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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.




New market research on phase change materials and temperature-controlled packaging

Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Global Phase Change Materials Industry 2015 Market Research Report [QYResearch]

Phase Change Materials Market By Type, By Application (Building & Construction, Energy Storage, HVAC, Shipping & Transportation, Commercial Refrigeration and Others) and By Geography - Forecast (2015-2020) [Research and Markets]

Temperature Controlled Packaging Solutions Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2015-2025 [Future Market Insights]

Va-Q-tec is finalist in 3 categories in cold chain competition

Ben Welter - Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Va-Q-teq Ltd. is a finalist in three of four categories in the 2016 Temperature Controlled Logistics Awards. Online voting will determine the winner. Here are the finalists:

Best Temperature Logistics Project: Johnson & Johnson, QED Scientific, va-Q-tec Ltd. Va-Q-tec partnered with Gilead Sciences to produce an improved version of the va-Q-tainer, a passive pallet shipper equipped with phase change material.

Supply Chain Innovation: CargoSense, Locus Trax Worldwide, va-Q-tec Ltd. Va-Q-tec partnered with Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo to offer rental of va-Q-tec shippers worldwide.

Cold Chain IQ Newcomer: Alan Wu, PointRFID Co. Ltd.; Stefan Braun, SmartCAE; Katharina Wuensche, va-Q-tec Ltd. Wuensche was nominated for building a global network of more than 50 airline partners in less than five years.

Cold Chain IQ Influential Media: The Load Star, Life Science Leader, Freshlogistics Magazine.

Winners will be announced at the Temperature Controlled Logistics Europe trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, Jan. 25-28.

Phase Change Matters briefing: Almac/QuickSTAT partnership; online LEED course; Tesla's net-zero Gigafactory

Ben Welter - Tuesday, November 17, 2015

• Pharma giant Almac is partnering with QuickSTAT on a program to improve turnaround times of phase change shippers and other vacuum insulated packaging systems. The program will be based at QuickSTAT's temperature-controlled facility near Belfast International Airport and 30 minutes from Almac headquarters in Craigavon, U.K.

T. Stern Sustainability of Seattle is offering an online course titled "LEED Economics: Costs, Benefits & Performance" through GreenCE. Topics include LEED rebates and low-cost LEED strategies. Cost: $19.

• More positive press for the Ice Bear thermal energy storage system, a piece on "Solar powered air conditioning is the new hot thing."  

Tesla's chief technical officer, J.B. Straubel, says the company's planned Gigafactory in Nevada will produce as much renewable energy as it uses.

Registration open for PCM 2016 in Karlsruhe, Germany

Ben Welter - Friday, November 06, 2015

Registration is open for PCM 2016, the International Institute of Refrigeration's 11th conference on phase change materials and slurries for refrigeration and air conditioning. The conference will take place May 18-20, 2016, in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Themes include the thermophysical properties of PCMs and slurries, transport phenomena (mass, momentum and heat transfer); time-dependent behavior; applications and systems; and direct contact heat exchange.

The registration fee is 500 euros (400 euros for speakers and IIR members; 200 euros for students).

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.

The case for a new cold chain performance standard

Ben Welter - Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Peli BioThermal design manager Richard Wood endorses the adoption of Kelvin hours (KH) as a new performance standard for the global temperature-controlled packaging industry:

Richard Wood, Peli BioThermal"The benefits of adopting KH as a standard performance measure is that it does not tie itself to a particular ambient test profile. Rather, it is centred on what the specific selected shipping system is capable of doing; therefore, you can say that a particular shipping system will perform against ambient profile X, Y or Z for a specific number of hours for those different demands. It makes for a less subjective and more measured approach. KH could be collated via a simple equation: average thermal stress (K) x control duration (hrs) = Khrs. Adopting this calculated stress testing, using vendor qualification data, would enable simple, fit for purpose evaluations. 

