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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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PCM briefing: Pelican BioThermal is looking for VP for new products; Ice Energy completes project at North Hollywood movie theater

Ben Welter - Friday, August 05, 2016

Pelican BioThermal has posted an opening for a vice president of engineering and new product development. The VP will "lead a team of highly-driven and innovative engineers to design and develop the next generation of best-in-class temperature controlled packaging solutions for the life sciences industry." 

Appearing at this week's Advances in Thermal Management 2016 conference in Denver, Colo.: Mark Hartmann, chief technology officer at Outlast Technologies, discussed the use of thermal materials to manage the heat generated by lithium-ion batteries. Croda International's CrodaTherm biobased phase change materials were on display at booth 35. Outlast materials scientist Joe Kelly spoke at the companion conference, Battery Power 2016

• The U.S. Department of Energy has introduced two new tools designed to help cities nationwide make more strategic energy decisions based on actual and estimated data and analysis. The City Energy Profile tool uses robust data science methodologies to derive data on energy use and costs for 23,400 cities. The Local Energy Toolbox allows cities to build a customizable list of actions to help make strategic energy decisions.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems has begun verification testing of a solar thermal power system at the company's new facility in Yokohama, Japan. The hybrid system combines a low-temperature Fresnel evaporator, a high-temperature thermal storage system and a tower-type superheater that collects sunlight by heliostats.

• Safety expert John D. Modine is the new chief executive at the American Chemistry Council's Chemtrec division.

Ice Energy has installed four Ice Bear 30 thermal storage units at a Cinemark movie theater in North Hollywood, Calif. Ice Energy says the project qualifies for energy efficiency rebates from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

PCM briefing: Sustainable manufacturing good for bottom line; Ice Bear among technologies highlighted at White House

Ben Welter - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Adopting sustainable manufacturing processes can help companies boost their bottom line, improve their reputation and become more competitive, writes Doug Kramer, president and CEO of spray foam product maker Lapolla Industries

• The Global Cold Chain Forum is accepting nominations for the 2016 Cold Chain Excellence Awards. The four categories are Best Temperature Controlled Logistics Project; Most Innovative New Cold Chain Technology of the Year; Most Sustainable Temperature-Controlled Project; and Most Effective Risk Assessment, Evaluation & Mitigation for Transportation. Nominations are due by July 29, 2016.

Nike is teaming up with MIT's Climate CoLab to speed the development of innovative materials and shrink the company's supply-chain footprint.

Ice Energy's new Ice Bear residential cooling system was among the technologies highlighted at a White House summit on renewable energy and storage last week. 

• Puma's new PCM-infused jerseys made the wrong kind of impression at the European Championships this week. Four jerseys worn by Swiss players in a match against France tore apart when tugged on by opponents. Puma later apologized, blaming the problem on a bad batch of material damaged during production. It does not appear that the problem involved the phase change material used in strategically placed tape inside the jersey.

Pluss Advanced Technologies' Celsure cold chain shipper won the innovation of the year award at the Cold Chain Strategy Summit in Mumbai last week.

PCM 2016 conference papers available for download

Ben Welter - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The International Institute of Refrigeration has posted more than two dozen papers presented at the PCM 2016 conference in Karlsruhe, Germany, earlier this month. The downloads are available for 15 euros each. A few highlights:

Passive cooling potential of two different PCM cooling ceilings in the energy efficiency center, (H. Weinlader, F. Klinker, M. Yasin)

"In the Energy Efficiency Center – the new R&D building of the ZAE Bayern - two different PCM cooling ceiling types are installed and monitored in two office rooms. The ceilings are connected to a water circuit and can be used for heating or cooling. The PCM ceilings are prototypes which differ in the positioning of the PCM layer: ceiling type 1 with the PCM on top of and ceiling type 2 with the PCM below the water pipes. It was found, that cooling ceiling type 2 had a better thermal connection between PCM and room, nevertheless, the passive cooling power of the two different system designs was quite similar when measured as a function of the room globe temperature."

Experimental analysis on a novel air heat exchanger containing PCM in a cold room, (B. Copertaro, R. Fioretti, P. Principi)

"An air heat exchanger consisting of aluminium containers with finned surface filled with PCM (5 °C melting temperature) was located near the evaporator of a cold room. The aims are to reduce cooling energy consumption and improving the maintenance thermal conditions of stored products. For this purpose, an experimental campaign was carried out and a monitoring system was developed. The cold room thermal behaviour, with and without PCM, was studied under steady state operating conditions. As expected a reduced number of on/off compressor cycles (6 cycles instead 13 cycles) in the PCM added cold room was observed. Test results showed that by storing PCM in the air heat exchanger, up to 16% of energy saving can be achieved."

