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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 monthly PCM newsletter. Or join the discussion on LinkedIn.

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PCM briefing: Viking touts hybrid cooling system in Australia; thermodynamic law takes a hit in Japan

Ben Welter - Thursday, September 01, 2016

Viking Cold Solutions of Houston introduced its hybrid cooling system at an industry conference in Australia this week. The system, which combines rooftop photovoltaic panels and PCM-based thermal energy storage, is designed to reduce energy costs at supermarkets and cold storage facilities. 

Phase Change Energy Solutions, BASF Education Lab and CALMAC are among the exhibitors scheduled to attend the Greenbuild conference and expo Oct. 5-7 in Los Angeles.

Chart showing 4 phases of substance coexisting at thermal equilibrium• In research that appears to conflict with thermodynamic law, scientists at the University of Tokyo have run simulations showing that four phases of a substance can coexist at thermal equilibrium, where all parts are at the same temperature and pressure. The research "may prove useful in the development of functional phase change materials," according to a university news release, "as it demonstrates that multiple phase transformation can be induced through weak disturbance (perturbation) near the quadruple point."

Emerson is expanding its cold chain presence with the acquisition of two temperature-monitoring companies: Locus Traxx of Jupiter, Fla., and PakSense of Boise, Idaho. Terms were not disclosed.

Ravi Teja, an R&D associate specializing in phase change materials at Pluss Advanced Technologies in India, is a finalist for the Energy Institute's Young Energy Professional of the Year award.

PCM coaster is designed to keep canned beer cold

Ben Welter - Monday, July 25, 2016

Two Hungarians are working to raise $25,000 on Indiegogo to fund development of BoozePad, an aluminum-and-plastic coaster designed to keep canned beer and other beverages cold. Inside is a phase change material of their own creation, a salt-and-water paste with a freeze point of minus 14 to 18 degrees Celsius.

Boozepad photoIn an email interview, Viktor Kurucz and Zsombor Kaló said similar products on the market only slow warming: "BoozePad is the only device [we've tested] that effectively cools the beer and keeps the preferred low temperature." 

They added: "BoozePad is absolutely local: idea, testings, design and development to the prototype has all been happened within the boundaries of Budapest. Mass production will take place also locally. It is important for us to supervise the production personally, and diminish the biological footprint."

A single BoozePad costs $10, with delivery promised in October. With a month to go, the Indiegogo campaign has raised a little over $2,000, well short of the team's $25,000 goal.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/boozepad-keep-your-beer-cool-while-you-drink-it--3#/

PCM necklace is designed to beat the heat in style

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 14, 2016

Nano-Ice necklaceSam White, co-founder of Promethean Power Systems, which makes a PCM-powered milk chiller, has found another use for phase change material. He and his wife, Jessica Harder, have developed a cooling necklace designed to keep wearers comfortable and looking good. The couple raised $15,000 in a Kickstarter campaign last year. The Nano-Ice necklaces sell for about $40 online and through retail shops in the Boston area.

PCM briefing: Alexium adds clients in bedding industry; new research on temperature-controlled pharma packaging

Ben Welter - Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Alexium International has announced an agreement to sell its new flame-retardant phase change material to a U.S.-based textile finisher serving the bedding industry. Alexium, based in Perth, Australia, and Greer, S.C., announced in May that it had reached a PCM sales agreement with one of the world's largest producers of mattress ticking. "Alexium is now in production or full-scale trials with six global mattress fabric finishers," said CEO Nicholas Clark "and for the first time, a major manufacturer in apparel is evaluating our flame retardant phase change material technology." 

• New from Research and Markets: "Temperature Controlled Pharmaceutical Packaging Solutions (TCPPS) Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2016-2026."

TheM dining mat• Months after falling short of raising $30,000 on IndieGoGo, developers of a PCM-powered thermal dining placemat called TheM said in January that they hoped to develop a successful design by the end of February. The team is now apologizing again, telling backers: "The PCM material did not work as intended and [we are] trying to develop a solution that can still add value to the innovation. Please bear with us and within the next 60 days [we hope] to have a product with which [we] can reward your support and patience."

