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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: Nevada CSP plant ready for commercial operation; Sonoco again makes list of most-admired companies

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 25, 2016

SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes solar tower with molten salt thermal storage has successfully generated electricity at its full 110 MW capacity. Over the next 12 months, the concentrated solar project will gradually ramp up to full commercial operation under its 25-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy, supplying electricity to Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada. Related: SolarReserve has submitted a plan to build a 110MW solar tower and thermal storage plant in South Australia.

Ares 1 helmet • Ares A1, Steelbird's new line of helmets for India's growing motorcycle market, uses phase change material to manage thermal comfort.

Packaging giant Sonoco has again made Fortune magazine's list of most-admired companies. Apple tops this list. 

Peli BioThermal officially unveiled its new European Service Center today in Leighton Buzzard, England. The company's re-usable thermal protection packaging systems, including the new Credo Cargo, will be reconditioned at the center.

• A new report from Stratistics MRC projects that the global market for thermal interface materials, which stood at $570 million in 2015, will reach $1.2 billion by 2022. 

At the CERAWeek conference in Houston this week, Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said chemical firms must “manage the short term with a maniacal focus on productivity,” while still focusing on long-term strategies. He said the soon-to-merge Dow Chemical and DuPont plastics giants had each grown too large and sprawling.

PCM briefing: A new resource for green building professionals; a fresh look at green building trends

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The American Chemistry Council has launched BuildingWithChemistry.org to provide architects, material specifiers, interior designers and others with tools and information about green building codes, standards and material selection.

• A report projects strong growth for the green building market globally, but finds that the United States lags in measuring the benefits. "World Green Building Trends 2016," produced by Dodge Data & Analytics with support from United Technologies Corp., the U.S. Green Building Council and others, is based on a 2015 survey of more than 1,000 architects, engineers, contractors, owners and consultants from 69 countries. 

• The agenda for the 14th GDP & Temperature Management Logistics Summit - Canada, Feb. 29-March 3 in Toronto, is available for download at www.coldchainpharm.com/media/9354/9354_Brochure.pdf. Sonoco ThermoSafe, va-Q-tec, Pelican BioThermal and Cryopak are among the sponsors. [pdf]

• A new study by the Brattle Group makes the case for tapping the thermal energy of electric water heaters in more than 50 million U.S. homes. The use of water heaters as thermal batteries could save consumers money, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, better manage electricity from renewable sources and help grid operators regulate voltage and frequency. [pdf]

• PureTemp phase change material, made by Entropy Solutions, has been selected for display at matériO showrooms in Paris, Seoul and Shanghai. The materials library, based in France, lists more than 7,400 "cutting edge" materials and technologies in its database. The Seoul and Shanghai showrooms are scheduled to open in June.

46 papers to be presented this week at Innostorage PCM/TES conference

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The 2016 Innostorage conference is underway at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel this week. Innostorage is an international research project aimed at developing efficient thermal energy storage systems using low-cost phase change materials. Forty-six papers are being presented, including:

• A review of the connection between material property and performance of PCM in real scale applications (Harald Mehling, Camila Barreneche, Aran Solé, Luisa F. Cabeza)

• Implementation and comparison of three enthalpy methods for modelling solid-liquid phase change in OpenFOAM (Andreas König-Haagen, Erwin Franquet, Eric Pernot, Dieter Brüggemann)

• One-dimensional analytical model of PCM melting (Vadim Dubovsky, Gennady Ziskind, Ruth Letan)

• Fast thermal energy storage using open-cell aluminum foam (Henk Huisseune, Ben D’Haeger, Michel De Paepe)

• Novel microencapsulated phase change material for thermal energy storage in building applications (Halime Paksoy, Beyza Beyhan, Kemal Cellat)

• Design evaluation and improvements of a latent heat based thermal energy storage system (Pepe Tan, Pär Johansson, Angela Sasic Kalagasidis)

• Acceptable and realised storage capacity costs of thermal energy storages (Christoph Rathgeber, Stefan Hiebler, Eberhard Lävemann, Andreas Hauer)

http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/SiteAssets/Pages/events/inno_storage/INNOSTORAGE%20-%20Conference%20program.pdf [pdf]

PCM briefing: A bioplastics breakthrough from DuPont/ADM; a revamped bedding line from Tempur-Pedic

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 26, 2016

CleanTechnica takes a look at the DuPont-ADM "breakthrough" process for producing a high-performance, 100 percent biodegradable bioplastic. The companies' first project will use furan dicarboxylic methyl ester to produce polytrimethylene furandicarboxylate, which ADM says outperforms petroleum-based polymers in extending beverage shelf life.

•  Tempur-Pedic has revamped its Breeze line of cooler-sleep beds, fusing phase change material in the top Tempur foam layer to deliver “a significantly improved cooling effect,” the company said.

Composite sandwich panels containing phase change material are among 20 smart materials and structures identified by a European Union study with possible applications in the shipbuilding industry. The panels would minimize heat transfer and lower cooling costs on refrigerated cargo ships.  

• Sonoco ThermoSafe, Pluss Advanced Technologies, va-Q-tec AG, Peli BioThermal, Cryopak, AAR Cold Chain Solutions and Croda are among the companies exhibiting PCM-related products at the 15th annual Temperature Controlled Logistics Europe conference in Frankfurt, Germany, this week. 

