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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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Entropy Solutions blog, newsletter win PR News awards

Ben Welter - Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Entropy Solutions, maker of PureTemp, the world’s first 100 percent renewable phase change material, has won first place in two categories – blog and e-mail newsletter – in the 2015 Digital PR Awards.

The national competition, sponsored by PR News, recognizes the year's most outstanding digital communicators and campaigns. Winners were announced Monday at the annual Digital PR Awards luncheon at the Yale Club in New York City.

The Phase Change Matters blog, launched in December 2014, tracks the latest news and research on phase change material and thermal energy storage. The blog has helped puretemp.com, Entropy Solutions’ website, more than double its traffic and dramatically improve its search engine visibility. Other finalists in the blog category included Coca-Cola, MasterCard, Polycom and Adobe Systems.

The first issue of Entropy Solutions’ weekly e-mail newsletter, also called Phase Change Matters, was distributed on Dec. 19, 2014, to 16 subscribers. The newsletter, the first of its kind in the industry, now has more than 650 subscribers and an open rate approaching 30 percent. Other finalists in the e-mail newsletter category were MasterCard, Global Hotel Alliance and 70kft.

Entropy Solutions won honorable mention in a third category, website redesign/relaunch. ESPN.com took first place in that category. Other finalists included Genentech (gene.com), Swirl (kingsford.com) and the Middle East Public Relations Association (mepra.org).

For a complete list of winners and more about the annual awards, see www.prnewsonline.com/awards/2015-digital-pr-winners.

Stevens Institute's SURE House surges to victory in Solar Decathlon

Ben Welter - Monday, October 19, 2015

SURE House

Stevens Institute of Technology, a private research university in Hoboken, N.J., won top honors at the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon 2015 on Saturday. The team's SURE House, inspired by the need for dwellings that can withstand the kind of storm surge, high winds and flooding associated with 2012's Superstorm Sandy, was judged to be the best of 14 solar-powered homes in the collegiate competition. Judges awarded points based on each home's affordability, attractiveness, comfort and net energy consumption.  

“The Stevens design stacks up very favorably against many homes designed by seasoned architectural teams, and in fact outstrips the vast majority of U.S. houses when it comes to energy performance," wrote one of the judges, Ann Edminster, an international expert on green homes. "The love of community that drove this design inspired a highly effective collaboration, in turn giving rise to an exceptionally well-integrated final product that will benefit both the occupants and their larger community.”

Stevens took first place with an overall score of 960 out of a possible 1,000 points. The State University of New York at Buffalo took second place (941 points). Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, took third (910 points).

http://www.solardecathlon.gov/blog/archives/4249

RGEES blood-specimen shipper wins cost-efficiency award

Ben Welter - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

RGEES Standard 71 shipperRGEES won an Excellence Award for Best Cost Efficiency Project at last week's Cold Chain Global Forum in Boston.  

The North Carolina-based company, manufacturer of savENRG PCM products, was honored for its new ambient shipper, Standard 71. Developed jointly by RGEES and Paradigm Design Solutions Inc., the reusable "small-box" shipper uses salt-hydrate phase change material to keep blood specimens between 15° C to 25° C for 48 hours.

Entropy Solutions' website, blog and newsletter are finalists in 2015 Digital PR Awards

Ben Welter - Friday, September 25, 2015

Entropy Solutions has been named a finalist in the 2015 Digital PR Awards in three categories: website redesign/relaunch, blog and e-mail newsletter.

The awards program, sponsored by PR News, recognizes the year's most outstanding digital communicators and campaigns. Winners will be announced Nov. 9 at the annual Digital PR Awards luncheon at the Yale Club in New York City.

Entropy Solutions launched its redesigned website, PureTemp.com, in December 2014, along with Phase Change Matters, a new blog that tracks the latest news and information on phase change material and thermal energy storage. The first issue of the weekly e-mail newsletter of the same name was distributed on Dec. 19, 2014, to 16 subscribers. The newsletter now has more than 600 subscribers. 

Finalists in the three categories are:

Website redesign/relaunch: CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (State of Maryland), ESPN (ESPN.com redesign & 20th anniversary), Fahlgren Mortine (Chart Industries), Genentech (Gene.com redesign), Middle East Public Relations Association (Growing Together: Introducing the new MEPRAi), Swirl (Kingsford.com), 70kft (www.70kft.com) and Entropy Solutions (PureTemp.com redesign).

Blog (company): Adobe Systems Inc. (Adobe Life Blog), Anadolu Efes (The World is Yours), Coca-Cola Co. (Coca-Cola Journey), Human Rights Campaign Blog, Liberty Mutual Insurance (The Torch: A Guide to Safe & Smart Living), MasterCard (Consumo Inteligente), Polycom (Public Sector View) and Entropy Solutions (Phase Change Matters blog).

E-mail newsletter: MasterCard (Futbol Fridays), 70kft (KFT newsletter), Global Hotel Alliance (DISCOVERY Account Summary) and Entropy Solutions (Phase Change Matters newsletter).

For a list of finalists in other categories and more about the annual awards, see www.digitalprawards.com.

