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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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Research roundup: Solid PCM thermocline storage; solar paraffin wax melting unit; packed bed solar TES simulation; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 23, 2015

Multi-layered solid-PCM thermocline thermal storage for CSP; numerical evaluation of its application in a 50 MWe plant [Solar Energy]

Experimental Investigation of Solar Paraffin Wax Melting Unit Integrated with Phase Change Heat Energy Storage by Using Phase Change Material [Applied Mechanics and Materials]

Review on phase change material to maintain the human comfort inside the car [pdf] [IOSR Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering]

Mathematical Model of Packed Bed Solar Thermal Energy Storage Simulation [Energy Procedia]

PCM/graphite foam composite for thermal energy storage device [pdf] [Materials Science and Engineering]

Reliability verification of a solar–air source heat pump system with PCM energy storage in operating strategy transition [Renewable Engineering]

Preparation and characterization of phase change material microcapsules by a core-shell-like emulsion polymerization method [pdf] [Materials Science and Engineering]

Design and assessment of solar concentrator distillating system using phase change materials (PCM) suitable for desertic weathers [Desalination and Water Treatment]

Vertellus doubles alkane production capacity at Michigan plant

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 16, 2015

Vertellus, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals, has doubled alkane production capacity at its Zeeland, Mich., hydrogenation plant. The company expects alkanes to be one of several innovative chemistries supplying a growing global market for phase change material.  

"North America’s competitive feedstock costs resulting from low natural gas prices are helping drive Vertellus’ alkane production efficiencies," the company said in a news release. "The company initiated the Zeeland upgrades in 2014, the same year it commercialized hexadecane (A16T). With added alkane production capacity in place, Vertellus will develop eicosane (A20T) in its 2015 pipeline. Octadecane (A18T) represents the company’s largest category of alkane production due to its ability to absorb and release heat close to the human body temperature."

http://www.specchemonline.com/news/view/vertellus-expands-in-alkanes

Research roundup: PCM performance in building components; heat sink optimization; integrated TES systems; more

Ben Welter - Monday, July 13, 2015

Experimental Thermal Performance Analysis of Building Components Containing Phase Change Material (PCM) [Procedia Engineering]

A numerical method for PCM-based pin fin heat sinks optimization [Energy Conversion and Management]

Thermal energy storage in building integrated thermal systems: A review. Part 2. Integration as passive system [Renewable Energy]

Thermal properties of shape-stabilized phase change materials using fatty acid ester and exfoliated graphite nanoplatelets for saving energy in buildings [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Thermal conductivity measurement of thermochemical storage materials [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Research roundup: Encapsulation techniques; personal cooling system; adiabatic compressed air energy storage; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Encapsulation techniques for organic phase change materials as thermal energy storage medium: A review [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

A novel personal cooling system (PCS) incorporated with phase change materials (PCMs) and ventilation fans: An investigation on its cooling efficiency [Journal of Thermal Biology]

Adiabatic compressed air energy storage with packed bed thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

On the Feasibility of Providing Power System Spinning Reserves from Thermal Storage [Energy and Buildings]

Performance Analysis of Thermal Energy Storage Prototype in Thailand [pdf] [Journal of Clean Energy Technologies]

STIG cycle graphic Performance of the solar hybrid STIG cycle with latent heat storage [Applied Energy]

Shape-stabilized phase change materials based on poly(ethylene-graft-maleic anhydride)-g-alkyl alcohol comb-like polymers [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Applications of organic phase change materials embedded in adsorbents for controlling heat produced by charging and discharging natural gas [Adsorption]

Development and stress behaviour of an innovative refrigerated container with PCM for fresh and frozen goods [Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures]

Research roundup: Galactitol-mannitol mix; palmitic acid copolymers; biomedical applications; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cyclic stability of the eutectic mixture of galactitol and D-mannitolA eutectic mixture of galactitol and mannitol as a phase change material for latent heat storage [Energy Conversion and Management]

A Novel Solid-Solid Phase Change Material Based on Poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile) Grafting With Palmitic Acid Copolymers [Journal of Macromolecular Science]

Development of thermal energy storage materials for biomedical applications [Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology]

Economic top-down evaluation of the costs of energy storages—A simple economic truth in two equations [Journal of Energy Storage]

Preparation of Erythritol-Graphite Foam Phase Change Composite with Enhanced Thermal Conductivity for Thermal Energy Storage Applications [Carbon]

Solar Water Distillation Using Energy Storage Material [Procedia Earth and Planetary Science]