PCM briefing: Tight market for oilseeds; ASHRAE course on thermal energy storage

Ben Welter - Friday, January 22, 2016

Thomas Mielke, editor-in-chief of Oil World, expects that, with the exception of soybeans, world supplies of oilseeds will be tight this year. He'll present his global outlook at the second annual Oilseed Congress Europe/MENA Feb. 9-10 in Barcelona, Spain.  

CALMAC CEO Mark MacCracken will help lead a course on thermal energy storage at the 2016 ASHRAE Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday.

Monodraught Ltd.'s Colin Haworth will be among the presenters at a one-day conference at Arup headquarters in London on Feb. 10. The topic: energy reduction solutions.

PCM briefing: California leads U.S. in net-zero buildings; Ice Energy CEO among speakers at green conference

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ice Energy CEO Mike Hopkins and renowned architect Frank Gehry are among the speakers at the VerdeXchange green economy conference Jan. 24-26 in Los Angeles.

California is home to almost half of all the net-zero buildings in the United States, according to a new survey from the Net-Zero Energy Coalition. Sacramento is first among U.S. cities, with more than 925 zero-energy housing units and 800 more planned. 

MIT researchers have developed a new material that can store solar energy during the day and release it later as heat on demand. The transparent polymer film could be applied to window glass, clothing or other surfaces.

• New from Grand View Research: "Fatty Acid Ester Market Analysis By Product (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Glyceryl Monostearate, Isopropyl Esters), By Application (Personal Care & Cosmetics, Lubricants, Food Processing, Surfactants & Detergents, Pharmaceuticals) and Segment Forecasts To 2022"

A housing development in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is said to be the first in the world to run on solar-powered hydrogen energy storage.

Registration open for renewable energy storage conference in Düsseldorf

Ben Welter - Monday, January 11, 2016

Registration is open for the 10th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference to be held March 15-17 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The conference will feature sessions on high-temperature thermal energy storage for electricity production, TES for buildings and TES for increased efficiency in industry. Among the presentations: 

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

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

"Quasi‐Stationary Modelling of Melting and Solidification Inside a Latent Heat Storage System," Felix Eckl, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland

"Improve Flexibility for Heat Pumps in Smart‐Grids by the Integration of a Thermal Storage System," Philipp Schütz, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland

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

"Management of Thermal and Electrical Systems in Residential Areas ‐ A Case‐Based Techno-Economical Optimization," Andreas Bachmaier, Fraunhofer Institut for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Germany

"Standard Procedure for PCM Characterization via DSC and Online Database for High Quality PCM‐Data," [presenter not listed]

Reduced rates are available through Jan. 31.

http://www.eurosolar.de/en/index.php/ires-conference-series/ires2016

PCM briefing: Thermal energy storage symposium in Switzerland; paper on development of Ebola vaccine passive storage device

Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

• Registration is open for the 3rd Swiss Symposium Thermal Energy Storage to be held Jan. 22, 2016, in Lucerne. Topics include PCM systems for high-temperature heat storage; seasonal storage with subcooling PCM; and cooling buildings, processes or batteries with phase change slurries. Cost is $300.

• In a paper presented at the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, Michael Friend and Shannon Stone of Intellectual Ventures describe the development of the Arktek DF passive storage device" for the Ebola vaccine in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

• New from Decision Databases: "Global Microencapsulation Market Research Report - Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2021"

• New from MarketsandMarkets: "Advanced Energy Storage Systems Market - Global Forecast to 2020"

• A team from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, one of four finalists in ESA Education’s Fly Your Thesis! competition, intends to verify a model of phase change material performance in a microgravity environment. The team's goal is to lay groundwork for more effective temperature control in future space applications.

The San Diego City Council has approved a legally binding climate action plan that commits the eighth-largest U.S. city to 100 percent renewables and a 50 reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. 


PCM briefing: Lime emerges as thermal storage medium; district energy shines at climate conference; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 08, 2015

• German researchers are working on a thermal storage system that uses lime as the storage medium. 

• Representatives of three district energy champion cities – St. Paul, Minn., and two Swedish cities, Malmö and Gothenburg – shared their success stories at the climate conference in Paris.

• A new report from Technavio, "Global Advanced Energy Storage Systems 2016-2020," projects that market will see a compound annual growth rate of nearly 14 percent over the next five years.

• New research by Future Market Insights, "Temperature Controlled Packaging Solutions Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2015-2025," will be published in January.

• A look inside Qatar Cool's new District Cooling Plant 3, which will feature a thermal energy storage tank with a 5,000-ton cooling capacity. 

• TechNiche Europe has introduced a washable version of its HyperKewl cooling fabric.

Registration open for 2016 Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C.

Ben Welter - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Early bird" registration is open for the 2016 Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C. The annual conference, hosted by ARPA-E and the U.S. Energy Department, brought together more than 2,000 entrepreneurs, researchers, industry leaders and government officials in 2015.

Advanced Cooling Technologies and the Electric Power Research Institute, which are developing PCM-based dry-cooling technologies for thermoelectric power plants, are among the 184 showcase participants now listed for this year's summit. 

Registration rates for the Feb. 29-March 1 conference will increase by $100 after Dec. 1. Graduate students seeking a complimentary pass must apply by Dec. 4.