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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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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] 
  • Seattle building wins ASHRAE technology award

    Ben Welter - Monday, December 15, 2014

    Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District headquarters

    A three-story Seattle office building is one of nine projects recognized for innovative design with an ASHRAE Technology Award. Federal Center South, home to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District, received first place in the new commercial buildings category.

    Among the innovative energy conservation technologies incorporated in the 209,000-square-foot building are thermal energy storage using phase change material and "a 100% outside air ventilation system with heat recovery of exhaust serving a raised floor ventilation air distribution system." 

    The projected annual energy cost for the building was modeled at $80,740, compared to ASHRAE's baseline of $135,791.

    http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96914-ashrae-announces-technology-award-winners

    Surface water TES system honored

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    IF Technology of the Netherlands has received a Sustainable Urban Delta Award for its innovative thermal energy storage system for a residential complex in Wageningen. The system takes advantage of temperature differences in surface water near the complex. In summer, for example, warm water is stored in an aquifer thermal storage system that helps heat the complex in winter. Overall, the system is said to be 25 percent more efficient than a conventional seasonal TES system.

    The Delta Award recognizes Dutch companies that offer innovative solutions to the climate-change challenges faced by cities in low-lying, densely populated coastal areas with large river estuaries.

    http://www.dutchwatersector.com/news-events/news/12539-if-technology-and-deltasync-win-first-sustainable-urban-delta-awards-2014.html

    New database to help PCM selection in construction

    Ben Welter - Friday, December 05, 2014

    Using CES Selector software, researchers in Spain have created a database of phase change materials to help engineers select the right PCM for thermal energy storage in buildings. More than 300 PCMs have been entered in the database, noting thermophysical properties such as melting temperature and melting enthalpy.

    According to an abstract of the research reported in Volume 57 of Energy Procedia: "This database can be completed in the future with other relevant properties ... such as chemical properties (durability in different media etc), reported density or viscosity at a given temperature or even cost of each material."

    The full report, "New database on phase change materials for thermal energy storage in buildings to help PCM selection," is available via ScienceDirect. 

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876610214016166