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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 monthly PCM newsletter. Or join the discussion on LinkedIn.

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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]

PCM refrigeration conference set for May 2016

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 16, 2015

An international conference on phase change materials and slurries for refrigeration and air conditioning is set for May 18-20, 2016, in Karlsruhe, Germany. 

PCM 2016, sponsored by the International Institute of Refrigeration, will bring together scientists, researchers and industry leaders to discuss the latest developments in the field. Topics will include:

• Thermophysical properties of PCMs and slurries
• Transport phenomena of PCMs and slurries: mass, momentum and heat transfer
• Time-dependent behavior of PCMs and slurries
• Direct contact heat exchange

The conference will be conducted in English. Abstracts are due by Nov. 1; final papers are due by March 15.   

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

Research roundup: Encapsulation techniques; personal cooling system; adiabatic compressed air energy storage; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Encapsulation techniques for organic phase change materials as thermal energy storage medium: A review [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

A novel personal cooling system (PCS) incorporated with phase change materials (PCMs) and ventilation fans: An investigation on its cooling efficiency [Journal of Thermal Biology]

Adiabatic compressed air energy storage with packed bed thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

On the Feasibility of Providing Power System Spinning Reserves from Thermal Storage [Energy and Buildings]

Performance Analysis of Thermal Energy Storage Prototype in Thailand [pdf] [Journal of Clean Energy Technologies]

STIG cycle graphic Performance of the solar hybrid STIG cycle with latent heat storage [Applied Energy]

Shape-stabilized phase change materials based on poly(ethylene-graft-maleic anhydride)-g-alkyl alcohol comb-like polymers [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Applications of organic phase change materials embedded in adsorbents for controlling heat produced by charging and discharging natural gas [Adsorption]

Development and stress behaviour of an innovative refrigerated container with PCM for fresh and frozen goods [Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures]

Research roundup: Solar TES in residential buildings; smart food packaging; expanded metal mesh; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Phase change materials for solar thermal energy storage in residential buildings in cold climate [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

Development of Polystyrene-based Films with Temperature Buffering Capacity for Smart Food Packaging [Journal of Food Engineering]

Melting of phase change material assisted by expanded metal mesh [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Lattice Boltzmann simulation of convection melting in complex heat storage systems filled with phase change materials [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Improving Performance of Household Refrigerators by Incorporating Phase Change Materials [International Journal of Refrigeration]

• Preparation and thermal properties of form-stable phase change materials composed of palmitic acid/polypyrrole/graphene nanoplatelets [Energy and Buildings]

Research roundup: PCM heat transfer in horizontal tube; energy storage discharge simulation; optimization of ice storage

Ben Welter - Monday, April 20, 2015

Heat transfer characteristics of thermal energy storage for PCM (phase change material) melting in horizontal tube: Numerical and experimental investigations [Energy]

Numerical simulation study on discharging process of the direct-contact phase change energy storage system [Applied Energy]

Comparison of control systems for the optimisation of ice storage in a dynamic real time electricity pricing environment [Applied Energy]

Promethean to expand distribution of milk chiller to Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Ben Welter - Monday, April 13, 2015

Promethean Power Systems milk chillerPromethean Power Systems, which makes a milk chiller recently introduced in rural parts of India, is planning to expand distribution to Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka over the next few months. Co-founder Sam White said his company hopes to have 500 units in the field by the end of the year.

Thanks to a thermal battery filled with phase change material, the chiller needs only intermittent electricity to quickly chill raw milk to a temperature that arrests bacterial growth. That's a potential game-changer for developing countries, where many dairy farmers don't have access to reliable electricity.

Boston-based Promethean manufactures the device, and the PCM, in Pune, India. White declined to identify the composition of the PCM, but a U.S. patent application for the device describes a salt hydrate with a melting point of -2º Celsius and a latent heat of fusion of 290 J/g. A nucleating agent is added to reduce the effect of supercooling.

The tech blog Gizmodo featured a Doc North video of the product over the weekend:

http://gizmodo.com/phase-change-material-chills-milk-without-electricity-1697312107

Research roundup: PCM in free-moving ceiling; phase interface effects; window shutter; solar chimney; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Melting processes of phase change materials in an enclosure with a free-moving ceiling: An experimental and numerical study [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Phase interface effects in the total enthalpy-based lattice Boltzmann model for solid–liquid phase change [Journal of Computational Physics]

Electroless plating of copper layer on surfaces of urea–formaldehyde microcapsule particles containing paraffin for low infrared emissivity [Particuology]

Constructal design of phase change material enclosures used for cooling electronic devices [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Numerical study of PCM solidification in a finned tube thermal storage including natural convection [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Effect of water based AL2O3 Nanoparticle PCM on cool storage performance [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Optimization of Heat Exchange in a Heat Accumulator with Latent Heat Storage [Procedia Technology]

Performance of a window shutter with phase change material under summer Mediterranean climate conditions [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Review on shell materials used in the encapsulation of phase change materials for high temperature thermal energy storage [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

An experimental study on the thermal performance of a solar chimney without and with PCM [Renewable Energy]

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: Insulated greenhouse with shutters; nano-media supercooling; multi-split air source heat pump

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The effect of nocturnal shutter on insulated greenhouse using a solar air heater with latent storage energy [Solar Energy]

Supercooling and cold energy storage characteristics of nano-media in ball-packed porous structures [AIP Advances]

Defrosting performances of a multi-split air source heat pump with phase change thermal storage [International Journal of Refrigeration]