Standardization of PCM characterization via DSC, (S. Gschwander, T. Haussmann, G. Hagelstein)

"This work investigates the influence of particle size on crystallization behaviour of microencapsulated and emulsified n-octadecane using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and laser diffraction. Analyses of microcapsules show a stepwise decrease of nucleation temperature (from 26 °C to 14 °C) with decreasing particle size (from 300 μm to 3 μm). Further reduction of particle size in emulsions (< 0.2 μm) results in a slight decrease of nucleation temperature (<2 °K)."

Potential use of phase change materials in a display cabinet: development of a dynamic modeling approach, (H.M. Hoang, F. Raoult, D. Leducq)

"Different configurations (position of the PCM in the equipment) are simulated and discussed: after the evaporator and under shelf. At first, the modelling of a display cabinet in a transient state is developed based on a simplified heat transfer model using zonal approach. By combining it with a melting and freezing process of PCM units located inside the display cabinet, the effects of the PCM addition on air and food temperatures are simulated. Placing the PCM under shelves allows maintaining the product temperature during defrosting or electricity shortage."

A case study on the application of phase-change materials in buildings, (A. Hantsch)

"Energy storages employing the phase-change enthalpy of some material yield much larger energy densities than specific-heat-based systems. This case study is about the effect of phase-change materials on the heat and cooling load and annual energy demand for various scenarios. By means of a TRNSYS model it is possible to carry out energetic annual simulations. The results of this contribution allow giving advice for the design of new systems."

Experimentation for the evaluation of aluminum foams for improving heat transfer in PCM thermal storages, (R. Lazzarin, S. Mancin, M. Noro)

"This work investigates the use of Aluminum foams as heat transfer medium to improve the overall heat transfer of paraffin waxes that can be possible PCMs to be implemented in hybrid sensible-latent water TESs. The design of a new experimental testing rig is here presented together with some preliminary simulation results obtained during the phase change process of paraffin waxes with melting temperatures around 45 °C, with and without metal foams, in a water thermal storage unit." 

Latent heat storage with polyethylene enhanced with aluminum stripes, (T. Ozcan, E. Gukelberger, M. Kauffeld)

"Using a built prototype latent heat storage integrated into a solar air conditioning system at the Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, and Environmental Engineering’s test facility loading and discharging tests were conducted to investigate the use of PCM materials in a heat exchanger of a solar system to support steam production in cloudy periods. The latent heat storage concept is designed for the temperature range to 130 °C."

Comparison of a single stage and a multistage latent heat storage for domestic hot water delivery, (J. Diriken, J. van Bael, F. Leemans)

"In this paper we assess the potential to use multiple PCM in combination with a compact heat exchanger for direct domestic hot water delivery purposes for e.g. district heating substations. The results of the measurements on a compact thermal energy storage device based on multiple phase change materials with different melting temperatures are compared to a geometrical identical system with a single PCM with one melting temperature." 

For a full list of papers, go to http://www.iifiir.org/ClientBookline/toolkit/p_requests/formulaire.asp?GRILLE=IIFRRECHFRIDOC&PORTAL_ID=portal_model_instance__fridoc_search.xml. Type Karlsruhe in the first search box, check "Conference papers" and type 2016 in the box next to "Year."

PCM briefing: Cold Chain Global forum agenda is set; deal reached on overhaul of TSCA

Ben Welter - Friday, May 20, 2016

The full agenda has been released for the 14th Cold Chain Global Forum to be held Sept. 26-30 in Boston. Sponsors and exhibitors include Pelican BioThermal, va-Q-tec AG, Cold Chain Technologies, American Aerogel, RGEES and Sonoco ThermoSafeFrank Butch, director of engineering at ThermoSafe, will lead a master class on temperature assurance packaging certification. Conference registration is open, with early bird rates available through June 3. [pdf]

• U.S. House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a bill overhauling the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act. Under the compromise version, EPA regulations would pre-empt most new state regulations, although states could still enact measures such as monitoring and labeling of chemicals, the New York Times reports.

• In a piece on the importance of cocktail ice, Primer magazine offers a unique description of how water freezes and melts: "The two ideas that help us understand the changes in water jumping between a solid and liquid state are enthalpy and entropy. Which I like to oversimplify and think of as order and disorder, enthalpy being order and entropy being the little shit disturber that lets it all go to hell. Enthalpy wants to freeze your ice and entropy wants to melt it, neither one of them ever really completely win this battle but who reigns over the other at any given time is decided by temperature: If the temperature is at -5°C/23°F enthalpy has the upper hand, if it’s 20°C/60°F then it’s entropy’s ball game." 

PCM briefing: Renewables milestone in Portugal; PCM conference in Germany

Ben Welter - Friday, May 20, 2016

Portugal ran for a record four days straight on renewable energy alone last week. Solar, wind and hydro power typically account for about half of the country's electricity needs. Renewables provided only about 23 percent as recently as 2013, the Guardian reports. 

Puma women's Blaze golf shoePuma's new Blaze golf shoe for women features Outlast phase change technology to promote thermal comfort. 

