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.




Research roundup: Sodium stearoyl lactylate as stabilizer; oscillating heat-pipe battery; paraffin nanocomposite; more

Ben Welter - Monday, December 14, 2015

Thermal behavior of paraffin-nano-Al2O3 stabilized by sodium stearoyl lactylate as a stable phase change material with high thermal conductivity [Renewable Energy]

Thermal performance of phase change material/oscillating heat pipe-based battery thermal management system [International Journal of Thermal Sciences]

Preparation and thermal performance of paraffin/nano-SiO2 nanocomposite for passive thermal protection of electronic devices [Applied Thermal Engineering]

A comparative study on PCM and ice thermal energy storage tank for air-conditioning systems in office buildings [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Economic impact of integrating PCM as passive system in buildings using Fanger comfort model [Energy and Buildings]

Phase Change Matters briefing: Innovative smartphone screen; the TES equipment market; California's storage push

Ben Welter - Monday, November 30, 2015

Bodle Technologies, an Oxford University spin-out, has created a smartphone screen that uses phase change material to drastically reduce battery drain while still offering a vivid display in bright sunlight.

ReportsnReports has released new research on the global market for thermal energy storage equipment through 2021. Calmac, Caldwell Energy and Chicago Bridge and Iron are among the key manufacturers profiled. 

• Ice storage pioneer CALMAC shares its view on why California committed itself to "wider implementation of energy storage technologies both on the grid and behind the meter."

Patent application: Heat storage material composition and heat storage material

Ben Welter - Friday, October 23, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150299548 (applicant Kitagawa Industries, Aichi, Japan):

"A heat storage material composition contains a styrene-ethylene-ethylene-propylene-styrene copolymer and a paraffin-based wax. The heat storage material composition preferably further contains a paraffin-based process oil that softens the styrene-ethylene-ethylene-propylene-styrene copolymer. Also, the heat storage material composition preferably contains not less than 300 parts by mass and not more than 1000 parts by mass of the wax with respect to 100 parts by mass of the styrene-ethylene-ethylene-propylene-styrene copolymer."

Adjustable-temperature Ember mug features PCM, charging pad, bluetooth

Ben Welter - Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ember coffee mugAre you a demanding coffee drinker? You might be smitten by Ember Technologies' temperature-adjustable mug, now available for pre-order on Indiegogo. The Ember mug is packed with technical features designed to ensure that your coffee (or tea, or cocoa, or tomato bisque) stays at just the right temperature for hours:

  • "Space-grade" thermal insulation
  • Stainless-steel inner vessel
  • "Phase change cooling system"
  • Microprocessor-controlled heating system
  • High-capacity battery
  • Charging pad

You can control the temperature by twisting the base – or use the mobile app to remotely adjust the temperature, save presets for different drinks, name your mug and "select frequency and types of notifications." Not sure about that last bit. I get enough notifications as it is without adding the status of my beverage to the list.

All that technology doesn't come cheap. The 12-ounce mug is expected to retail for $149; you can order one now for $129. Estimated delivery: April 2016. In just two days, the Indiegogo campaign has raised $104,653, more than twice its goal.

Patent application: Thermal management systems for energy storage cells

Ben Welter - Friday, August 21, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150236386 (applicant IntraMicron Inc., Auburn, Ala.):

"Thermal management systems for high energy density batteries, particularly arrays of such batteries, and methods of making and using thereof are described herein. The system includes one or more thermal conductive microfibrous media with one or more phase change materials dispersed within the microfibrous media and one or more active cooling structures. Energy storage packs or arrays which contain a plurality of energy storage cells and the thermal management system are also described."

Research roundup: Fatty acid/surfactant slurries; optimizing PCM thermal energy storage; open thermosyphon; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Fatty acid/surfactant research illustration• Thermophysical Properties of Some Fatty Acids/Surfactants as Phase Change Slurries for Thermal Energy Storage [Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data]

• Optimal operation of phase-change thermal energy storage for a commercial building [American Control Conference]

Influence of accelerated thermal charging and discharging cycles on thermo-physical properties of organic phase change materials for solar thermal energy storage applications [Energy Conversion and Management]

Numerical and experimental studies on heat transfer characteristics of thermal energy storage system packed with molten salt PCM capsules [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Heat transfer and thermal storage performance of an open thermosyphon type thermal storage unit with tubular phase change material canisters [Energy Conversion and Management]

Effect of surface active agent on thermal properties of carbonate salt/carbon nanomaterial composite phase change material [Applied Energy]

Copolymer-bound phase change materials for household refrigerating appliances: Experimental investigation of power consumption, temperature distribution and demand side management potential [International Journal of Refrigeration]

Comprehensive parametric study of using carbon foam structures saturated with PCMs in thermal management of electronic systems [Energy Conversion and Management]

Multi-objective geometric optimization of a PCM based matrix type composite heat sink [Applied Energy]

Research roundup: PCM shielding; stearic-acid/carbon-nanotube composites; thermal comfort in textiles

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 16, 2015

PCM-shielding of precision measuring equipment by means of latent heat [Precision Engineering]

Stearic-acid/carbon-nanotube composites with tailored shape-stabilized phase transitions and light–heat conversion for thermal energy storage [Energy Conversion and Management]

Synthesis of poly(methyl methacrylate-co-acrylic acid)/n-eicosane microcapsules for thermal comfort in textiles [Textiles Research Journal]

PCMs projected to lead growth in thermal interface materials market

Ben Welter - Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The global market for thermal interface materials – which includes tapes, adhesives, greases and phase change materials – is projected to grow from $1.7 billion in 2015 to $3.7 billion in 2025, according to IDTechEx Research. The new report, "Thermal Interface Materials 2015-2025: Status, Opportunities, Market Forecasts," attributes much of the growth to elastomeric pads, solders and PCMs.