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

Modernization of system in Italy earns Global District Energy Climate Award

Ben Welter - Friday, May 01, 2015

The modernization of the district heating system in Lodi, Italy, was among the projects honored at the annual Global District Energy Climate Awards in Estonia this week. Improvements to the 11-year-old system include the addition of thermal energy storage tanks designed to store up to 10 MWh, with a peak charge/discharge of 5 MW.

Also honored were:

• A CHP system based on renewable biomass in Braunschweig, Germany. The new Hungerkamp system replaces 34 oil- and coal-fired boilers and is projected to eliminate 8,000 tons of CO₂ a year. 

• A combined heating and cooling system in Helsinki, Finland. An overall 80 percent energy saving is projected for the system, which relies on seawater for both heating and cooling.

• A deep geothermal system in Kirchweidach, Germany. The system supplies residents with renewable heat and electricity and heats a 30-acre greenhouse that grows peppers and tomatoes that would otherwise be imported. 

http://www.districtenergy.org/blog/2015/04/27/2015-global-district-energy-climate-awards-announced/

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

Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

Ben Welter - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Phase Change Matters logoNew on LinkedIn: A group devoted to the discussion of phase change material and thermal energy storage, a place for PCM and TES experts and industry leaders from around the world to gather and share ideas. It's called Phase Change Matters, and it's intended as a highly interactive complement to the blog and newsletter of the same name.

The first topic up for discussion: PCM and off-peak cooling systems:

TES pioneers like CALMAC and Ice Energy have been installing ice-based energy storage systems for years. And district cooling has been around for decades. What are the main barriers to wider adoption of phase change material in these types of thermal energy storage systems? Complexity? Education? Cost?

You are invited to join the discussion. Here's a link to the group:

https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=6953237

Research roundup: Encapsulated NaNO3; eutectic mixture with polystyrene shell; energy storage plants; more

Ben Welter - Friday, March 13, 2015

  • Experimental and computational study of thermal energy storage with encapsulated NaNO3 for high temperature applications [Solar Energy]

  • Micro/nano encapsulated n-tetracosane and n-octadecane eutectic mixture with polystyrene shell for low-temperature latent heat thermal energy storage applications [Solar Energy]

  • Controllable Thermal Rectification Realized in Binary Phase Change Composites [Scientific Reports]

  • Assessing the economics of large Energy Storage Plants with an optimisation methodology [Energy]
  • Research roundup: UV-blocking film; paraffin-red brick composite; cool thermal energy storage; more

    Ben Welter - Monday, March 09, 2015

  • A novel thermal-insulating film incorporating microencapsulated phase-change materials for temperature regulation and nano-TiO2 for UV-blocking [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • Preparation and thermal characterization of paraffin/red brick composite as a novel form-stable phase change material for thermal energy storage [Proceedings of Engineering and Technology - pdf]

  • Dynamic Characteristics of Cool Thermal Energy Storage Systems — A Review [International Journal of Green Energy]

  • Bidirectional thermoelectric energy generator based on a phase-change lens for concentrating solar power [International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems]

  • Numerical Investigation of Effective Heat Conductivity of Fluid in Charging Process of Thermal Storage Tank [Open Journal of Fluid Dynamics - pdf]

  • Improvement on Heat Release Performance of Direct-contact Heat Exchanger Using Phase Change Material for Recovery of Low-Temperature Exhaust Heat [ISIJ International]
  • Exergy founder on PC heat generation: 'We can put this in every house in the U.S.'

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    Henry, Project Exergy prototype computerIn an interview with Public Radio International, Project Exergy founder Lawrence Orsini talks about his vision of harnessing the heat generated by computers.

    Henry, the project's liquid-cooled, high-performance prototype, generates far more heat than a typical computer. It's made from off-the-shelf parts and is slight bigger than a tower PC. The main difference: It's paired with a small thermal storage tank filled with phase change material. The tank can hold a temperature of 93º Celsius.

    “We can put this [technology] in every house in the U.S.," Orsini says. "In fact, if we did that and we distributed the two to three percent of energy that is being used in data centers, some of our rough calculations say we can probably heat nearly 80 million houses."

    http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-02-18/someday-we-may-be-heating-homes-and-businesses-personal-computers

    Inside Federal Center South, an ASHRAE award-winning project

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    Tom Boysen Jr.In December, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office building in Seattle was one of nine projects recognized for innovative design with an ASHRAE Technology Award. Federal Center South received first place in the new commercial buildings category. 

    The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce takes a closer look at the project, including the months of tweaking needed to reach the energy-use guarantees made by the general contractor, Sellen Construction.

    “This is not your father's 1960s pickup truck,” said Tom Boysen, senior project manager. “This thing has at least four gears of cooling and two gears of heating.”

    The complex system includes heat-recovery chillers that extract heat from a thermal storage tank to warm the building in the morning, when demand is high. The 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 heat.

    https://www.djc.com/news/en/12074091.html

    Research roundup: Under-floor heating; fire retardants; even-numbered n-alkanes; more

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

  • Effect of thermal conductivities of shape stabilized PCM on under-floor heating system [Applied Energy] 

  • Fire Retardant for Phase Change Material [Engineering Materials]

  • Temperature-dependent thermal properties of solid/liquid phase change even-numbered n-alkanes: n-Hexadecane, n-octadecane and n-eicosane [Applied Energy]

  • Numerical analysis on thermal behavior of solid–liquid phase change within copper foam with varying porosity [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

  • Thermal behaviour of insulation and phase change materials in buildings with internal heat loads: experimental study [Energy Efficiency]

  • Resource and revenue potential of California residential load participation in ancillary services [Energy Policy]

  • A review of large-scale electrical energy storage (including a mathematical model for thermal energy storage as a battery) [Energy Research]

  • New resource for clean energy entrepreneurs

    Ben Welter - Thursday, February 05, 2015

    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Electric Power Research Institute have launched the Clean Energy Incubator Network. Through its website, www.incubatenergy.org, the federally funded program will assist business incubators, connect industry and energy sector partners, and boost clean energy technologies emerging from universities and government labs.

    "This website of resources and tools for incubators and entrepreneurs will serve as a focal point of the network," said Matt Ringer, NREL's project manager. "With our past experience building databases for a variety of related energy resources, NREL is well positioned to develop this type of resource for the clean tech industry." 

    http://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2015/16455.html

    ARPA-E seeks technology-to-market scholars, fellows

    Ben Welter - Thursday, February 05, 2015

    ARPA-E is accepting applications for technology-to-market scholars and fellows. During their 8- to 12-week tenure, scholars will conduct analysis and research to support the commercialization of ARPA-E's energy technology projects and programs. During their two-year tenure, ARPA-E fellows will focus on identifying breakthrough energy technologies.

    http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-e-site-page/job-opportunities