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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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Research roundup: Mg-bi alloys as PCM for thermal storage; self-assembly of fatty acid, graphene; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, October 01, 2015

Preparation, microstructure and thermal properties of mg-bi alloys as phase change materials for thermal energy storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

One-Step Preparation of Form-Stable Phase Change Material through Self-Assembly of Fatty Acid and Graphene [Journal of Physical Chemistry]

Form-stable phase change material made with cellulose acetate nanofibrous mat from bicomponent electrospinning and incorporated capric-myristic-stearic acid ternary eutectic mixture for thermal energy storage/retrieval [RSC Advances]

Numerical Simulation on the Effect of Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Unit [Journal of Thermal Engineering] [pdf]

Design of Phase Change Thermal Energy Stores (PCM-TES) for Residential Heat Pump Applications [International Congress of Refrigeration] [pdf]


Research roundup: PCM/CSP review; paraffin/vermiculite PCM for cement-based composites; shell-tube thermal energy storage

Ben Welter - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Application of phase change materials for thermal energy storage in concentrated solar thermal power plants: A review to recent developments [Applied Energy]

Paraffin/expanded vermiculite composite phase change material as aggregate for developing lightweight thermal energy storage cement-based composites [Applied Energy]

Analysis of HTFs, PCMs and fins effects on the thermal performance of shell–tube thermal energy storage units [Solar Energy]

Research roundup: Heat pipe network performance; lauric-palmitic-stearic acid/vermiculite; natural convection in cylindrical annulus; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Numerical investigation of the effect of adiabatic section location on thermal performance of a heat pipe network with the application in thermal energy storage systems [American Physical Society]

Study on thermal property of lauric–palmitic–stearic acid/vermiculite composite as form-stable phase change material for energy storage [Advances in Mechanical Engineering]

Numerical investigation of the effects of natural convection on the melting process of phase change material in cylindrical annulus [International Journal for Research in Applied Science & Engineering Technology]

Numerical study on thermal performance characteristics of a cascaded latent heat storage unit [Journal of Power and Energy]

Adjoint-based shape optimization of fin geometry for enhanced solid/liquid phase-change process [American Physical Society]

Optical properties of a liquid paraffin-filled double glazing unit [Energy and Buildings]

Active thermal mass enhancement using phase change materials [Energy and Buildings]

Research roundup: Gypsum hardening properties; PCM in vacuum insulation panels; evacuated tube heat pipe solar collector

Ben Welter - Friday, September 25, 2015

Study of Fresh and Hardening Process Properties of Gypsum with Three Different PCM Inclusion Methods [Materials]

Integration of form-stable paraffin/nanosilica phase change material composites into vacuum insulation panels for thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

Theoretical model of an evacuated tube heat pipe solar collector integrated with phase change material [Energy]

Research roundup: Polyvinyl alcohol foams; radially finned thermal storage unit; close-contact melting modeling; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, September 24, 2015

Heat Storage and Dimensional Stability of Poly(vinyl alcohol) Based Foams Containing Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials [Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research]

Experimental Investigation of Encapsulated Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage [University of South Florida, Ph.D. dissertation]

Modeling of Constrained Melting in a Radially Finned Latent Thermal Energy Storage Unit [Advances in Computational Heat Transfer]

Modelling and optimization of CHP based district heating system with renewable energy production and energy storage [Applied Energy]

Molecular dynamics simulation of the domain size effect on the values of thermal conductivity of long chain n-alkanes [Advances in Computational Heat Transfer]

Investigation of Various Options for Numerical Modeling of Fluidized Beds for a Solar Thermal Application [Advances in Computational Heat Transfer]

Close-Contact Melting Modeling Combined with the Enthalpy Method [Advances in Computational Heat Transfer]

Ceiling tiles and incubators: PCM news from England and Switzerland

Ben Welter - Monday, September 21, 2015

Catching up on two stories that emerged while I was on vacation earlier this month:

• Two lines of Armstrong ceiling tiles – the PCM-based CoolZone and the light-reflecting Ultima+ – were installed together in a recent renovation at Bristol Royal Infirmary in Bristol, England. Rich Shore, director of subcontractor Pegasus Interiors, said: "The CoolZone tiles were easy to use and install and they give a great effect due to their metal finish. They complemented the Ultima+ tiles very nicely."