Sonoco makes Dow Jones sustainability index for 7th straight year

Ben Welter - Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sonoco, a global provider of packaging products and services, has made the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the seventh consecutive year. The honor comes following an in-depth analysis of financial material and economic, environmental and social practices of more than 3,500 invited companies.

Sonoco logo“Only three global packaging companies were recognized with listings on DJSI World Index in 2015, and I’m proud to say that Sonoco has the longest consecutive streak of any packaging company currently listed,” said Jack Sanders, Sonoco president and CEO. “This honor recognizes our dedication to reducing the environmental footprint from our global operations, providing a safe and healthy workplace for our employees, developing innovative packaging and recycling solutions to meet our customers’ sustainability goals and contributing to the communities where we operate.”

http://investor.sonoco.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=82014&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2087808

Low-cost, PCM-based energy storage system wins Australia Eureka Prize

Ben Welter - Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bruno, Tay and Belusko

A team of Australian researchers has won a Eureka Prize for developing a low-cost, salt-based energy storage system. 

The University of South Australia team – Associate Professor Frank Bruno, Dr. Steven Tay and Dr. Martin Belusko (above, left to right) – will share the $10,000 prize for Innovative Use of Technology. 

The system uses surplus solar power or off-peak electricity to solidify phase change material contained in compact coils inside storage tanks. Melting releases energy when it is needed. The system is said to store energy at one-tenth the cost of batteries.

A commercial-scale version of the system has been installed at a large farm in south Australia. That system stores off-peak electricity from the grid to cool produce storage rooms more cheaply during the day. [Parilla Thermal Storage Project Case Study, May 2014]

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/molten-salt-storage-for-rooftop-solar-sa-invention-wins-eureka-prize-99882

Embrace co-founder makes MIT's list of '35 Innovators Under 35'

Ben Welter - Monday, August 24, 2015

MIT Technology Review has named Rahul Panicker one of 2015's "35 Innovators under 35." Panicker and three Stanford University classmates created the low-cost Embrace infant warmer and brought it to market. Panicker, co-founder and president of products at Embrace Innovations in Bangalore, India, explains how in an interview with the magazine: 

Rahul Panicker"[W]e came up with a prototype incubator that costs 1 percent as much as traditional solutions and can be operated by a non-expert. It uses phase change materials to keep babies at the ideal temperature of 37° C for up to six hours without electricity. When heated with hot water or another source, a phase change material melts, and it can release heat the baby needs at a constant temperature.

“NGOs we’d partnered with passed on the design. We realized if we didn’t take this forward, no one else would. After a year of working on the project in my free time, we finally had our seed capital, and in 2009 I quit my job, moved to Bangalore with my three cofounders, and started Embrace. Since then our warmers have been used in 15 countries to help nearly 200,000 babies. We’ve implemented a hybrid for-profit/not-for-profit business model that lets us scale much faster than a charity."

In an interview this month with the Economic Times, Panicker described startup companies in his native India as lacking "big visionary thinking":

"Most innovations I see in the startup world or industrial research labs in India are product innovations, incremental innovations, or business-model innovations. I know of few examples of fundamental technological innovations. But I am hopeful it will happen as the tech-driven economy around us develops."

http://www.technologyreview.com/lists/innovators-under-35/2015/humanitarian/rahul-panicker/

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/interviews/indian-startups-lack-vision-and-will-to-tackle-big-problems-rahul-alex-panicker/articleshow/48638277.cms


2 Canadian students develop chemical-based heating system for home use

Ben Welter - Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Two grad students at Dalhousie University in Halifax are working on a new type of chemical-based thermal energy storage for use in heating homes. 

Louis Desgrosseilliers and Moe Kabbara, whose project won a $50,000 prize in the Innovacorp Smart Energy Demo Challenge in June, recently formed NeoThermal Energy Storage to develop the technology. They plan to create prototypes of a portable device that can capture and store energy while plugged into the grid at low-cost, non-peak hours and then release heat during the day to warm a room. 

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1296083-dalhousie-students-develop-chemical-based-heating-system

PCM insulation additive wins $35,000 MIT Clean Energy Prize

Ben Welter - Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Insulation additiveCoolFlux, an insulation technology that uses phase change material to improve a building’s cooling performance, won $35,000 at last month's MIT Clean Energy awards.

CoolFlux was developed by graduate students Alan Ransil and Wenhao Sun in an MIT materials design challenge. The developers describe it as an additive "that improves the effectiveness of insulation without changing how those panels look, feel or could be installed." The patent-pending technology promises to improve a building's cooling performance by up to 40 percent. 

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2015/06/mit-clean-energy-prize-awards ...

NETenergy wins $40,000 at University of Chicago's New Venture Challenge

Ben Welter - Friday, May 29, 2015

Chicago startup NETenergy, an energy storage and management services provider, raked in $40,000 at the University of Chicago's Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge this week.

NETenergy, which won the $100,000 prize at the Clean Energy Trust Challenge earlier this year, was awarded $30,000 from the New Venture Challenge, plus a $10,000 Khosa Maker 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.

Maestro, which is developing a countertop device that can cook pre-portioned healthy foods, won the challenge's top prize of $50,000, plus $20,000 from Pritzker Group Venture Capital. 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/ct-booth-nvc-winners-bsi-20150528-story.html