Phase Change Matters RSS


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.




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.  

Va-Q-tec is finalist in 3 categories in cold chain competition

Ben Welter - Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Va-Q-teq Ltd. is a finalist in three of four categories in the 2016 Temperature Controlled Logistics Awards. Online voting will determine the winner. Here are the finalists:

Best Temperature Logistics Project: Johnson & Johnson, QED Scientific, va-Q-tec Ltd. Va-Q-tec partnered with Gilead Sciences to produce an improved version of the va-Q-tainer, a passive pallet shipper equipped with phase change material.

Supply Chain Innovation: CargoSense, Locus Trax Worldwide, va-Q-tec Ltd. Va-Q-tec partnered with Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo to offer rental of va-Q-tec shippers worldwide.

Cold Chain IQ Newcomer: Alan Wu, PointRFID Co. Ltd.; Stefan Braun, SmartCAE; Katharina Wuensche, va-Q-tec Ltd. Wuensche was nominated for building a global network of more than 50 airline partners in less than five years.

Cold Chain IQ Influential Media: The Load Star, Life Science Leader, Freshlogistics Magazine.

Winners will be announced at the Temperature Controlled Logistics Europe trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, Jan. 25-28.

Registration open for Bio-Based and Sustainable Products Summit in January

Ben Welter - Thursday, November 05, 2015

Registration has opened for the 7th annual Bio-Based and Sustainable Products Summit, which will be held Jan. 13-14, 2016, in San Diego, Calif. 

The summit brings together manufacturers, retailers, financiers and policymakers with experts in the biochemical, biofuel, bioplastic, petrochemical and oleochemical fields to "learn, network and respond to growing consumer demand for safer and greener products."

Panel discussion topics include biobased and sustainable feedstocks; crude oil price projections and their impact on the renewable chemical industry; what to look for in strategic partners; how to attract private equity; and joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions as paths to commercialization. 

The deadline for a refundable "early bird" rate of $1,495 is Dec. 4, 2015.

ThermoSafe PCM experts to lead cold chain forum workshop

Ben Welter - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Two PCM experts from Sonoco ThermoSafe – Ken Maltas, director of engineering, and Iftekhar Ahmed, senior design engineer – are among the workshop leaders at next week's Cold Chain GDP & Temperature Management Logistics Global Forum in Boston.

Maltas and Ahmed will lead a Tuesday morning session, "Creating a Risk Model for the Development of Passive Shipping Systems: Linking Control and Risk to Total Cost." On Wednesday morning, Sonoco's Ben VanderPlas and Cardinal Health's Chris Anderson will present "Blue is the New Green," a case study on the development of sustainable, affordable and operationally efficient packaging solutions.

Other workshop, training and presentation topics include temperature-controlled clinical trial materials, regulatory guidance, risk-reduction strategies, common shipping problems, data integrity, minimizing the impact of harsh winters and the freezing and preparation of phase change materials.   

Forum sponsors and exhibitors include AAR Cold Chain Solutions, Cold Chain Technologies, Cryopak, EFP Corp., Packaging Technology Group, Pelican BioThermal, Pluss Advanced Technologies and va-Q-tec AG.

Registration open for 2016 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit

Ben Welter - Thursday, September 17, 2015

Registration for the 2016 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit is now open. The summit, which is aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the marketplace, will be held Feb. 29-March 2 at the Gaylord Convention Center outside Washington, D.C.

More than 2,100 people attended the 2015 summit. Next year's showcase participants include Argonne National Laboratory, BASF, the Electric Power Research Institute and the National Renewable Energy Lab.

District cooling industry faces 'danger of stagnation'

Ben Welter - Monday, August 17, 2015

George Berbari, CEO at DC Pro Engineering in the United Arab Emirates, warns that district cooling technology is advancing at a much slower rate than competing HVAC applications and faces the "danger of stagnation." 

George BerbariBerbari, co-chair of the 2015 Middle East District Cooling Summit, said "newer and ultra-efficient HVAC systems pose a threat to district cooling in terms of better efficiency." He endorsed tri-generation district cooling – the simultaneous generation of electricity, heating and cooling from renewable resources – as a way forward for the industry.  

The summit will be held Nov. 10-11 in Doha, Qatar. The theme is "The Future of Renewable in the District Cooling Sector - Feasibility and Cost Implications." Topics include thermal energy storage and energy efficiency; sustainability and the environment; treated sewage water vs. seawater for cooling; delta T optimization; and, of course, tri-generation systems. ....

Behind-the-meter storage is among the topics at Energy Storage Summit

Ben Welter - Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The U.S. Energy Storage Summit's 2015 agenda is taking shape. The first day includes a morning session on the future of behind-the-meter storage in California: 

"California has emerged as the largest behind-the-meter storage market due to renewable energy growth, high electricity prices, state mandate, and the Self Generation Incentive Program. Southern California Edison's procurement decision of 150 megawatts behind-the-meter storage for its Local Capacity Requirement has been the first on at that scale by a utility."

An afternoon session will focus on deferral and capacity benefits. Greg Miller, Ice Energy's executive vice president of sales and market development, is on the panel.

The conference will be held Dec. 8-9 in San Francisco. Registration is open.

N.Y. conference on renewable energy set for Sept. 24-25

Ben Welter - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Registration is open for the REV4NY conference and expo in New York City Sept. 24-25. 

"Reforming the Energy Vision" – REV – is New York State's effort to pave the way for utilities, homeowners and businesses to adopt renewable energy technology more easily.

The conference agenda and list of speakers are still in flux, but Day 1 includes a session on integrating behind-the-meter storage with solar, EV and other technologies. Networking sessions and opportunities to explore partnerships are also on the agenda.

PCM refrigeration conference set for May 2016

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 16, 2015

An international conference on phase change materials and slurries for refrigeration and air conditioning is set for May 18-20, 2016, in Karlsruhe, Germany. 

PCM 2016, sponsored by the International Institute of Refrigeration, will bring together scientists, researchers and industry leaders to discuss the latest developments in the field. Topics will include:

• Thermophysical properties of PCMs and slurries
• Transport phenomena of PCMs and slurries: mass, momentum and heat transfer
• Time-dependent behavior of PCMs and slurries
• Direct contact heat exchange

The conference will be conducted in English. Abstracts are due by Nov. 1; final papers are due by March 15.