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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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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

    Ice Energy wins innovation award for TES system

    Ben Welter - Thursday, November 20, 2014

    Ice Energy of Glendale, Calif., has won a Los Angeles Business Journal 2014 Patrick Soon-Shiong Innovation Award. The company, which makes the Ice Bear thermal energy storage system, was honored as one of the region's "most impactful innovators." The Ice Bear system makes ice at night, when electricity is cheaper, and uses it to cool buildings during the day.

    New book on thermal energy storage and sustainability

    Ben Welter - Friday, November 07, 2014

    TES book cover"Thermal Energy Storage Technologies for Sustainability," a new book by S. Kalaiselvam and R. Parameshwaran of Anna University in Chennai, India, details the latest thinking on latent, sensible and thermo-chemical energy storage systems and their applications across industries. The authors discuss the use of phase change materials and provide case studies of several systems in use. Published by Academic Press in August 2014.

    Ice Energy lands 16 contracts with Southern California Edison

    Ben Welter - Thursday, November 06, 2014

    Ice Energy has been awarded sixteen contracts from Southern California Edison to provide 25.6 megawatts of behind-the-meter thermal energy storage using Ice Energy’s Ice Bear system. The TES system attaches to one or more standard 5- to 20-ton commercial AC units. The system makes ice at night when demand for electricity is low and capacity is abundant and increasingly sourced from wind and other renewables. During the day, the stored ice is used to provide cooling.