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 weekly PCM newsletter. Or join the discussion on LinkedIn.

RECENT POSTS

TAGS

ARCHIVE

PCM briefing: Qatar University working on polyolefin-based PCM; Pelican BioThermal introduces Credo Cargo

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Qatar University Centre for Advanced Materials is developing polyolefin-based phase change material to reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions and plastic waste. The research team is developing special PCM foams and compact composite sheets based on polyethylene, paraffin wax and graphite. 

Swiss away jersey by PumaPelican BioThermal has launched a new pallet shipper system, CrÄ“do Cargo. The reusable bulk shipper uses phase change material cooling panels to maintain temperature ranges +2C to +8C and +15C to +25C. 

The Swiss national soccer team will wear PCM-infused away uniforms at the European Championships 2016 in France. The jersey features Puma's ACTV Thermo-R technology. Strategically placed tape infused with microencapsulated phase change material absorbs excess heat and releases it back to the body when needed. The uniforms will be worn for the first time in an international friendly against the Republic of Ireland on March 25. Other national teams sporting the new kits are Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Italy.

President Obama is vowing to push ahead with efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions after the U.S. Supreme Court put his Clean Power Plan on hold until legal challenges are resolved.

PCM briefing: Georgia Tech selected for Solar Decathlon; Arizona company to outsource operations of 'Near Zero Carbon' greenhouse

Ben Welter - Monday, February 08, 2016

• A team from Georgia Tech is one of 16 chosen to participate in the U.S. Energy Department's 2017 Solar Decathlon. The team will explore concepts such as heat recovery systems, phase change materials, solar technology and direct current microgrids. Northwestern, Rice and Syracuse universities are among the other schools selected. 

Sustainable Energy and Agriculture Technology LLC is looking to outsource the operations of a “Near Zero Carbon” solar greenhouse in Sahuarita, Ariz. Phase change material will be used to control temperature in the 1,160-square-meter greenhouse.

EnergyNest reports that its concrete thermal energy storage system at the Masdar Institute's solar plant in Abu Dhabi is performing as well as or better than simulations suggested it would.

• A growing number of researchers are contacting reporters directly to alert them to upcoming papers, The Scientist magazine reports.

• The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has obtained a U.S. patent for a method that rapidly characterizes specialized materials during the manufacturing process.

PCM briefing: A bioplastics breakthrough from DuPont/ADM; a revamped bedding line from Tempur-Pedic

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 26, 2016

CleanTechnica takes a look at the DuPont-ADM "breakthrough" process for producing a high-performance, 100 percent biodegradable bioplastic. The companies' first project will use furan dicarboxylic methyl ester to produce polytrimethylene furandicarboxylate, which ADM says outperforms petroleum-based polymers in extending beverage shelf life.

•  Tempur-Pedic has revamped its Breeze line of cooler-sleep beds, fusing phase change material in the top Tempur foam layer to deliver “a significantly improved cooling effect,” the company said.

Composite sandwich panels containing phase change material are among 20 smart materials and structures identified by a European Union study with possible applications in the shipbuilding industry. The panels would minimize heat transfer and lower cooling costs on refrigerated cargo ships.  

• Sonoco ThermoSafe, Pluss Advanced Technologies, va-Q-tec AG, Peli BioThermal, Cryopak, AAR Cold Chain Solutions and Croda are among the companies exhibiting PCM-related products at the 15th annual Temperature Controlled Logistics Europe conference in Frankfurt, Germany, this week. 

PCM briefing: California leads U.S. in net-zero buildings; Ice Energy CEO among speakers at green conference

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ice Energy CEO Mike Hopkins and renowned architect Frank Gehry are among the speakers at the VerdeXchange green economy conference Jan. 24-26 in Los Angeles.

California is home to almost half of all the net-zero buildings in the United States, according to a new survey from the Net-Zero Energy Coalition. Sacramento is first among U.S. cities, with more than 925 zero-energy housing units and 800 more planned. 

MIT researchers have developed a new material that can store solar energy during the day and release it later as heat on demand. The transparent polymer film could be applied to window glass, clothing or other surfaces.

• New from Grand View Research: "Fatty Acid Ester Market Analysis By Product (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Glyceryl Monostearate, Isopropyl Esters), By Application (Personal Care & Cosmetics, Lubricants, Food Processing, Surfactants & Detergents, Pharmaceuticals) and Segment Forecasts To 2022"

A housing development in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is said to be the first in the world to run on solar-powered hydrogen energy storage.

PCM briefing: Ice Energy hires CFO; Ember temperature-adjustable mug among gadgets at Consumer Electronics Show

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 07, 2016

Ice Energy, maker of the Ice Bear thermal energy storage system, has hired Charles Costenbader as its new chief financial officer. Costenbader most recently served as chief operating officer of Synthesis Energy Systems, Shanghai, China.

Ember Technologies' temperature-adjustable mug, powered by phase change material, is among the gadgets on display at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Appliance maker Glen Dimplex is about to begin recruiting 1,250 households in Germany, Latvia and Ireland to test its Quantum electric thermal storage system later this year.