Ira Smith, director of strategic development for global transport and biologistics at Pelican BioThermal, is among the panelists at the FlyPharma conference in Brussels this week. The topic: The increasing appeal of inter-continental rail freight services and sea freight.

Glacier Tek cooling vests are profiled in the June issue of OR Today magazine. The vests, which use PureTemp bio-based phase change material to maintain thermal comfort, are being marketed as a way to address heat stress among surgeons and operating room staff, who endure "bright lights, sterile gowns, lead aprons, physical exertion and time stress."

GreenCE is offering a free hourlong webinar, "Reinventing Green Building: Focus on Carbon & Leverage Technology," at 1 p.m. June 14. Instructors will discuss the limitations of LEED certification in various U.S. market segments and identify alternatives to LEED certification. 

• The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has named Peter Green as the new deputy laboratory director for science and technology. Green is a professor of materials science and engineering, chemical engineering and applied physics at the University of Michigan.  

Monodraught's Cool-Phase cooling and ventilation system has been specified for Harrogate's new civic headquarters, now under construction in County Durham, England. The system combines a phase change material thermal energy store with an intelligently controlled air handling unit to actively ventilate and cool buildings without the use of refrigerants. The company says the system contributes credits toward BREEAM standards for lifecycle costs, indoor air quality and low- and zero-carbon technologies. 

Sonoco ThermoSafe shares sneak preview of new Certis Platform shipper line

Ben Welter - Thursday, May 26, 2016

Certis Platform preview video

Sonoco ThermoSafe has posted a video preview of its new line of universal shipping solutions. The Certis Platform, coming in July, is designed to optimize warehouse space, reduce inventory costs, simplify training and increase productivity. Only three types of PureTemp phase change material and eight shippers are needed to create 24 shipping solutions across temperature ranges and duration.

https://www.thermosafe.com/blog/product-launch-sneak-preview-certis-platform%C2%9D%C2%9D/

PCM briefing; Tariff relief for U.S. chemical producers; registration open for green chemistry conference in Portland

Ben Welter - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

• Legislation signed into law this week by President Obama will provide tariff relief to U.S. chemical producers that import raw materials and intermediate products. “With 80 percent of specialty chemical manufacturers importing raw materials for which there is no domestic source, this bill is a huge deal,” said William E. Allmond IV, vice president of government and public relations at the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates.

• The global thermal energy storage market will top $3 billion by 2023, according to a report published by Market Research Engine, “Global Thermal Energy Storage Market by Technology for Commercial and Industrial, Utilities, and Residential End Use Applications – Trends and Forecast 2016-2023.” 

Arsenal's new jerseyArsenal has unveiled new uniforms for the 2016-17 soccer season. The Puma jerseys feature ACTV Thermo-R technology. Strategically placed tape infused with microencapsulated phase change material absorbs excess heat and releases it back to the body when needed.

• Registration is open for the Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference June 14-16 in Portland, Ore. The theme for the 20th annual conference is "Advancing Sustainable Solutions by Design." Technical session topics include sustainable materials, chemical manufacturing processes, next-generation catalysis and chemical building blocks.    

Allen Yun, formerly director of strategic initiatives for OPTUM, is joining Pelican BioThermal as director of global services

• A survey suggests that many U.S. companies will not meet OSHA's new hazard communication standards on time. The deadline for compliance is June 1.

More than 8.1 million people worldwide are now employed by the renewable energy industry, up 5 percent from last year, the International Renewable Energy Agency says.

• The Environmental Protection Agency's chemical data reporting rule brings challenges and opportunities, writes James G. Votaw, a partner with the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. The next CDR reports, covering chemical manufacture and import activities during the period 2012-2015, must be submitted to the EPA by Sept. 30. 

PCM briefing: Renewables milestone in Portugal; PCM conference in Germany

Ben Welter - Friday, May 20, 2016

Portugal ran for a record four days straight on renewable energy alone last week. Solar, wind and hydro power typically account for about half of the country's electricity needs. Renewables provided only about 23 percent as recently as 2013, the Guardian reports. 

Puma women's Blaze golf shoePuma's new Blaze golf shoe for women features Outlast phase change technology to promote thermal comfort. 

