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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.




A snapshot of global interest in phase change materials

Ben Welter - Thursday, August 20, 2015 visits, August 2015

By some measures, phase change material is a niche technology. But interest in PCMs and thermal energy storage is global – and growing fast. The global TES market is projected to top $1.3 billion in revenue by 2019. The market for advanced phase change materials, valued at $350 million in 2011, is projected to reach $1.18 billion by the end of 2018.

The map above illustrates the breadth of interest. Over the past 30 days, people from 94 countries have visited, seeking information about phase change material and thermal energy storage. Each dot represents a city that generated one or more visits, from Auckland, New Zealand, to Zurich, Switzerland. 

Most visitors come from the United States (47 percent). Rounding out the top 10 countries:

2. India (8.6%)
3. United Kingdom (4.3%)
4. Thailand (3.5%)
5. China (2.6%)
6. Germany (2.3%)
7. Brazil (2.3%)
8. Canada (2.1%)
9. Belarus (1.8%)
10. Philippines (1.3%)

Research roundup: Mmmm, peppermint-scented PCM; DSC test errors; PCM-bearing facades; hard resin capsules; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Preparation, Properties, and Supercooling Prevention of Phase Change Material n-Octadecane Microcapsules with Peppermint Fragrance Scent [Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research]

DSC test error of phase change material (PCM) and its influence on the simulation of the PCM floor [Renewable Energy]

Energy Efficiency Indicators for Assessing Construction Systems Storing Renewable Energy: Application to Phase Change Material-Bearing Façades [Energies]

Performance enhancement of hermetic compressor using phase change materials [Materials Science and Engineering]

Cooling Capacity Figure of Merit for Phase Change Materials [Journal of Heat Transfer]

Encapsulation of hydrophobic ingredients in hard resin capsules with ultrahigh efficiency using a superoleophobic material [Polymer Bulletin]

Low-Cost Phase Change Material for Building Envelopes [SciTech Connect]

Research roundup: New device for characterizing PCMs; graphene paraffin nanocomposites; kaolinite-stabilized PCMs; more

Ben Welter - Friday, August 14, 2015

A new experimental device and inverse method to characterize thermal properties of composite phase change materials [Composite Structures]

Thermal properties measurement and heat storage analysis of paraffin-nanoparticles composites phase change material: comparison and optimization [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Molecular-dynamics calculation of the thermal conduction in phase change materials of graphene paraffin nanocomposites [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Kaolinite stabilized paraffin composite phase change materials for thermal energy storage [Applied Clay Science]

Energy efficient bio-based PCM with silica fume composites to apply in concrete for energy saving in buildings [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Research roundup: PEG composite with radial mesoporous silica sphere; improving the performance of fluidized beds; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Enhanced thermal properties of novel shape-stabilized PEG composite phase change materials with radial mesoporous silica sphere for thermal energy storage [Scientific Reports]

Improving the thermal performance of fluidized beds for concentrated solar power and thermal energy storage [Powder Technology]

Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage: Effect of Metallic Mesh Size on Storage Time and Capacity [International Journal of Thermophysics]

Shape-stabilized phase change composite by impregnation of octadecane into mesoporous SiO2 [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Experimental Investigation of the Concentration Dependent Maximum Storage Capacity of Two Inorganic Phase Change Materials [Energy Procedia]

High Temperature Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Integration in a Co-gen Plant [Energy Procedia]

Research roundup: Salt-based carbon nanotube nanomaterials; finned heat pipes; nitrate/expanded graphite composite PCM; more

Ben Welter - Monday, August 10, 2015

Effect of solvent on specific heat capacity enhancement of binary molten salt-based carbon nanotube nanomaterials for thermal energy storage [International Journal of Thermal Sciences]

Three-dimensional simulation of high temperature latent heat thermal energy storage system assisted by finned heat pipes [Energy Conversion and Management]

Experimental and numerical study of heat transfer performance of nitrate/expanded graphite composite PCM for solar energy storage [Energy Conversion and Management]

Investigation on the dynamic characteristics of a direct contact thermal energy storage charging process for use in conventional air-conditioning systems [Applied Thermal Engineering]

The form-stable phase change materials based on polyethylene glycol and functionalized carbon nanotubes for heat storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Studies on the effect of shape-stabilized PCM filled aluminum honeycomb composite material on thermal control [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Preparation and thermal properties of graphite foam/eutectic salt composite as a phase change energy storage material [Carbon]

Performance comparison of three models for thermal property determination from experimental phase change data [Thermochimica Acta]

Molecular-dynamics calculation of the thermal conduction in phase change materials of graphene paraffin nanocomposites [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Experimental investigations on the performance of a collector–storage wall system using phase change materials [Energy Conversion and Management]

Experimental analysis, modeling and simulation of a solar energy accumulator with paraffin wax as PCM [Energy Conversion and Management]

