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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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CSP storage system has theoretical thermal efficiency of more than 74%

Ben Welter - Monday, January 05, 2015

Using a novel modeling tool for concentrated solar power, Spanish researchers have designed a more efficient storage system employing multilayered phase change material. The CSP system has a theoretical thermal efficiency of more than 74 percent and requires only a third of the molten salt needed in traditional two-tank systems.

The system was first described in "A New Thermocline-PCM Thermal Storage Concept for CSP Plants. Numerical Analysis and Perspectives," a paper presented at SolarPACES 2013. "The key aspect of this new concept," the researchers wrote, "is the inclusion of PCM layers at both ends of the tank, whose fusion temperatures are conveniently chosen to be inside the 'admissible' temperature ranges for the outlet of both charge and discharge processes."

http://social.csptoday.com/technology/research-team-pcm-storage-breakthrough

Review of state advanced energy legislation in 2014

Ben Welter - Friday, January 02, 2015

Colorado State University's Center for the New Energy Economy has released a summary of advanced energy legislation passed in U.S. states in 2014. Some 430 advanced energy bills became law, down from 713 in 2013. Changes to renewable portfolio standards were enacted in 12 states, including Maine, South Carolina and Massachusetts.

http://www.aeltracker.org/graphics/uploads/CNEE-2014-Advanced-Energy-Legislation-End-of-Year-Summary.pdf

Research roundup: Slurry PCMs in solar heating system; content-stable composites; TES in cold climates; more

Ben Welter - Friday, January 02, 2015

  • Potentialities of a Low Temperature Solar Heating System Based on Slurry Phase Change Materials [Energy Procedia]

  • Development of content-stable phase change composites by infiltration into inorganic porous supports [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • A Review of the Performance of Buildings Integrated with Phase Change Material: Opportunities for Application in Cold Climate [Energy Procedia]

  • The Effectiveness of PCM Wallboards for the Energy Refurbishment of Lightweight Buildings [Energy Procedia]

  • Temperature Regulation and Thermal Energy Storage Potential of Phase Change Materials Layer Contained at the Back of a Building Integrated Photovoltaic Panel [30th International Plea Conference, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India] [pdf]
  • Research roundup: Thermal energy storage; system design; overview of technologies; porous mullite; more

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 30, 2014

  • Optimal Chiller and Thermal Energy Storage Design for Building HVAC Systems [Purdue University]

  • A Numerical and Graphical Review of Energy Storage Technologies [Energies]

  • Lithium in thermal energy storage: A state-of-the-art review [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews] [pdf]

  • Impregnation of porous mullite with Na2SO4 phase change material for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • Synthesis and performances of novel solid–solid phase change materials with hexahydroxy compounds for thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

  • Research roundup: PCMs and indoor environments; spherical PCMs; silica aerogels; thermodynamic modeling

    Ben Welter - Friday, December 26, 2014

  • Effect of phase change materials on indoor thermal environment under different weather conditions and over a long time [Applied Energy]

  • Prediction of Spherical Phase Change Material Temperature Using RBFNN Model [Applied Mechanics and Materials]

  • Alkylated Phase Change Composites for Thermal Energy Storage Based on Surface-Modified Silica Aerogels [Journal of Materials Chemistry A]

  • Simulation of the thermal and energy behavior of a composite material containing encapsulated PCM: Influence of the thermodynamical modeling [Applied Energy] 
  • 2 experts on thermal energy storage join Entropy's board of advisors

    Ben Welter - Monday, December 22, 2014

    Luisa Cabeza and Mohammed Farid, two internationally renowned authorities on phase change materials and thermal energy storage, have joined Entropy Solutions’ advisory board.

    Dr. Cabeza, a professor at the University of Lleida, Spain, is the director of GREA Innovació Concurrent, a research group that is developing thermal energy storage concepts and systems for solar water tanks, HVAC systems, industrial applications and concentrated solar power plants. She has co-written more than 100 papers and published several books on phase change material and thermal energy storage.

    Dr. Farid, a professor of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, is a leading authority on thermal energy storage and phase change materials. He has been working since 1980 on the development of PCMs, their encapsulation and applications, from buildings and cold storage to the cooling of batteries and electronic devices.

    Amsterdam is home to world's most-sustainable building

    Ben Welter - Thursday, December 18, 2014

    The Edge, AmsterdamThe Edge, Deloitte’s new headquarters in Amsterdam, has won BREEAM certification as the world’s most-sustainable building.

    The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology, licensed for use by independent, trained assessors, rates buildings on criteria such as energy and water use, waste management, transportation links and materials sourcing. The Edge earned the highest BREEAM score yet recorded, 98.36 percent. One Embankment Place in London held the previous record, 96.31.

    The 430,000-square-foot building was designed by PLP Architecture of London. Its energy-efficient design includes passive temperature control, Ethernet-powered LED lighting, 44,000 square feet of rooftop solar panels and an aquifer thermal energy storage unit 500 feet below ground that generates all energy required for heating and cooling.

    Research roundup: Hardened cement paste, energy storage containers, nanocomposites

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

  • Thermophysical and Mechanical Properties of Hardened Cement Paste with Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials for Energy Storage [Materials]

  • Thermal Performance Evaluation of Two Thermal Energy Storage Tank Design Concepts for Use with a Solid Particle Receiver-Based Solar Power Tower [Energies]

  • Experimental study on solving the blocking for the direct contact mobilized thermal energy storage container [Applied Thermal Engineering]

  • Thermal conductivity enhancement of lauric acid phase change nanocomposite in solid and liquid state with single-walled carbon nanohorn inclusions [Thermochimica Acta]