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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.




Ember temperature-control mug completes pilot manufacturing run

Ben Welter - Friday, March 18, 2016

Ember Technologies, which raised $362,243 on IndieGoGo last fall to develop a temperature-adjustable mug, has completed its first pilot factory run of the product and is now working on reliability testing. In an update to IndieGoGo backers this week, the company announced several improvements to the mug, which uses phase change material to help manage beverage temperature:

• More robust design
• Reduced weight
• Liquid level sensing
• Redesigned charger coaster
• Improved mobile app

Delivery of the first mugs to nearly 2,000 backers, initially scheduled for April, is now set for July, after FCC, UL and RF testing is completed.

PCM briefing: More details on the Ice Bear 20; new research on the microencapsulation market

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 01, 2016

• In an interview with CleanTechnica, Ice Energy CEO Mike Hopkins shares new details on the Ice Bear 20, a thermal energy storage system aimed at the residential market. The unit is designed to cool homes up to 3,500 square feet, "is as easy to install as the compressor unit of a traditional air conditioner" and will cost the same as a conventional air conditioning system.

• New from Zion Research: “Microencapsulation Market for Pharmaceuticals, Household Products, Agrochemicals, Food Additives and Other Applications: Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2014 – 2020.” The report projects global demand for microencapsulation will reach $9.25 billion in 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 9.5 percent.

• New from Future Market Insights: "Temperature Controlled Packaging Solutions Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2015-2025"

The Welsh government has award Dulas $80,000 to support development of the company's solar direct-drive vaccine refrigerators. Phase change material that freezes and thaws at 5º C helps keep vaccines at the proper temperature without power from the grid. 

Compression shirts and briefs infused with Outlast phase change technology helped reduce chafing and rashes in tests conducted with law enforcement professionals. The apparel, made by 91 Degrees F, displayed "superior sweat management, reduced chafing, and a uniform shirt that maintained its crisp appearance throughout the test."

MatVesl added to Vesl line of PCM containment devices

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 25, 2016

MatVeslIn partnership with Entropy Solutions, Vesl LLC has added MatVesl to its line of PCM containment devices.

The multi-layer barrier film packages offer MVTR and O2TR protection and are able to withstand rigorous long-term use. They are hermetically sealed to prevent leakage or intrusion. They can be configured up to 46cm (18 inches) wide by nearly endless lengths. A 43cm x 51cm section holds about 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of PureTemp 1, 4, 8 or 18.

PCM briefing: Borehole energy storage exceeding expectations; Masdar launches novel single-tank TES demonstration project

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Canada's Drake Landing, a large-scale solar community that uses borehole thermal energy storage to heat 52 single-family homes, has achieved up to 98 percent efficiency in recent years. The district heating system, now in its ninth year, combines garage-mounted solar panels with 144 boreholes, drilled 37 meters deep.

The Masdar Institute has initiated its concentrated solar power on demand demonstration project in Abu Dhabi. The aim is to show that the novel single-tank thermal energy storage system, which absorbs and stores thermal energy using molten salt, may prove to be more affordable and efficient than conventional two-tank systems.

AkzoNobel's potential purchase of BASF's industrial coatings business could put other chemical companies under pressure to re-structure their businesses, analysts say. Cheap oil means more cash is available for mergers and acquisitions.   

The team behind TheM, a PCM-powered thermal dining placemat, fell short of its goal of raising $30,000 on Indiegogo last fall. But the team is still plugging away on prototypes and hopes to develop a successful design by the end of February.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev hosted the second board meeting of the European project INPATH-TES this week. Around 30 researchers from different countries participated in the meeting, representing the 22 partners in the project. 

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have created a safety database on 10,000 chemicals registered in Europe for predicting the toxicity of many of the 90,000 or more other substances in consumer products.

CanVesl added to Vesl line of PCM containment devices

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 11, 2016

CanVesl PCM containment deviceIn partnership with Entropy Solutions, Vesl LLC has added CanVesl to its line of PCM containment devices.

The sturdy metal PCM devices are designed to withstand great temperature extremes. They are hermetically sealed to prevent moisture and vapor transmission. The coated steel resists corrosion. Each can holds 160 grams (5.6 ounces) of PureTemp phase change material, available in a wide range of temperatures, from -37°C (-34°F) to 151°C (304°F).

PCM briefing: Qatar University working on polyolefin-based PCM; Pelican BioThermal introduces Credo Cargo

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Qatar University Centre for Advanced Materials is developing polyolefin-based phase change material to reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions and plastic waste. The research team is developing special PCM foams and compact composite sheets based on polyethylene, paraffin wax and graphite. 