"KH could easily be adopted as a tool to select the most appropriate level of performance of packaging. This could be used across the board, with a broad range of performance points for the newer-style phase change material (PCM) systems, which is where the KH measure works particularly well."

Patent application: Temperature-controlled cargo containers

Ben Welter - Friday, October 02, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150274415 (applicant AAR Manufacturing Inc., Wood Dale, Ill.):

"Temperature controlled cargo containers may include thermal masses conditioned to temperatures above and/or below a target temperature. Example thermal masses may include plates including phase change materials, such as eutectic materials. One or more fans and flapper valves may be selectively operated to circulate air in the cargo container across one or more of the thermal masses to maintain the temperature within the cargo container within a prescribed temperature band. Some example temperature controlled cargo containers may include refrigeration units and/or heaters for regenerating the thermal masses when receiving power from an external power source and/or may include one or more rechargeable batteries for providing power during transport or storage independent of external power sources."

Pelican BioThermal offers 12-day Credo Xtreme shipper rental

Ben Welter - Friday, October 02, 2015

Pelican BioThermal is offering a new pallet shipper rental service, with options such as preconditioning and drop-off at consolidation centers worldwide. The company says the service, Credo on Demand, provides a less costly and more manageable alternative to active shipper systems.

"Up to this point, the reusable bulk temperature-controlled market has been dominated by costly active containers, which require advanced notice to book and take up more cargo space on aircraft," said Ira Smith, the company's director of strategic development global transport and logistics. “In addition to a more competitive price point, and a generous rental period, Pelican BioThermal passive containers are more readily available and simple to condition. The Credo Xtreme pallet shipper requires fewer standard operating procedures, and therefore, offers fewer worries.”

The service offers 12-day standard rentals, including qualification reports and a clean, refurbished Credo Xtreme, the company’s flagship pallet shipper. Customers can pick up and drop off a shipper at a Pelican BioThermal service center or return it to a regional consolidation center for an additional fee.

Cold Chain Technologies to unveil new pallet shipping system

Ben Welter - Thursday, October 01, 2015

Cold Chain Technologies plans to introduce a new pallet shipping system, the KoolTemp GTS Evolution 1400L, at next week's Cold Chain GDP & Temperature Management Logistics Global Forum in Boston.

The Holliston, Mass., company says the 1,400-liter system is designed for high-value, palletized pharmaceuticals and other health care products and offers five-plus days of extreme temperature protection. The system features Koolit advanced phase change material and KoolDesigns thermal modeling. The company says the system is qualified for 2-8º C (available now), controlled room temperature (available Q4) and frozen (available Q1 2016) applications.

The company will also preview its newest innovations, including Koolit advanced PCM gel refrigerants, the KoolTemp GTS Enshield PCM pallet cover and a reusable version of the GTS Excel qualified shipping system.

ThermoSafe PCM experts to lead cold chain forum workshop

Ben Welter - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Two PCM experts from Sonoco ThermoSafe – Ken Maltas, director of engineering, and Iftekhar Ahmed, senior design engineer – are among the workshop leaders at next week's Cold Chain GDP & Temperature Management Logistics Global Forum in Boston.

Maltas and Ahmed will lead a Tuesday morning session, "Creating a Risk Model for the Development of Passive Shipping Systems: Linking Control and Risk to Total Cost." On Wednesday morning, Sonoco's Ben VanderPlas and Cardinal Health's Chris Anderson will present "Blue is the New Green," a case study on the development of sustainable, affordable and operationally efficient packaging solutions.

Other workshop, training and presentation topics include temperature-controlled clinical trial materials, regulatory guidance, risk-reduction strategies, common shipping problems, data integrity, minimizing the impact of harsh winters and the freezing and preparation of phase change materials.   

Forum sponsors and exhibitors include AAR Cold Chain Solutions, Cold Chain Technologies, Cryopak, EFP Corp., Packaging Technology Group, Pelican BioThermal, Pluss Advanced Technologies and va-Q-tec AG.