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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: 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]

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]