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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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New patent: Thermal energy storage device

Ben Welter - Wednesday, March 04, 2015

U.S. patent 8966902, "Storage and recovery of thermal energy based on counter current principle of heat transfer medium transportation": "A thermal energy storage device is provided. The device has a heat exchanger arrangement for guiding a flow of a heat transfer medium between a first end and a second end of the heat exchanger arrangement, and a heat storage material surrounding the heat exchanger arrangement." 

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/8966902.pdf

Dow, NEST team up on TES pilot project in Abu Dhabi

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Dow Chemical is collaborating with NEST AS of Norway on a thermal energy storage pilot project in Abu Dhabi. The project, to be undertaken at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology's concentrated solar power installation in Masdar City, will study the feasibility of a novel TES system developed by NEST. Dow will supply technical support and 2.6 metric tons of its Dowtherm A heat transfer fluid. 

http://www.helioscsp.com/noticia.php?id_not=2893

Research roundup: Hydrated salts/silica; population balance modeling; HVAC retrofit; TES caverns; more

Ben Welter - Monday, March 02, 2015

  • The dependence of phase change enthalpy on the pore structure and interfacial groups in hydrated salts/silica composites via sol-gel [Journal of Colloid and Interface Science]

  • Time-Temperature Charge Function of a High Dynamic Thermal Heat Storage with Phase Change Material [Energy and Power Engineering]

  • Performance of Suspended Finned Heat Pipes in High-temperature Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

  • Numerical investigation of hydrodynamics and thermal performance of a specially configured heat pipe for high-temperature thermal energy storage systems [Applied Thermal Engineering]

  • Population balance modeling for the charging process of a PCM cold energy storage tank [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

  • Development and Optimization of an Innovative HVAC System with Integrated PVT and PCM Thermal Storage for a Net-Zero Energy Retrofitted House [Energy and Buildings]

  • Effect of separation distance on the mechanical stability and thermal performance of twin hot-water storage caverns [Solar Energy]

  • Corrosion properties of a ternary nitrate/nitrite molten salt in concentrated solar technology [Renewable Energy]

  • Innostorage training to focus on numerical modeling of thermal energy storage systems

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    Innostorage, an international research project aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions through the use of low-cost thermal energy storage, is offering a training session on numerical modeling. Participants will gather June 15-17 at the University of Lyon, France, to discuss their own ideas and hear lectures by Dr. Gennady Ziskind of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Dr. Albert Castell of the University of Lleida, Spain, and other experts in thermal energy storage and phase change materials.   

    www.innostorage.eu/joint.php

    Research roundup: Multiphase ultra-low-grade TES; CCHP case study; building energy system optimization; nanoencapsulation

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 24, 2015

  • Multiphase ultra-low-grade thermal energy storage for organic Rankine cycle [International Journal of Energy Research]

  • Hourly operation strategy of a CCHP system with GSHP and thermal energy storage (TES) under variable loads: A case study [Energy and Buildings]

  • A comparison of thermal energy storage models for building energy system optimization [Energy and Buildings]

  • Review on nanoencapsulated phase change materials: Preparation, characterization and heat transfer enhancement [Nano Energy]

  • Universities to develop joint Ph.D. program on thermal energy storage

    Ben Welter - Monday, February 23, 2015

    Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 program to create a network of universities and research institutes to implement a joint Ph.D. program on thermal energy storage. Partners include Trinity College Dublin, Technical University of Eindhoven, University of Ghent, Warsaw University of Technology, Abengoa Research and KIC InnoEnergy. The program will focus on these technologies:

  • High-temperature thermal energy storage
  • Short-term storage technologies for load management
  • Seasonal storage technologies and storage

  • http://horizon2020projects.com/sc-energy/multinational-energy-phd-scheme-funded/

    Research roundup: Conventional chiller system; TES at 575° C and above; vermiculite-perlite composites; more

    Ben Welter - Monday, February 23, 2015

  • A comparison of the field performance of thermal energy storage (TES) and conventional chiller systems [Energy]

  • Experimental and numerical investigation of combined sensible–latent heat for thermal energy storage at 575° C and above [Solar Energy]

  • Experimental investigation of the specific heat of a nitrate–alumina nanofluid for solar thermal energy storage systems [International Journal of Thermal Sciences]

  • Preparation of energy efficient paraffinic PCMs/expanded vermiculite and perlite composites for energy saving in buildings [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • Electrospun fibers based on polyvinyl pyrrolidone/Eu-polyethylene glycol as phase change luminescence materials [Materials Letters]

  • The Potential of Phase Change Materials to Reduce Domestic Cooling Energy Loads for Current and Future UK Climates [Energy and Buildings]

  • Parametric Investigations of Using a PCM Curtain for Energy Efficient Buildings [Energy and Buildings]

  • Effect of Silver Nanoparticles on the Thermal Properties of Sodium Acetate Trihydrate [International Journal of Thermophysics]

  • 3 Illinois Tech undergrads to work on hybrid thermal battery system

    Ben Welter - Friday, February 20, 2015

    Nineteen undergrads at the Illinois Institute of Technology have been accepted into the school's Armour R&D Program this spring. The program offers engineering students a chance to gain research and development experience.

    Three of the students – Hanyue Li, Yifan Li and Shihan Tian – will work on a hybrid battery thermal management system using phase change materials and natural air-cooling. They will be mentored by Francisco Ruiz, an associate professor in the school's Armour College of Engineering.

    http://www.iit.edu/news/iittoday/?p=41054

    Exergy founder on PC heat generation: 'We can put this in every house in the U.S.'

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    Henry, Project Exergy prototype computerIn an interview with Public Radio International, Project Exergy founder Lawrence Orsini talks about his vision of harnessing the heat generated by computers.

    Henry, the project's liquid-cooled, high-performance prototype, generates far more heat than a typical computer. It's made from off-the-shelf parts and is slight bigger than a tower PC. The main difference: It's paired with a small thermal storage tank filled with phase change material. The tank can hold a temperature of 93º Celsius.

    “We can put this [technology] in every house in the U.S.," Orsini says. "In fact, if we did that and we distributed the two to three percent of energy that is being used in data centers, some of our rough calculations say we can probably heat nearly 80 million houses."

    http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-02-18/someday-we-may-be-heating-homes-and-businesses-personal-computers