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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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Research roundup: Commercialization of PCMs; nickel foam-paraffin composite; CFD simulation of spherical capsule; more

Ben Welter - Monday, September 19, 2016

Review of current state of research on energy storage, toxicity, health hazards and commercialization of phase changing materials [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

Experimental investigation of a passive thermal management system for high-powered lithium ion batteries using nickel foam-paraffin composite [Energy]

Assessing the thermal performance of three cold energy storage materials with low eutectic temperature for food cold chain [Energy]

CFD simulation of melting process of phase change materials (PCMs) in a spherical capsule [International Journal of Refrigeration]

Thermophysical Properties of Multifunctional Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites Incorporating Phase Change Materials [Thermochimica Acta]

Experimental study of evacuated tube collector/storage system containing paraffin as a PCM [Energy]

Patent application: Insulation of rechargeable battery pack

Ben Welter - Friday, September 16, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160268653 (applicant Covidien LP, Mansfield, Mass.):

"A battery autoclaving system is provided including a battery pack having a housing, a battery cell disposed within the housing, and an isolation region disposed between the housing and the battery cell. The isolation region may be formed at least partially from at least one of a thermal insulating material, a phase change material or any combination thereof. The system may include a temperature sensor adapted to sense at least one of a temperature of the battery cell temperature of the isolation region, The system may include and an autoclave configured to receive a temperature indication from the temperature sensor and to inhibit autoclaving when the temperature indication exceeds a predetermined value."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20160268653.pdf

Research roundup: Triple-pane window filled with PCM: lithium-ion batteries; thermal storage in a MW scale; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Experimental Research on the Dynamic Thermal Performance of a Novel Triple-pane Building Window Filled with PCM [Sustainable Cities and Societies]

Experimental studies on the supercooling and melting/freezing characteristics of nano-copper/sodium acetate trihydrate composite phase change materials [Renewable Energy]

A novel heat exchanger concept for latent heat thermal energy storage in solar power towers: Modelling and performance comparison [Solar Energy]

Effects of parameters of the shell formation process on the performance of microencapsulated phase change materials based on melamine-formaldehyde [Textile Research Journal]

Numerical studies of lithium-ion battery thermal management systems using phase change materials and metal foams [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Energy savings due to the use of PCM for relocatable lightweight buildings passive heating and cooling in different weather conditions [Energy and Buildings]

Thermal storage in a MW scale. Molten salt solar thermal pilot facility: Plant description and commissioning experiences [Renewable Energy]

Patent application: Battery pack with phase change material

Ben Welter - Monday, August 08, 2016

Milwaukee Tool battery pack drawingU.S. patent application 20160226290 (applicant Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp., Milwaukee, Wis.):

"The electrical combination comprises a battery pack configured to be interfaced with a hand held power tool, a control component, and a semiconducting switch. The transfer of power from the battery pack to the hand held power tool is controlled by the control component and the switch based on one of a battery pack state of charge and a respective state of charge of one of a plurality of battery cells."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20160226290.pdf

Research roundup: Liquid D-mannitol heat transfer; mesoporous silica sphere; lithium-ion battery cooling; more

Ben Welter - Monday, August 08, 2016

Transient natural convection heat transfer of liquid D-mannitol on a horizontal cylinder [Renewable Energy]

Recent progresses and achievements in photovoltaic-phase change material technology: A review with special treatment on photovoltaic thermal-phase change material systems [Energy Conversion and Management]

Radial-like mesoporous silica sphere: A promising new candidate of supporting material for storage of low-, middle-, and high-temperature heat [Energy]

Thermal optimization of composite phase change material/ expanded graphite for Li-ion battery thermal management [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Cooling Li-ion batteries of racing solar car by using multiple phase change materials [Applied Thermal Engineering]

The flammability of aerogel and PCM coated cotton fabric for firefighter's garment [Textile Bioengineering and lnformatics Society]

Polyvinyl Alcohol-salt Hydrate Mixtures as Passive Thermal Energy Storage Systems [Energy Procedia]

Transient cooling effect analyses for a permanent-magnet synchronous motor with phase-change-material packaging [Applied Thermal Engineering]

PCM briefing: Pelican BioThermal is looking for VP for new products; Ice Energy completes project at North Hollywood movie theater

Ben Welter - Friday, August 05, 2016

Pelican BioThermal has posted an opening for a vice president of engineering and new product development. The VP will "lead a team of highly-driven and innovative engineers to design and develop the next generation of best-in-class temperature controlled packaging solutions for the life sciences industry." 

Appearing at this week's Advances in Thermal Management 2016 conference in Denver, Colo.: Mark Hartmann, chief technology officer at Outlast Technologies, discussed the use of thermal materials to manage the heat generated by lithium-ion batteries. Croda International's CrodaTherm biobased phase change materials were on display at booth 35. Outlast materials scientist Joe Kelly spoke at the companion conference, Battery Power 2016

• The U.S. Department of Energy has introduced two new tools designed to help cities nationwide make more strategic energy decisions based on actual and estimated data and analysis. The City Energy Profile tool uses robust data science methodologies to derive data on energy use and costs for 23,400 cities. The Local Energy Toolbox allows cities to build a customizable list of actions to help make strategic energy decisions.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems has begun verification testing of a solar thermal power system at the company's new facility in Yokohama, Japan. The hybrid system combines a low-temperature Fresnel evaporator, a high-temperature thermal storage system and a tower-type superheater that collects sunlight by heliostats.

• Safety expert John D. Modine is the new chief executive at the American Chemistry Council's Chemtrec division.

Ice Energy has installed four Ice Bear 30 thermal storage units at a Cinemark movie theater in North Hollywood, Calif. Ice Energy says the project qualifies for energy efficiency rebates from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

Research roundup: Refrigerated display cabinet; MA/HDPE composites with nano-additives; incinerator ash; more

Ben Welter - Sunday, July 31, 2016

The novel use of phase change materials in an open type refrigerated display cabinet: A theoretical investigation [Applied Energy]

Reducing cell-to-cell spacing for large-format lithium ion battery modules with aluminum or PCM heat sinks under failure conditions [Applied Energy]

Synthesis and thermal properties of the MA/HDPE composites with nano-additives as form-stable PCM with improved thermal conductivity [Applied Energy]

An experimental study of thermal management system using copper mesh-enhanced composite phase change materials for power battery pack [Energy]

Novel Multiphase Change Materials for Energy Storage Application in Buildings [14th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Propulsion and Energy Forum]

MSWI bottom ash for thermal energy storage: An innovative and sustainable approach for its reutilization [Renewable Energy]

Response surface method optimization of V-shaped fin assisted latent heat thermal energy storage system during discharging process [Alexandria Engineering Journal]