy flash defrost system was among the winners at last week's ACR News Awards in London, earning Refrigeration Product of the Year honors.

The British company's technology harnesses waste heat to defrost refrigeration systems more efficiently, reducing supermarket cooling costs by up to 20 percent. Phase change material is used to store the waste heat. 

Other ACR winners include Toshiba, Cool Designs Ltd. and Sainsbury Triple Zero Stores.

http://www.acr-news.com/acr-awards-2015-winners-revealed

3 Illinois Tech undergrads to work on hybrid thermal battery system

Ben Welter - Friday, February 20, 2015

Nineteen undergrads at the Illinois Institute of Technology have been accepted into the school's Armour R&D Program this spring. The program offers engineering students a chance to gain research and development experience.

Three of the students – Hanyue Li, Yifan Li and Shihan Tian – will work on a hybrid battery thermal management system using phase change materials and natural air-cooling. They will be mentored by Francisco Ruiz, an associate professor in the school's Armour College of Engineering.

http://www.iit.edu/news/iittoday/?p=41054

Amsterdam is home to world's most-sustainable building

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Edge, AmsterdamThe Edge, Deloitte’s new headquarters in Amsterdam, has won BREEAM certification as the world’s most-sustainable building.

The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology, licensed for use by independent, trained assessors, rates buildings on criteria such as energy and water use, waste management, transportation links and materials sourcing. The Edge earned the highest BREEAM score yet recorded, 98.36 percent. One Embankment Place in London held the previous record, 96.31.

The 430,000-square-foot building was designed by PLP Architecture of London. Its energy-efficient design includes passive temperature control, Ethernet-powered LED lighting, 44,000 square feet of rooftop solar panels and an aquifer thermal energy storage unit 500 feet below ground that generates all energy required for heating and cooling.

Seattle building wins ASHRAE technology award

Ben Welter - Monday, December 15, 2014

Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District headquarters

A three-story Seattle office building is one of nine projects recognized for innovative design with an ASHRAE Technology Award. Federal Center South, home to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District, received first place in the new commercial buildings category.

Among the innovative energy conservation technologies incorporated in the 209,000-square-foot building are thermal energy storage using phase change material and "a 100% outside air ventilation system with heat recovery of exhaust serving a raised floor ventilation air distribution system." 

The projected annual energy cost for the building was modeled at $80,740, compared to ASHRAE's baseline of $135,791.

http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96914-ashrae-announces-technology-award-winners