• Benjamin Rime, a materials science student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, devoted a semester project and his master's thesis to developing a PCM-powered thermoregulator for incubators in developing nations. “If the power goes out," he said, "a small battery-powered fan connected to a simple and rugged electronic regulator takes over and maintains a constant temperature in the incubator.” The GlobalNeonat project is in the hands of the institute's EssentialTech program and its Swiss and African partners.

A look at the new GHS standards and how they affect the PCM industry

Ben Welter - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Manufacturers of phase change material are required to follow the new Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals and must accurately report the hazards associated with their products. The requirements took effect June 1, 2015. Here's some background on the GHS and a brief look at how it's affecting the PCM industry.

http://www.puretemp.com/stories/the-effect-of-the-ghs-on-the-pcm-industry

Research roundup: Macrocapsules containing microencapsulated PCMs; TES tank filled with different PCMs; graphene nanofillers; antarcticite; more

Ben Welter - Monday, September 14, 2015

Preparation and characterization of macrocapsules containing microencapsulated PCMs (phase change materials) for thermal energy storage [Energy]

Packed bed thermal energy storage: A simplified experimentally validated model [Journal of Energy Storage]

Experimental investigation of the thermal response of a thermal storage tank partially filled with different PCMs (phase change materials) to a steep demand [Energy]

Temperature Stabilisation in Fischer-Tropsch Reactors Using Phase Change Material (PCM) [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Evaluation of cooling and thermal energy storage tanks in optimization of multi-generation system [Journal of Energy Storage]

Effects of Graphene Nanofillers on the Energy Storage Properties of Paraffin-Based Phase Change Materials [10th International Conference on Composite Science and Technology] [pdf]

Characterization of Metal-PCMs for Thermal Energy Storage Applications [Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Processes for Strategic Sectors]

Optimization of solvents for the encapsulation of a phase change material in polymeric matrices by electro-hydrodynamic processing of interest in temperature buffering food applications [European Polymer Journal]

Domestic Material Content in Molten-Salt Concentrating Solar Power Plants [NREL]

Antarcticite, a Phase Change Material for Thermal Energy Storage: Experiments and Simulation [Mineral Technology]

Thermal performance of a typical residential Cyprus building with phase change materials [Building Services Engineering Resource and Technology]

Research roundup: Complex roof with PCM; diatomite-based nanocomposites; seasonal TES; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, September 03, 2015

Experimental investigation on a complex roof incorporating phase-change material [Energy and Buildings]

Application of PCM energy storage in combination with night ventilation for space cooling [Applied Energy]

Solar Water Distillation Using Three Different Phase Change Materials [Materials Today]

Easy and industrially applicable impregnation process for preparation of diatomite-based phase change material nanocomposites for thermal energy storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

A Review of Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Systems [Applied Mechanics and Materials]

Performance of Latent Heat Solar Thermal Energy Storage System Using Various Heat Transfer Fluids [Applied Mechanics and Materials]

Financial analysis of an installed small scale seasonal thermal energy store [Renewable Energy]

Temperature control of permanent-magnet synchronous motor using phase change material [Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics]

Calorimetric and Dynamic Mechanical Behavior of Phase Change Materials Based on Paraffin Wax Supported by Expanded Graphite [Thermochimica Acta]

Patent application: Fluid system and method of making and using the same

Ben Welter - Tuesday, September 01, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150240759 (applicant GM Global Technology Operations, Troy, Mich.):

Fuel tank patent drawing"A number of variations may include a product including a housing including at least one phase change material and a medium constructed and arranged for thermal energy transfer to or from a vehicle fuel. ... [E]thanol fuel may be prone to clogging of the vehicle engine within the surroundings during undesirable conditions. This clogging may cause the vehicle engine to stall or not start upon desired ignition. ... [W]hen the conditions become undesirable ... the phase change material within the housing may at least partially freeze or solidify, releasing thermal energy through the medium and into the ethanol fuel. The increased thermal energy to the ethanol fuel may allow at least a portion of the ethanol fuel's gel, wax-like, or crystalline state to liquefy or melt enough to start or continue to run the vehicle engine."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150240759.pdf