A Review on Solar Water Distillation Using Sensible and Latent Heat [Procedia Earth and Planetary Science]

Research roundup: Polyurethane/docosane microcapsules; district heating; nanoparticles; water tank shapes; more

Ben Welter - Monday, June 29, 2015

New Polyurethane/Docosane Microcapsules as Phase-Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage [Chemistry - A European Journal]

On-sun demonstration of a 750° C heat transfer fluid for concentrating solar systems: Dense particle suspension in tube [Solar Energy]

Thermodynamic analysis and performance assessment of an integrated heat pump system for district heating applications [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Preparation and properties of lauric acid/diatomite composites as novel form-stable phase change materials for thermal energy storage [Energy and Buildings]

A New Phase Change Material Based on Potassium Nitrate with Silica and Alumina Nanoparticles for Thermal Energy Storage [pdf] [Nanoscale Research Letters]

Comparative study of the influences of different water tank shapes on thermal energy storage capacity and thermal stratification [Renewable Energy]

Energy Storage Applications | An Introduction to Phase Change Materials [Thermal Energy Storage Using Phase Change Materials]

Assessing the feasibility of incorporating phase change material in hot mix asphalt [Sustainable Cities and Society]

Research roundup: PCM and cement; nanotube composites; expanded graphite; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, June 25, 2015

Application of Phase Change Materials to Improve the Thermal Performance of Cementitious Material [Energy and Buildings]

Study on the phase change thermal storage performance of palmitic acid/carbon nanotubes composites [Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing]

Positive influence of expanded graphite on the physical behavior of phase change materials based on linear low-density polyethylene and paraffin wax [Thermochimica Acta]

CO2 mitigation accounting for Thermal Energy Storage (TES) case studies [Applied Energy]

Binary Solid-Liquid Equilibrium Systems Containing Fatty Acids, Fatty Alcohols and Triolein by Differential Scanning Calorimetry [Fluid Phase Equilibria]

Development of a numerical model for the reaction zone design of an aqueous sodium hydroxide seasonal thermal energy storage [Solar Energy]

Power plant cooling research focuses on tiny paraffin beads in 'rotary heat exchanger'

Ben Welter - Monday, June 22, 2015

Drexel University offers a detailed look at the novel dry-cooling technology being studied to reduce water use at thermoelectric plants. The research team, which includes Drexel, the University of Memphis, Evapco, WorleyParsons and the Electric Power Research Institute, is focusing on phase change material in the form of tiny wax beads:

PCM cooling unit"The group’s design uses large mesh disks, 20 meters in diameter, woven from quarter-inch-thick tubes filled with tiny bead-like capsules of paraffin just a few millimeters in diameter. The discs would be stacked 15 meters-high in a cylinder the team calls a 'rotary heat exchanger unit.' With the look of a sophisticated water wheel, the unit will have openings on the top and bottom for hot water to flow in, cooled water to drain out and ambient air to keep the system moving.

"As the hot water enters the unit from the steam condenser, the beads in the mesh will absorb the heat. The discs will continue to rotate as the water enters the unit. When the heated portion of the disc reaches the cooling side of the unit, ambient air is pumped in to let the beads release the heat before returning to the atmosphere outside the plant. The cooled beads spin back to the other side as the disc rotates, ready to repeat the process."

Research roundup: Fatty acid eutectics; cement-based TES; sonochemical fabrication of nanocapsules; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Synthesis and thermal properties of fatty acid eutectics and diatomite composites as shape-stabilized phase change materials with enhanced thermal conductivity [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Study of cement-based thermal storage materials with fly ash [Thermochimica Acta]

A simple sonochemical method for fabricating poly(methyl methacrylate)/stearic acid phase change energy storage nanocapsules [Ultrasonics Sonochemistry]

Compatibility tests between solar salt and thermal storage ceramics from inorganic industrial wastes [Applied Energy]

PCM incorporation in a concrete core slab as a thermal storage and supply system: proof of concept [Energy and Buildings]

Research roundup: Mini-emulsion polymerization; microcapsules in garments; diesel engine waste heat recovery

Ben Welter - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Poly(methyl methacrylate) copolymer nanocapsules containing phase-change material (n-dodecanol) prepared via miniemulsion polymerization [Journal of Applied Polymer Science]

Influences of the PCM Microcapsules on Thermal Properties of the Garment [pdf] [International Conference on Information Sciences, Machinery, Materials and Energy]

Experimental Investigation of a Cascaded Latent Heat Storage System for Diesel Engine Waste Heat Recovery [Energy Sources]