• The PCM 2016 conference in Karlsruhe, Germany, drew more than 60 participants this week. In opening sessions, Drs. Thomas Johansson of the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics and Hans-Martin Henning of Fraunhofer ISE touched on the importance of thermal storage for heating and cooling efficiency and a sustainable energy future. 

PCM briefing: Free webinar on industry disruption; how ice-making bacteria works

Ben Welter - Friday, May 13, 2016

Marija Jović, project manager and lead scientist at PreScouter Inc., will lead a webinar titled "How Phase Change Materials Are Disrupting Your Industry." The free event, set for 1-2 p.m. CDT on June 9, is aimed at leaders in a range of industries, from textiles and apparel to medicine and robotics. Illinois-based PreScouter provides corporate leaders with data and insights on which to base product development decisions.

Pharmaceutical Commerce's annual Cold Chain Sourcebook projects 52 percent growth in global cold chain market between 2014 and 2020.

Ben Singleton, business development manager at Pelican BioThermal, will be among the speakers at next week's Cold Chain & Product Handling: Temperature Controlled Logistics conference in Amsterdam. 

• Since the late 1980s, a company called Snowmax has supplied ski resorts with a bacteria-derived additive that makes snow production possible at higher temperatures. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, now say they've figured out how the ice-making bacteria works.  

Draft agenda released for Cold Chain Global Forum in Boston

Ben Welter - Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A draft agenda has been released for the 14th Cold Chain Global Forum to be held Sept. 26-30 in Boston. The conference, touted as "the world's largest event for temperature-controlled life science supply chains," will feature more than 120 speakers, including:

Frank Butch, director of engineering at Sonoco ThermoSafe, will lead a master class on temperature assurance packaging certification.

Fabian Eschenbach, head of thermal packaging at Va-Q-Tec Ltd., will lead a workshop on packaging design essentials.

Jerry King, senior scientist at Farrar Scientific, will lead a workshop on the viability of a -80º C reusable phase change material.

Kevin O’Donnell, vice president of cold chain standards, practices and compliance at BioLife Solutions, will lead a session on maximizing the value of sensor-based shipments.

Registration is open, with early bird rates available through June 3.

http://www.coldchainglobalforum.com/

PCM briefing: Encapsulation conference in Scotland June 10; Pluss R&D manager on list of Innovators Under 35

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 22, 2016

• The Royal Society of Chemistry's Formulation Science and Technology group will hold its second Innovations in Encapsulation conference on June 10 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Speakers include Paula Felix De Castro and Dmitry G. Shchukin of Liverpool University. They will present their work on encapsulation of docosane into polyurethane microcapsules as phase change material for thermal energy storage.

Nidhi Agrawal, assistant R&D manager at Pluss Advanced Technologies, is among eight people named to the India edition of MIT Technology Review's 2015 list of Innovators Under 35. Agrawal, 32, has led the development of several phase change materials, including form-stable materials.

The Los Angeles Times takes a look at SolarReserve's Crescent Dunes solar power plant, a 110-megawatt facility with enough molten salt storage to power 75,000 homes for up to 10 hours with zero sunshine.

• New from QYResearch Group: "Europe Phase Change Materials Industry 2016 Market Research Report"

Agenda set for next week's Energy Storage Europe conference in Germany

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Next week's Energy Storage Europe conference and expo in Dusseldorf, Germany, includes a number of sessions on thermal energy storage:

• "Integrated Thermal and Electric Storage at the District Scale," James Bererton of Integral Group 

• "Potentials for Thermal Storage Solutions," Glen Dimplex 

• "Spatial Distribution and Operator-Dependent Management of Thermal and Electrical Energy Storage Systems in Residential Areas," Andreas Bachmaier, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems 

• "Operational Results of a Combined Thermal Energy Storage with Electricity Generation System," Günter Schneider, STORASOL GmbH 

• "Top-down and Bottom-up Analysis of the Economics of Thermal Energy Storage," Christoph Rathgeber, ZAE Bayern 

• "Characterization and Enhancement of Phase Change Slurries," Sophia Niedermaier, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems 

• "Use of an undercooled phase-change material heat storage system for seasonal use," Dr. Hermann Schranzhofer, Institute for Heating Technology, Graz University of Technology 

http://www.energy-storage-online.com/

PCM briefing: Labs open doors to young people; chemical regulations conference releases agenda

Ben Welter - Wednesday, March 02, 2016

• More than 50 national labs in the United States are opening their doors this week to about 5,000 elementary, middle and high school students. It's part of President Obama's effort to spark interest among young people in science, technology, engineering and math.

• The agenda has been set for this year's Global Chemical Regulations Conference in Washington, D.C., March 22-24. Among the topics: Toxic Substances Control Act reform and Global Harmonized Standards enforcement.

• Forty-five companies, universities and research organizations backed by ARPA-E have secured more than $1.25 billion in private-sector follow-on funding. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is working on metallic composite phase change materials for high-temperature thermal energy storage, is among those receiving private-sector money.