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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: 3-tank latent heat storage system; water-based graphene nanofluid; life cycle assessment of PCMs for buildings

Ben Welter - Monday, February 22, 2016

The heat transfer mechanism study of three-tank latent heat storage system based on entransy theory [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Solidification characteristics of water based graphene nanofluid PCM in a spherical capsule for cool thermal energy storage applications [International Journal of Refrigeration]

Life cycle assessment (LCA) of phase change materials (PCMs) for building applications: A review [Journal of Building Engineering]

CI engine performance during cold weather condition using preheated air and engine by waste energy [International Journal of Ambient Energy]

Research roundup: Polyurea microencapsulated PCM; semi-clathrate hydrates; light-to-thermal energy storage; more

Ben Welter - Monday, February 08, 2016

Preparation and characterization of polyurea microencapsulated phase change material by interfacial polycondensation method [Powder Technology]

Characterisation of thermal properties and charging performance of semi-clathrate hydrates for cold storage applications [Applied Energy]

Hybrid graphene aerogels/phase change material composites: Thermal conductivity, shape-stabilization and light-to-thermal energy storage [Carbon]

Review on use of phase change materials in battery thermal management for electric and hybrid electric vehicles [International Journal of Energy Research]

Experimental study of the heat transfer characteristics of a new-type flat micro-heat pipe thermal storage unit [Energy Conversion and Management]

Melting and solidification characteristics of a mixture of two types of latent heat storage material in a vessel [Heat and Mass Transfer]

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: PCM-equipped heat pump is up for Dutch award; Axiom Exergy is looking for a product engineer

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Coolmark's TripleAqua heat pump, which uses phase change material to store hot and cold energy, is one of three finalists in the energy savings category of the 2016 VSK Awards. The awards honor Dutch innovation and initiative in engineering. Winners will be announced Feb. 3 at the VSK trade show in Utrecht.

California startup Axiom Exergy, maker of a "Refrigeration Battery" designed to reduce supermarket energy costs, has posted an opening for a product engineer. Candidates are invited to answer this question: "Given the choice between pure water and a NaCl-water solution as the thermal energy storage medium in medium temperature (40°F, 4.4°C) refrigeration applications, what are the pros and cons of each material?" 

Abu Dhabi International Airport's new district cooling plant, completed this week, has 18 chillers, two thermal energy storage tanks and a total capacity of 55,000 metric tons of refrigerant.

Restonic is infusing phase change material into the surface of the TempaGel memory foam used in the mattress maker's new ComfortCare Hybrid Signature line.

The $20 million Jemalong Solar Thermal Station, which uses molten salt as a thermal storage medium, has entered the commissioning phase, developer Vast Solar says. The grid-connected pilot plant in New South Wales, Australia, is expected to reach full operation as early as May. 

BoTemp, a Dutch company that produces cold storage systems for the transport and container industry, has added two eutectic systems to its product line: The on-board Cold Battery uses chilled air forced into the cargo area to give a wide controllable temperature range from -18º C to 4º C. The stationary Cold Charger can quickly charge multiple vehicles or containers at the same time.

Ice Energy, which makes the Ice Bear thermal energy storage system, is on Business.com's list of 10 start-ups to watch in 2016.

Passive cooling device uses PCMs to keep vaccines cool in hot climates

Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Arktek cooling device atop camel (Bill Gates Foundation photo)

The refrigeration needed to keep vaccines safe and effective can be hard to come by in rural Nigeria, Nepal and other remote parts of the world. Global Good — a collaborative effort between Bill Gates and Intellectual Ventures — has devised one solution. The Arktek passive cooling device uses phase change materials to hold temperatures between 0 and 10 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 35 days in a hot climate.

http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/11/23/455580587/how-do-you-keep-vaccines-cool-try-spacecraft-insulation

Research roundup: PCM solar passive buildings; solar air heaters; review of microencapsulated PCMs; more

Ben Welter - Monday, November 16, 2015

Application of weather forecast in conjunction with price-based method for PCM solar passive buildings – An experimental study [Applied Energy]

Thermal analysis of Al–Si alloys as high-temperature phase-change material and their corrosion properties with ceramic materials [Applied Energy]

Thermal performance of packed bed heat storage system for solar air heaters [Energy for Sustainable Development]

Comparative study on AL2O3 nanoparticle addition on cool storage system performance [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Types, methods, techniques, and applications for microencapsulated phase change materials (MPCM): A review [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

Review on concentrating solar power plants and new developments in high temperature thermal energy storage technologies [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

Corrosion evaluation and prevention of reactor materials to contain thermochemical material for thermal energy storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Heat loss from thermal energy storage ventilated tank foundations [Solar Energy]

Optimization of Medium-Deep Borehole Thermal Energy Storage Systems [Energy Technology]

Optimal Operation of Energy Systems Including Energy Storage Equipment under Different Connections and Electricity Prices [Sustainable Cities and Society]

Sensible heat thermal storage energy and exergy performance evaluations [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

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).

http://www.hs-karlsruhe.de/pcm2016.html

Research roundup: Economic analysis of CSP/TES systems; copper fins; ice storage AC systems; paraffin/palygorskite composite PCMs

Ben Welter - Monday, September 28, 2015

Methods for Analyzing the Economic Value of Concentrating Solar Power with Thermal Energy Storage [NREL]

Heat Transfer Enhancement Through PCM Thermal Storage by Use of Copper Fins [Thermal Science]

Optimal Energy Reduction Schedules for Ice Storage Air-Conditioning Systems [Energies]

Paraffin/palygorskite composite phase change materials for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Research roundup: Phase change cold storage; gypsum-based composites; root zone heating system; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, August 06, 2015

Influencing factors on the energy saving performance of battery storage and phase change cold storage in a PV cooling system [Energy and Buildings]

Development and thermal characterization of innovative gypsum-based composites incorporating phase change material as building energy storage system [Energy and Buildings]

LCA & LCCA of a PCM application to control root zone temperatures of hydroponic crops in comparison with conventional root zone heating systems [Renewable Energy]

Consolidated microcapsules with double alginate shell containing paraffin for latent heat storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Investigation of the corrosion behavior of NiVAl multilayer coatings in hot salt melts [Surface and Coatings Technology]

Geopolymer-based composite materials containing PCM for thermal energy storage [Ceramics for Energy conference paper]

Exergy analysis of the solar still integrated nano composite phase change materials [Applied Solar Energy]

Thermal properties of C17H36/MCM-41 composite phase change materials [Computational Materials Science]

Novel solid-solid phase change materials with biodegradable trihydroxy surfactant for thermal energy storage [RSC Advances]

Heat capacity enhancement of water tanks by use of phase change materials for domestic purposes [Instal]

Research roundup: Uncertainty propagation analysis; milk cooling system; metal hydride tank; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 30, 2015

Uncertainty propagation and sensitivity analysis of thermo-physical properties of phase change materials (PCM) in the energy demand calculations of a test cell with passive latent thermal storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Performance characterization of a small milk cooling system with ice storage for PV applications [International Journal of Refrigeration]

Numerical Analysis of Metal Hydride Tank with Phase Change Material [Applied Thermal Engineering]

System Design and Energy Performance of a Solar Heat Pump Heating System with Dual-tank Latent Heat Storage [Energy and Buildings]

Modeling and simulation on the performance of a novel double shape-stabilized phase change materials wallboard [Energy and Buildings]

The preparation of the hydrotalcite-based composite phase change material [Applied Energy]