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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.




Sand-based thermal energy storage system wins Australian grant

Ben Welter - Thursday, October 15, 2015

Latent Heat Storage has been awarded a $400,000 (AUD) grant from the Australian government to help launch its sand-based thermal energy storage system on the international market. The Adelaide-based company's system, based on the latent heat properties of silicon derived from sand, is designed to complement intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar.

According to a report in RenewEconomy, the system "can provide energy storage on an industrial scale, up to several hundred megawatt hours – enough to power around 7,000 homes for a day; and is also small enough to fit inside a 20-foot shipping container, making it suitable for both on- and off-grid applications."

Ice Energy to offer PV/TES system called 'Solar + Ice'

Ben Welter - Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ice Energy plans to begin marketing "Solar + Ice," a combined photovoltaic and thermal energy storage system. 

The company's behind-the-meter Ice Bear system stores thermal energy in the form of ice at night, when demand for power is low. The combined system uses excess solar energy to create ice during the day, with the Ice Bear providing cooling in late afternoon and early evening hours as solar generation tapers off.

The Santa Barbara, Calif., company says it is partnering with leading solar companies such as NRG Energy on the new system. It will be available to utilities through long-term power purchase agreements that guarantee performance.

“Solar has proven itself to be a low-cost, reliable and green generation resource, but its intermittent nature has limited its value to the grid,” said CEO Mike Hopkins. “Until now, the missing piece has been cost-effective and reliable storage. Our new bundle solves the problem.”

Three energy storage pioneers take different approaches

Ben Welter - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ice Energy is one of three energy storage "pioneers" profiled in the Los Angeles Times this week.

The three companies take different approaches to storing energy for use when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. Sonnenbatterie makes a refrigerator-size lithium-ion battery that can power a home for up to two weeks. NEC Energy Solutions makes huge grid-scale batteries for utilities such as Southern California Edison.

Ice Energy has partnered with Southern California Edison to provide 26 megawatts of behind-the-meter thermal storage. The Times explains how Ice Energy's Ice Bear system works:

"On the outside it looks like any other metal box on the roof of some commercial building.

"Inside the unit is an ice maker for which the water needs changing just once every 20 years. The ice is frozen at night, when commercial electricity rates are likely to be lower. When it gets hot the next day, the air conditioner's energy-hog compressor shuts down, and cold water from the Ice Bear is fed into the air-conditioning unit for cooling. The water then recycles back to the Ice Bear.

" 'It's those air-conditioning units that create spikes on the grid,' said [Mike] Hopkins, Ice Energy's chief executive.

"Basically, the Ice Bear, known as a thermal storage unit, saves electricity during peak demand times, when electricity is most expensive. It doesn't replace air conditioners but helps them operate more efficiently."

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.

Material ConneXion adds PureTemp to NYC library, online database

Ben Welter - Tuesday, October 06, 2015

PureTemp phase change materials have been accepted for display at Material ConneXion's flagship library in New York City. PureTemp, the world’s first 100 percent renewable PCM, will also be listed in Material ConneXion’s comprehensive online database, starting in November 2015.

Material ConneXion is the world’s largest membership-based library, with more than 7,500 unique, innovative and sustainable materials and seven locations worldwide. Each month, an independent jury selects materials and processes for inclusion in the library.

PureTemp phase change materials are designed to absorb and release large quantities of thermal energy at specific temperatures. Twenty-three PureTemp PCMs have been designated as 100 percent biobased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's BioPreferred program. 

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.

Entropy Solutions' website, blog and newsletter are finalists in 2015 Digital PR Awards

Ben Welter - Friday, September 25, 2015

Entropy Solutions has been named a finalist in the 2015 Digital PR Awards in three categories: website redesign/relaunch, blog and e-mail newsletter.

The awards program, sponsored by PR News, recognizes the year's most outstanding digital communicators and campaigns. Winners will be announced Nov. 9 at the annual Digital PR Awards luncheon at the Yale Club in New York City.

Entropy Solutions launched its redesigned website,, in December 2014, along with Phase Change Matters, a new blog that tracks the latest news and information on phase change material and thermal energy storage. The first issue of the weekly e-mail newsletter of the same name was distributed on Dec. 19, 2014, to 16 subscribers. The newsletter now has more than 600 subscribers. 

Finalists in the three categories are:

Website redesign/relaunch: CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (State of Maryland), ESPN ( redesign & 20th anniversary), Fahlgren Mortine (Chart Industries), Genentech ( redesign), Middle East Public Relations Association (Growing Together: Introducing the new MEPRAi), Swirl (, 70kft ( and Entropy Solutions ( redesign).

Blog (company): Adobe Systems Inc. (Adobe Life Blog), Anadolu Efes (The World is Yours), Coca-Cola Co. (Coca-Cola Journey), Human Rights Campaign Blog, Liberty Mutual Insurance (The Torch: A Guide to Safe & Smart Living), MasterCard (Consumo Inteligente), Polycom (Public Sector View) and Entropy Solutions (Phase Change Matters blog).

E-mail newsletter: MasterCard (Futbol Fridays), 70kft (KFT newsletter), Global Hotel Alliance (DISCOVERY Account Summary) and Entropy Solutions (Phase Change Matters newsletter).

For a list of finalists in other categories and more about the annual awards, see

Sonoco makes Dow Jones sustainability index for 7th straight year

Ben Welter - Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sonoco, a global provider of packaging products and services, has made the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the seventh consecutive year. The honor comes following an in-depth analysis of financial material and economic, environmental and social practices of more than 3,500 invited companies.

Sonoco logo“Only three global packaging companies were recognized with listings on DJSI World Index in 2015, and I’m proud to say that Sonoco has the longest consecutive streak of any packaging company currently listed,” said Jack Sanders, Sonoco president and CEO. “This honor recognizes our dedication to reducing the environmental footprint from our global operations, providing a safe and healthy workplace for our employees, developing innovative packaging and recycling solutions to meet our customers’ sustainability goals and contributing to the communities where we operate.”

Pluss to market PCMs, specialty polymers in the Americas

Ben Welter - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

DestinHaus has partnered with Pluss Advanced Technologies to market the company's specialized polymers and phase change materials in the Americas.

Pluss, based in Gurgaon, India,  develops and manufactures specialty materials for use in the automotive, health care, construction, energy and packaging industries. The company's MiraCradle, a low-cost passive cooling device for treating newborns suffering from birth asphyxia, has won several awards this year. DestinHaus is a management consulting company based in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

"Our customers will appreciate the availability and support of the DestinHaus network as our products, especially PCMs, require a lot of in-depth discussion to understand the customer requirements during the concept stage,” said Vishnu Sasidharan, business development manager at Pluss.