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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.




Thermal storage expert Lucas Hyman joins Entropy Solutions board of advisors

Ben Welter - Monday, March 30, 2015

Lucas Hyman, P.E.Lucas B. Hyman, an internationally renowned authority on thermal energy storage, has joined Entropy Solutions Inc.’s board of advisors.

Mr. Hyman, founder and president of Goss Engineering Inc. of Corona, Calif., is a LEED-accredited mechanical engineer with more than 30 years of experience. His clients have included major universities, government agencies, schools, hospitals, industrial facilities, the military and private firms. He is the author of two books, “Sustainable On-site CHP Systems” (McGraw-Hill, 2009) and “Sustainable Thermal Storage Systems” (McGraw-Hill, 2011) and has published a number of papers and articles.

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:

Ice Energy wins thermal energy storage contract with Riverside utility

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ice Energy of Glendale, Calif., has been awarded a contract with Riverside Public Utilities to provide 5 megawatts of behind-the-meter thermal energy storage using Ice Energy's Ice Bear system. 

The Ice Bear is a smart-grid-enabled technology that will help the California city better integrate its increasing reliance on renewable energy resources like wind, solar and geothermal systems to maintain low energy costs for its customers.

The Ice Bear system makes ice at night, when electricity is cheaper, and uses it to cool buildings during the day. The company will provide the city with 40 Ice Bear units at a cost of $702,000. If energy-efficiency targets are met, the one-year pilot project could be extended by up to four more years.

Encapsys net sales up 18.1% in 2014

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wisconsin papermaker Appvion reported full-year net sales of $61.8 million for its Encapsys encapsulation unit, an 18.1 percent increase over the previous year.

Mark Richards, Appvion's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said expanded opportunities with Encapsys' largest customer, the launch of Encapsys' EnFinit microencapsulated phase change product and the addition of new customers helped to increase sales to the company’s external customers by nearly 30 percent and shipments 11 percent compared to 2013.

Overall, Appvion reported an operating loss of $40.7 million for 2014. The employee-owned company had an operating income of $132.8 million in 2013. Full-year net sales were up a fraction to $809.8 million.

In a statement, the employee-owned company attributed the results to "unfavorable product mix and pricing, especially for thermal receipt paper," higher operating costs and changes in pension and retirement benefits.

CALMAC offers building owners, managers free analysis of energy bills

Ben Welter - Wednesday, March 04, 2015

CALMAC, maker of ice-based energy storage systems, is offering to analyze commercial energy bills for free. The new service allows owners and managers of commercial buildings to upload a copy of an electricity bill through CALMAC's website. A rate specialist will review the bill to identify potential savings that can be achieved by shifting a building’s cooling load to cheaper off-peak hours.

Frigesco flash defrost system wins ACR News Award

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Frigesco Ltd.'s low-energy flash defrost system was among the winners at last week's ACR News Awards in London, earning Refrigeration Product of the Year honors.

The British company's technology harnesses waste heat to defrost refrigeration systems more efficiently, reducing supermarket cooling costs by up to 20 percent. Phase change material is used to store the waste heat. 

Other ACR winners include Toshiba, Cool Designs Ltd. and Sainsbury Triple Zero Stores.

PureTemp 23 shows no corrosive effect on five metals tested in study

Ben Welter - Friday, December 26, 2014

PureTemp 23, one of 19 PureTemp phase change materials recently certified as 100 percent biobased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has been shown to have no corrosive effect on metals tested in a study by researchers from the University of Barcelona and the University of Lleida in Spain. The five metals tested were aluminum, copper, carbon steel, stainless steel 304 or stainless steel 316.

2 experts on thermal energy storage join Entropy's board of advisors

Ben Welter - Monday, December 22, 2014

Luisa Cabeza and Mohammed Farid, two internationally renowned authorities on phase change materials and thermal energy storage, have joined Entropy Solutions’ advisory board.

Dr. Cabeza, a professor at the University of Lleida, Spain, is the director of GREA Innovació Concurrent, a research group that is developing thermal energy storage concepts and systems for solar water tanks, HVAC systems, industrial applications and concentrated solar power plants. She has co-written more than 100 papers and published several books on phase change material and thermal energy storage.

Dr. Farid, a professor of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, is a leading authority on thermal energy storage and phase change materials. He has been working since 1980 on the development of PCMs, their encapsulation and applications, from buildings and cold storage to the cooling of batteries and electronic devices.

Encapsys' McKinney is honored for PCM presentation

Ben Welter - Friday, November 21, 2014

Jei McKinneyJei McKinney of Encapsys has won the Herman Stone Technical Excellence Award for her presentation “Art and Science of Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials,” presented during the Polyurethane Foam Association's fall meeting. McKinney, a senior business development manager at Encapsys, received the highest score of seven presented at the November program in Chattanooga, Ten. The topic: microencapsulation technology application in flexible polyurethane foam production.

Ice Energy wins innovation award for TES system

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ice Energy of Glendale, Calif., has won a Los Angeles Business Journal 2014 Patrick Soon-Shiong Innovation Award. The company, which makes the Ice Bear thermal energy storage system, was honored as one of the region's "most impactful innovators." The Ice Bear system makes ice at night, when electricity is cheaper, and uses it to cool buildings during the day.