The UK Green Building Council has launched a program to ensure that commercial buildings across the country meet the performance standards promised by developers.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is accepting applications for a year-round student internship to help foster clean energy development on tribal lands. 

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy is seeking technology-to-market experts to guide ARPA-E awardees in the development and execution of technology commercialization strategies. 

ARPA-E has posted the agenda for the Energy Innovation Summit, Feb. 29-March 2 in suburban Washington, D.C. Advanced Cooling Technologies and the Electric Power Research Institute, which are developing PCM-based dry-cooling technologies for thermoelectric power plants, are listed among the 267 showcase participants. 

$100,000 in prize money awaits winners of 2016 FLoW business plan competition

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 31, 2015

Entries are being sought for the 2016 FLoW program, a business plan competition for American university students and recent graduates focused on clean-tech and sustainability. Mentors will be assigned to help contestants develop their ideas and refine their pitches. $100,000 in prize money is available to winners. Submissions are due March 7, 2016.

Axiom Exergy took first place in 2015 with a refrigeration battery technology designed to help the food industry reduce energy costs. The battery charges by freezing tanks of salt water at night, when electricity is cheaper, and then provides refrigeration throughout the day. Axiom, led by a Stanford University team, won $75,000.

http://flow.caltech.edu/apply

PCM briefing: Thermal energy storage symposium in Switzerland; paper on development of Ebola vaccine passive storage device

Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

• Registration is open for the 3rd Swiss Symposium Thermal Energy Storage to be held Jan. 22, 2016, in Lucerne. Topics include PCM systems for high-temperature heat storage; seasonal storage with subcooling PCM; and cooling buildings, processes or batteries with phase change slurries. Cost is $300.

• In a paper presented at the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, Michael Friend and Shannon Stone of Intellectual Ventures describe the development of the Arktek DF passive storage device" for the Ebola vaccine in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

• New from Decision Databases: "Global Microencapsulation Market Research Report - Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2021"

• New from MarketsandMarkets: "Advanced Energy Storage Systems Market - Global Forecast to 2020"

• A team from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, one of four finalists in ESA Education’s Fly Your Thesis! competition, intends to verify a model of phase change material performance in a microgravity environment. The team's goal is to lay groundwork for more effective temperature control in future space applications.

The San Diego City Council has approved a legally binding climate action plan that commits the eighth-largest U.S. city to 100 percent renewables and a 50 reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. 


PCM briefing: Clean energy award for midcareer women; a PCM primer for architects and engineers

Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Nominations are open through Jan. 8 for the 2016 C3E Awards, which recognize outstanding midcareer women who are advancing clean energy. Each winner will receive $8,000 and national recognition at the annual C3E Symposium. 

• The full text of "Phase Change Materials: A primer for Architects and Engineers," edited by Sarah McCormack and Philip Griffiths, is available for free on ResearchGate.

A 17-year-old high school student in Barcelona spotted renewable energy giant Abengoa's financial problems a year ago. “If it does not act soon, there is a strong risk Abengoa will go into bankruptcy,” Pepe Baltá wrote in a research paper, citing accounting flaws apparently overlooked by Deloitte and Standard & Poor’s.

Renewable electricity accounted for more than 50 percent of U.S. electricity capacity additions in 2014, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reports. Solar led the pack, adding 5.5 gigawatts.

NETenergy, five other clean-tech startups join Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 10, 2015

NETenergy of Chicago is one of six clean-technology startups selected to join the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator, a five-year, $10 million program designed to accelerate innovative environmental technologies. The thermal energy storage company’s module integrates with air conditioning systems in small commercial buildings to shift energy demand and consumption to off-peak hours. 

The other five companies are 7AC Technologies, Beverly, Mass.; Go Electric Inc., Anderson, Ind.;  Heliotrope Technologies, Alameda, Calif.; Polyceed Inc., Encinitas, Calif.; and ThermoLift Inc., Stony Brook, N.Y.

Each company will receive up to $250,000 in cash and in-kind technical consultation. Innovation Incubator is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151210005131/en/Wells-Fargo-Adds-Clean-Technology-Startups-Innovation

Clean energy now provides 94.5% of Uruguay's electricity

Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Ramon Mendez, Uruguay's head of climate changeUruguay's head of climate change policy says renewables now provide 94.5 percent of his country's electricity.

In less than 10 years, Ramón Méndez says, Uruguay has slashed its carbon footprint, adding wind turbines, biomass and solar without government subsidies. And prices are lower as well.

"There are also fewer power cuts," the Guardian reports, "because a diverse energy mix means greater resilience to droughts." Uruguay's hydroelectric system, which continues to generate much of the country's electricity, is dependent on seasonal rainfall. 

But the work is not complete. At the climate conference in Paris, Méndez committed his country to an ambitious pledge: an 88% cut in carbon emissions by 2017 compared with the average for 2009-13.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/03/uruguay-makes-dramatic-shift-to-nearly-95-clean-energy