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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.




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.

$19 million contract awarded for TES, other upgrades at Tinker Air Force Base

Ben Welter - Monday, August 17, 2015

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. a contract modification worth $19.2 million for an energy conservation program at the Tinker Aerospace Complex in Oklahoma City. The contractor will install a chilled-water thermal energy storage system and updated heating, cooling, lighting and water treatment systems at the complex's central utility plant.

Appvion sells Encapsys division for $208 million

Ben Welter - Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Encapsys President Mary GoggansAppvion Inc. has sold its Encapsys microencapsulation division to an affiliate of Sherman Capital Holdings LLC, a private investment firm based in Baltimore. The purchase price was $208 million. 

Mary Goggans, vice president and general manager of the Encapsys division under Appvion ownership, has been named president of the now independent Encapsys LLC. 

The company employs about 90 people at offices and research labs in Appleton, Wis., and at a manufacturing plant in Portage, Wis. The company encapsulates a wide range of material, including perfumes, pharmaceuticals, solvents and phase change material.

Patent application: Thermal energy storage systems

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 30, 2015

PCES thermal energy storage patent applicationU.S. patent application 20150204618 (applicant Phase Change Energy Solutions Inc., Asheboro, N.C.):

"In one aspect, thermal energy storage systems are described herein. In some embodiments, a thermal energy storage system comprises a thermal energy storage system comprising a container and a heat exchange apparatus disposed within the container. The heat exchange apparatus comprises a tank, a manifold at least partially disposed within the tank, and a phase change material disposed within the tank and in thermal contact with the manifold."

Vertellus doubles alkane production capacity at Michigan plant

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 16, 2015

Vertellus, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals, has doubled alkane production capacity at its Zeeland, Mich., hydrogenation plant. The company expects alkanes to be one of several innovative chemistries supplying a growing global market for phase change material.  

"North America’s competitive feedstock costs resulting from low natural gas prices are helping drive Vertellus’ alkane production efficiencies," the company said in a news release. "The company initiated the Zeeland upgrades in 2014, the same year it commercialized hexadecane (A16T). With added alkane production capacity in place, Vertellus will develop eicosane (A20T) in its 2015 pipeline. Octadecane (A18T) represents the company’s largest category of alkane production due to its ability to absorb and release heat close to the human body temperature."

Cryopak opens manufacturing plant in California

Ben Welter - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cryo-Gel packsCryopak, a maker of insulated shipping containers, gel packs and phase change materials, has opened a new manufacturing facility in Poway, Calif. The company, a subsidiary of TCP Reliable, is based in Edison, N.J.

“The addition of local manufacturing will allow us to provide better support to our customers on the West Coast and the important Southern California market," said Maurice Barakat, TCP's president and CEO.

NRG, Ice Energy team up on behind-the-meter storage in California

Ben Welter - Wednesday, July 08, 2015

NRG Energy and Ice Energy have announced a partnership to help reduce California’s peak energy demand. The two companies will work together on 16 previously announced contracts to provide 25.6 megawatts of behind-the-meter energy storage for Southern California Edison

Ice Bear unitSubject to final approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, about 1,800 Ice Bear units will be installed in Orange County starting early next year. The Ice Bears, attached to standard rooftop commercial AC units, freeze ice at night when power demand is low and capacity abundant. The ice is then stored to provide cooling during the day, when power demand is high and capacity limited.

“Aligning with NRG makes perfect sense as both companies share a common goal of helping California utilities and their customers, as well as businesses build a sustainable future with clean, affordable and reliable energy,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Ice Energy. “Energy storage, particularly the distributed and efficient storage capacity provided by our Ice Bears, reduces reliance on fossil fuels and helps better integrate renewable energy sources into a smarter electric grid.”,+Ice+Energy+Enter+Partnership+in+California/10704851.html

Pluss Polymers seeks funding to help introduce new products

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 02, 2015

Pluss Polymers, a New Delhi-based maker of phase change materials and specialized polymers, is seeking to raise additional funding to help introduce new products, including a low-cost solar drier designed for small farms. 

“We are looking at raising another round of funding that should be complete in six to eight months. It would help us bring out newer products. The company is also looking at entering the retail, pharma transport and building market this year,” Samit Jain, business development director, told India's Financial Chronicle.

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.