Research roundup: Phase change cold storage; gypsum-based composites; root zone heating system; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, August 06, 2015

Influencing factors on the energy saving performance of battery storage and phase change cold storage in a PV cooling system [Energy and Buildings]

Development and thermal characterization of innovative gypsum-based composites incorporating phase change material as building energy storage system [Energy and Buildings]

LCA & LCCA of a PCM application to control root zone temperatures of hydroponic crops in comparison with conventional root zone heating systems [Renewable Energy]

Consolidated microcapsules with double alginate shell containing paraffin for latent heat storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Investigation of the corrosion behavior of NiVAl multilayer coatings in hot salt melts [Surface and Coatings Technology]

Geopolymer-based composite materials containing PCM for thermal energy storage [Ceramics for Energy conference paper]

Exergy analysis of the solar still integrated nano composite phase change materials [Applied Solar Energy]

Thermal properties of C17H36/MCM-41 composite phase change materials [Computational Materials Science]

Novel solid-solid phase change materials with biodegradable trihydroxy surfactant for thermal energy storage [RSC Advances]

Heat capacity enhancement of water tanks by use of phase change materials for domestic purposes [Instal]

Research roundup: Fatty acid/surfactant slurries; optimizing PCM thermal energy storage; open thermosyphon; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Fatty acid/surfactant research illustration• Thermophysical Properties of Some Fatty Acids/Surfactants as Phase Change Slurries for Thermal Energy Storage [Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data]

• Optimal operation of phase-change thermal energy storage for a commercial building [American Control Conference]

Influence of accelerated thermal charging and discharging cycles on thermo-physical properties of organic phase change materials for solar thermal energy storage applications [Energy Conversion and Management]

Numerical and experimental studies on heat transfer characteristics of thermal energy storage system packed with molten salt PCM capsules [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Heat transfer and thermal storage performance of an open thermosyphon type thermal storage unit with tubular phase change material canisters [Energy Conversion and Management]

Effect of surface active agent on thermal properties of carbonate salt/carbon nanomaterial composite phase change material [Applied Energy]

Copolymer-bound phase change materials for household refrigerating appliances: Experimental investigation of power consumption, temperature distribution and demand side management potential [International Journal of Refrigeration]

Comprehensive parametric study of using carbon foam structures saturated with PCMs in thermal management of electronic systems [Energy Conversion and Management]

Multi-objective geometric optimization of a PCM based matrix type composite heat sink [Applied Energy]

Research roundup: Nano-encapsulated n-nonadecane for TES; acid-hybridized expanded perlite; corrosion behavior of molten salt; more

Ben Welter - Monday, August 03, 2015

Nano-encapsulated n-nonadecane using vinyl copolymer shell for thermal energy storage medium [Macromolecular Research]

Acid-hybridized expanded perlite as a composite phase-change material in wallboards [RSC Advances]

Thermal Performance of a Domestic Chromium Solar Water Collector with Phase Change Material  [Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences]

Numerical Study of the Melting of Nano-PCM in a Rectangular Enclosure Heated by Downward Heat Transfer Fluid [International Conference on Materials & Energy]

Corrosion Behavior of Eutectic Molten Salt Solution on Stainless Steel 316L [Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences]

• Numerical study on performance enhancement of shell-and-tube latent heat storage unit [International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer]

'Pioneering' Crossway Passive House featured on 'Grand Designs'

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 30, 2015

Crossway Passive House

Renowned architect Richard Hawkes' Crossway Passive House, completed in 2009, gets another look on this week's episode of the British TV series "Grand Designs."  

"The iconic feature of this pioneering house," writes Building Construction Design, "is a scarily thin soaring arched roof. Made by gluing clay tiles together using Plaster of Paris without any formwork, this in turn supports over 100 tons of soil which is now host to a thriving wildflower habitat."

The 3,000-square-foot home is packed with energy-efficient technology, including 580 liters of phase change thermal storage and DuPont Energain PCM panels in the south-facing rooms.  

Research roundup: Uncertainty propagation analysis; milk cooling system; metal hydride tank; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 30, 2015

Uncertainty propagation and sensitivity analysis of thermo-physical properties of phase change materials (PCM) in the energy demand calculations of a test cell with passive latent thermal storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Performance characterization of a small milk cooling system with ice storage for PV applications [International Journal of Refrigeration]

Numerical Analysis of Metal Hydride Tank with Phase Change Material [Applied Thermal Engineering]

System Design and Energy Performance of a Solar Heat Pump Heating System with Dual-tank Latent Heat Storage [Energy and Buildings]

Modeling and simulation on the performance of a novel double shape-stabilized phase change materials wallboard [Energy and Buildings]

The preparation of the hydrotalcite-based composite phase change material [Applied Energy]