• The PCM 2016 conference in Karlsruhe, Germany, drew more than 60 participants this week. In opening sessions, Drs. Thomas Johansson of the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics and Hans-Martin Henning of Fraunhofer ISE touched on the importance of thermal storage for heating and cooling efficiency and a sustainable energy future. 

RGEES launches Akuratemp specimen transporter in four temperature ranges

Ben Welter - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

RGEES Akuratemp PCM packsRGEES introduced a new line of temperature-controlled specimen transporters this week at CleanMed 2016 in Dallas.

The Akuratemp line is available in frozen (below -20° C), chilled (2-8° C), room temperature (15°C to 25°C) and incubating (37° C) temperature ranges. The ranges cover applications in clinical trials, diagnostic specimens, direct-to-patient and direct-to-lab deliveries. The transporter consists of an insulated carton, two color-coded packs containing phase change material, shown here, an optional real-time data logger and an outer sleeve.

The company, based in Arden, N.C., says the "environmentally friendly" shippers will maintain temperatures for up to 72 hours, use non-petroleum phase-change technology and have reuseable components.

http://rgees.com/products_specimen-transporter.php

PCM briefing: Croda to showcase automotive product line; Outlast technology on display in Leipzig

Ben Welter - Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Croda, the global specialty chemical company, will showcase its automotive product portfolio in June at Automechanika 2016 in Birmingham, U.K. Among the sustainable products on display: bio-based phase change material designed for in-cabin temperature control and cold storage evaporators.

Hydas wrist brace with Outlast PCMThe latest innovations featuring Outlast phase change technology were on display last week at the OT World trade show in Leipzig. Outlast's PCM-enhanced foam is used to cushion the inside of ankle orthoses made by the French company Thuasne. Compression bandages made by a German company, Bort, include Outlast PCM to improve thermal comfort. And Hydas Fabrik für Medizinalbedarf, another German company, uses Outlast fibers in bandages, supporting belts and wrist braces (shown here) for extended heat management. 

BASF, maker of Micronal phase change material and other sustainable building materials and products, is taking a leadership role in the World Green Building Council’s Europe Regional Network. As an official partner, BASF will play a key part in supporting growth of the sustainable building movement in Europe.

Ben VanderPlas, Sonoco ThermoSafe's global product manager, is featured in a video produced by Healthcare Packaging magazine. VanderPlas explains how ThermoSafe's LD7 Quarter PMC reflects a new approach to passive pallet shipper design for the distribution of bulk temperature-sensitive products.  

Roccor LLC of Longmont, Colo., has posted an opening for a thermal test engineer to help develop two-phase cooling devices for high-power military and commercial electronic systems.  

• Planning to attend the 2017 Temperature Controlled Logistics conference in London? Take a 10-minute industry survey and you'll be entered in a drawing to win a complimentary pass.

PronGO bag uses PCM-filled pouches to keep ice cream solid on hot days

Ben Welter - Friday, March 25, 2016

Afraid your ice cream will melt on the walk home from the supermarket or on the way to a summer picnic? Pluss Advanced Technologies of Gurgaon, India, has a solution: PronGO, an insulated bag designed to keep frozen food frozen for up to five hours in hot conditions.

Multilayered film pouches containing phase change material fit in pockets inside the 3-liter bag. The flat pouches are about 100mm by 150mm. The PCM temperature range is -10 to -18 degrees Celsius.

In an interview with Phase Change Matters, Vishnu Sasidharan, vice president of new product initiatives at Pluss, says the bag will be available on Amazon next month for about $39 USD. He says it’s the first product Pluss has designed for the retail market.

PronGO thermal bagPluss is planning to introduce versions designed for three other temperature ranges, using either salt hydrate or biobased PCMs, depending on temperature requirements:

• +2° to +8° C (dairy products, fruits and vegetables),
• -2° to -10° C (raw meat and sea food)
• +15° to +25° C (chocolates and confectionary)

A promotional video (above) advises users to chill the pouches a minimum of 36 hours in a freezer set to maximum cooling. Sasidharan says the PCM can solidify in as little as 12 hours in a household freezer compartment. The longer duration represents a “worst case scenario considering different models of refrigerator vary in performance.”

http://businesswireindia.com/news/news-details/pluss-launches-prongo-bags-enabling-frozen-products-go/47906