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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.




20% annual growth projected for global PCM market through 2019

Ben Welter - Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The global market for advanced phase change material is expected to reach $1.39 billion in 2019, according to the latest report from Technavio. That's a compound annual growth rate of 20.03 percent from 2014 through 2019.

The report identifies increased environmental regulation and cost savings as important factors driving demand for PCMs, which are used in a variety of environmentally friendly heating and cooling applications. BASF, Cryopak, Phase Change Energy Solutions, Outlast Technologies, Honeywell Electronic Materials and Entropy Solutions are listed among the leading companies discussed in the report.  

“Entropy Solutions is a key vendor in the market that offers 100% renewable phase-change materials that can be used for a broad range of temperature control applications," said Faisal Ghaus, Technavio vice president. "New entrants that offer such innovative and green solutions are growing in the market, and this is expected to drive market growth during the forecast period.”

Research roundup: Reheating supercooled TES unit; phase inversion emulsification; nanoencapsulated PCM via Pickering emulsification; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Characteristic of Reheating Operation in Supercooled Thermal Energy Storage Unit for Hot Water Supply or Space Heating [Energy Procedia]

A Novel Method for the Preparation of Narrow-disperse Nanoencapsulated Phase Change Materials by Phase Inversion Emulsification and Suspension Polymerization [Industrial & Engineering Chemistry and Research]

Annual performance of a solar aided coal-fired power generation system (SACPG) with various solar field areas and thermal energy storage capacity [Applied Energy]

Optimal energy management of a building cooling system with thermal storage: A convex formulation [Symposium on Advanced Control of Chemical Processes] [pdf]

Nano-encapsulated PCM via Pickering Emulsification [Nature]

A review on the development of cool pavements to mitigate urban heat island effect [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

PCMs cut energy costs in pilot project at Army warehouse in California

Ben Welter - Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bio-based phase change material reduced energy costs significantly in a pilot project at the Sierra Army Depot in Herlong, Calif. 

The PCM, supplied by Phase Change Energy Solutions, was installed in one of two identical warehouses. The Redstone Rocket, a publication of the Army's Redstone Arsenal in Decatur, Ala., reported on the pilot project this week:

"For four months, exterior and interior temperatures in the two buildings were recorded every 15 minutes at multiple locations. The monitoring showed how temperatures fluctuated much less within the building where the PCM was installed, especially during winter months. Natural gas consumption data showed a 50 percent energy savings, proving that the heat turned on less in the building with the PCM.

" 'We have statistically significant data showing the impacts of the material on the warehouse temperatures,' Charles King with TriVector Services said. 'What’s most important though is the relationships we’ve built with Sierra, and we look forward to furthering that in the future.'

"Sierra would like to expand the current effort across multiple facilities in the future, pending the availability of funds."

Research roundup: NZEB analysis tool; multistage heat engine model; solar water heater with PCM; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Innovative technologies for NZEBs: an energy and economic analysis tool and a case study of a non-residential building in Mediterranean climate [Energy and Buildings]

Thermal efficiency analysis of the cascaded latent heat/cold storage with multi-stage heat engine model [Renewable Energy]

Experimental investigation of a domestic solar water heater with solar collector coupled phase-change energy storage [Renewable Energy]

Experimental testing and analysis of R134a clathrates based PCMs for cooling applications [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Applications of solar water heating system with phase change material [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

Effect of temperature on mortars with incorporation of phase change materials [Construction and Building Materials]

Microencapsulation and characterization of polyamic acid microcapsules containing n-octadecane via electrospraying method [Materials Express] [pdf]

Research roundup: Paraffin/perlite composite PCM; constructal design of horizontal fins; hybrid shell materials; electrospun polyvinyl alcohol/PCM fibers

Ben Welter - Friday, August 21, 2015

A novel paraffin/expanded perlite composite phase change material for prevention of PCM leakage in cementitious composites [Applied Energy]

Constructal design of horizontal fins to improve the performance of phase change material rectangular enclosures [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Synthesis and thermal properties of a novel nanoencapsulated phase change material with PMMA and SiO2 as hybrid shell materials [Thermochimica Acta]

Electrospun Polyvinyl Alcohol/Phase Change Material Fibers: Morphology, Heat Properties and Stability [Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research]

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]