Swiss away jersey by PumaPelican BioThermal has launched a new pallet shipper system, CrÄ“do Cargo. The reusable bulk shipper uses phase change material cooling panels to maintain temperature ranges +2C to +8C and +15C to +25C. 

The Swiss national soccer team will wear PCM-infused away uniforms at the European Championships 2016 in France. The jersey features Puma's 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. The uniforms will be worn for the first time in an international friendly against the Republic of Ireland on March 25. Other national teams sporting the new kits are Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Italy.

President Obama is vowing to push ahead with efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions after the U.S. Supreme Court put his Clean Power Plan on hold until legal challenges are resolved.

New Ice Bear 20 cooling system is aimed at residential market

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Ice Bear 20

Ice Energy of Glendale, Calif., has introduced a smaller version of its commercial Ice Bear thermal energy storage system. The new Ice Bear 20 has a 265-gallon tank and a thermal storage capacity of 240,000 BTUs. During off-peak hours, the Ice Bear stores cooling energy by freezing water in an insulated tank. During peak hours, the company says, the stored ice delivers up to four hours of cooling, reducing the typical peak load by 95 percent.

"The Ice Bear 20 is a uniquely cost-effective, reliable and green energy storage system that transforms residential AC load into a clean, flexible and responsive grid resource for utilities while providing cooling comfort for homeowners," said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Ice Energy. "It incorporates the same technology as our proven Ice Bear 30, with the added benefit of an integrated cooling and storage system. With Ice Bear 20s and Ice Bear 30s in place, almost any part of the grid with peak demand or solar over-generation issues can be reliably and cost-effectively addressed by utilities, all while reducing CO2 emissions."

The Ice Bear 20 will be on display Feb. 9-11 at DistribuTECH 2016 in Orlando, Fla.

TubeVesl cylinder added to Vesl line of PCM containment devices

Ben Welter - Friday, January 22, 2016

TubeVesl PCM deviceIn partnership with Entropy Solutions, Vesl LLC has added TubeVesl to its line of PCM containment devices.

These sturdy metal cylinders are hermetically sealed and able to withstand extremely high temperatures and high pressures. An aluminum coating is designed to resist corrosion. Each cylinder is 30mm in diameter and 165mm in height. Each holds 100g (3.5 ounces) of PureTemp phase change material, available in a wide range of temperatures, from -37°C (-34°F) to 151°C (304°F).

PackVesl film package added to Vesl line of PCM containment devices

Ben Welter - Friday, January 15, 2016

PackVesl PCM containment deviceIn partnership with Entropy Solutions, Vesl LLC has added PackVesl to its line of PCM containment devices. The multi-layer film package is hermetically sealed to prevent leakage or intrusion and is designed to withstand rigorous and repeated long-term use.

PackVesl 20RT has three chambers totaling 20cm x 38cm and contains 454 grams (1 pound) of PureTemp phase change material, available in more than a dozen temperatures, from -2°C (28°F) to 29°C (84°F).

PCM briefing: PCM-equipped heat pump is up for Dutch award; Axiom Exergy is looking for a product engineer

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Coolmark's TripleAqua heat pump, which uses phase change material to store hot and cold energy, is one of three finalists in the energy savings category of the 2016 VSK Awards. The awards honor Dutch innovation and initiative in engineering. Winners will be announced Feb. 3 at the VSK trade show in Utrecht.

California startup Axiom Exergy, maker of a "Refrigeration Battery" designed to reduce supermarket energy costs, has posted an opening for a product engineer. Candidates are invited to answer this question: "Given the choice between pure water and a NaCl-water solution as the thermal energy storage medium in medium temperature (40°F, 4.4°C) refrigeration applications, what are the pros and cons of each material?" 

Abu Dhabi International Airport's new district cooling plant, completed this week, has 18 chillers, two thermal energy storage tanks and a total capacity of 55,000 metric tons of refrigerant.

Restonic is infusing phase change material into the surface of the TempaGel memory foam used in the mattress maker's new ComfortCare Hybrid Signature line.

The $20 million Jemalong Solar Thermal Station, which uses molten salt as a thermal storage medium, has entered the commissioning phase, developer Vast Solar says. The grid-connected pilot plant in New South Wales, Australia, is expected to reach full operation as early as May. 

BoTemp, a Dutch company that produces cold storage systems for the transport and container industry, has added two eutectic systems to its product line: The on-board Cold Battery uses chilled air forced into the cargo area to give a wide controllable temperature range from -18º C to 4º C. The stationary Cold Charger can quickly charge multiple vehicles or containers at the same time.

Ice Energy, which makes the Ice Bear thermal energy storage system, is on's list of 10 start-ups to watch in 2016.