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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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Kaeser refrigeration air dryer has more compact design, thanks to PCM

Ben Welter - Thursday, August 13, 2015

Kaeser Secotec refrigeration dryerHPC Kaeser's updated Secotec TF refrigeration air dryers feature an aluminum heat exchanger system filled with phase change material. The PCM has twice the thermal storage capacity of conventional storage media, allowing for a more compact design. According to the manufacturer:

"Thanks to the energy-saving control, reserve cooling performance can be temporarily accumulated in the thermal storage medium during partial load operation and can subsequently be used for drying purposes without the need for additional energy consumption. The rapid reaction Secopack LS heat exchanger system [the lighter-colored component shown at right] ensures stable pressure dew points at all times."

Refrigeration air dryers, which remove water vapor from compressed air, are used in a variety of industries, including textile manufacturing and pneumatic control systems.

http://www.agg-net.com/news/ultra-compact-refrigerant-dryers-save-energy-and-space

Team Sky equipped with Outlast-powered rain jacket for Tour de France

Ben Welter - Monday, July 20, 2015

Chris FroomeHigh-tech gear plays an important role in the grueling Tour de France. This year, Team Sky is equipped with Rapha's new Extreme Rain Jacket, designed for use on cold, rainy days. The jacket incorporates Outlast phase change technology, which absorbs, stores and releases heat as needed.

The jacket is still in development, but you might see tour leader Chris Froome slip one on if the weather turns nasty.   

http://road.cc/content/news/157506-rapha-reveals-new-clothing-team-sky-tackle-tour-de-france

PCMs keep headache-relief wrap cooler longer

Ben Welter - Friday, June 26, 2015

Hammacher Schlemmer headache wrapWrap your head around this: Phase change materials are being used to relieve headache pain. Hammacher Schlemmer says PCM gel packs allow the new Superior Headache Relieving Wrap to "stay cool 200% longer than typical models." A spokeswoman was unable to identify the PCM type but said it is "nontoxic and nonflammable," with a melting point of 14º C. 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hammacher-schlemmer-introduces-the-superior-headache-relieving-wrap-300104910.html

Sonoco ThermoSafe's new Via Blood Transporter features PureTemp PCM

Ben Welter - Friday, June 19, 2015

Sonoco ThermoSafe has introduced a new reusable container for the transport and temporary storage of red blood cells and platelets. 

Via Blood TransporterThe Via Blood Transporter maintains red blood cells at 1-6° Celsius for eight hours during transport and 1-10° C for the temporary storage of blood product for a minimum of 12 hours. The container is made of expanded polypropylene and features PureTemp biobased phase change material.

“The Via Blood Transporter was designed in accordance with blood bank user feedback,” said Marianne Hoonakker-Kelly, Sonoco ThermoSafe business development and market manager.  “Unique and innovative features such as the front platelet pouch and affixed assembly instructions not only promote compliance, transport efficiencies and minimized risk of loss due to mishandling – they ultimately promote patient safety. Given the cost pressures applied to health care systems, products like the Via Blood Transporter are critical as they ensure recommended temperature protection while preventing the waste and loss of valuable blood product.”

https://www.thermosafe.com/blog/sonoco-thermosafe-launches-reusable-container-blood-transport-storage/

Little Lotus raises $130,000 on Kickstarter to help bring baby blankets, swaddles to market

Ben Welter - Thursday, June 04, 2015

Little Lotus sleeping bagLittle Lotus, Embrace Innovations' line of PCM-powered baby blankets, sleeping bags and swaddles, has completed its fund-raising campaign on Kickstarter, gathering more than $130,000 in pledges from 676 backers. Embrace Innovations is the for-profit social-enterprise arm of Embrace Global, a nonprofit whose low-cost infant warmer has helped more than 150,000 at-risk infants in India, Afghanistan and other developing nations. 

Little Lotus and the Embrace warmer both use phase change material to regulate body temperature. The Kickstarter campaign, intended to raise money to help bring the Little Lotus to market, tied the two products together: For every Little Lotus purchase over $100, Embrace Innovations pledged to donate $25 toward an infant warmer for a baby in a developing country. The swaddles ($150 a pair) and sleeping bags ($150 a pair) are available in limited quantities at www.littlelotusbaby.com/shop.

