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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 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.

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.