The Little Lotus line uses PCM embedded in a layer of fabric. Through a public relations representative, Embrace Innovations declined to discuss the PCM or the company's manufacturing plans. The Embrace warmer includes a pouch containing PureTemp 37 phase change material. 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1036318366/little-lotus-the-smart-swaddle-and-blanket-for-you

Kettering professors partner with Warmilu to improve incubator blanket

Ben Welter - Friday, May 29, 2015

Warmilu's incubator blanket

Two physics professors at Kettering University are working with a Michigan startup on an incubator blanket designed to help preterm infants born in remote parts of developing countries. The goal is to make Warmilu's IncuBlanket stay warmer longer.

"The 8-by-16-inch pouch is filled with phase change material," reports Michigan Live. "To get it warm, all a mother needs to do is boil it and place it in the blanket. Once the warming pack cools to room temperature, there is a spring to push to release more energy and more heat for a few more hours." 

Warmilu says the reusable packs can now maintain a temperature of 37º Celsius for two to five hours. The company hopes to extend that time to six to eight hours.

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/05/kettering_profs_research_techn.html

Outlast's new acrylic fiber uses unencapsulated phase change material

Ben Welter - Monday, May 11, 2015

Outlast President Martin BentzOutlast Technologies and Thai Acrylic Fibre have developed a new acrylic fiber using unencapsulated phase change material.

Outlast says the new fiber performs four times better than the existing version in regulating temperature in apparel and blankets. 

“We are using now a non-encapsulated pPCM system and we no longer work with encapsulated mPCMs here,” explained Martin Bentz, president of the Golden, Colo., company. “This change allowed us to improve the performance of the new Outlast acrylic fibers enormously. With that, the spinning and dyeing properties are enhanced.” 

Ergodyne launches 3 redesigned cooling vests

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ergodyne of St. Paul, Minn., has launched three redesigned cooling vests featuring phase change material. The maker of workplace gear says flexible honeycomb cooling packs and a shorter, wider vest design give wearers increased comfort and mobility. Ergodyne says the cooling material is a "non-toxic, non carcinogenic substance." Product safety data sheets identify the PCM as a paraffin.  

http://ergodyne.com/newsevents/Pages/Ergodyne-Announces-New-Product-Additions-to-Phase-Change-Series.aspx

PCM-powered table is featured in Milan Design Week showcase

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 16, 2015

PCM tablePhase change material is on display at Milan Design Week. But you'd have to look carefully to find it. A table designed by Jean-Sébastien Lagrange and Raphaël Ménard contains PCMs within triangular folds of anodized aluminum. Photographer Amandine Dowle lists the table among her favorite green furnishings at the Designerblock showcase.

The prototype is designed to reduce energy costs buy absorbing heat when temperatures rise above a comfortable level and releasing heat when temperatures fall below that level. 

April 20, 2015, update: Ménard, responding to an e-mail inquiry, said the folds are filled with BASF's microencapsulated Micronal PCM, with a melting point of 22º Celsius. Regarding retail plans, he wrote: "We are looking forward [to] large-scale development for [a] full range of products."

http://zef-design.tumblr.com/tagged/ZEF-prototype

Coffee Joulies creator talks about production challenges

Ben Welter - Monday, March 09, 2015

Coffee JouliesIn an interview with online tech magazine SolidSmack, Dave Petrillo discusses some of the hurdles he and partner Dave Jackson faced in the creation of Coffee Joulies, a product that uses phase change material to regulate the temperature of hot beverages.

"The phase change material was actually not that difficult to find," Petrillo said. "One of the hardest parts to making this project was getting the manufacturing of the rest of the stainless steel shell made in the USA. Forming and joining and sealing these beans shut so that they last a long time is definitely a difficult task. Much harder than we anticipated." 

http://www.solidsmack.com/interviews/interview-dave-petrillo-on-making-the-booze-joulies-and-coffee-joulies