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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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Patent application: Battery module, battery pack module and vehicle including battery pack

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 18, 2019

LG Chem battery module drawingU.S. patent application 20190221901 (applicant LG Chem Ltd., Seoul, South Korea):

"A battery module includes a plurality of battery cell assemblies, each having at least one battery cell; a bottom case configured to accommodate the plurality of battery cell assemblies; an upper case mounted to an upper side of the bottom case to expose a part of an upper side, a part of a front side and a part of a rear side of adjacent battery cell assemblies of the plurality of battery cell assemblies; and a cooling unit configured to cover the exposed parts of the adjacent battery cell assemblies and having a phase change material for cooling the adjacent battery cell assemblies."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190221901.pdf

Patent application: A passive temperature control system for transport and storage containers

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 18, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190219320 (applicant Softbox Systems Ltd., Long Crendon, Great Britain):

"The present invention relates to the field of the transportation and storage of goods and to a passive temperature control system for such a transport and storage containers. The present invention seeks to provide a system that can enable goods to be securely and reliably transported and stored for limited periods within specified temperature ranges. Pharmaceuticals, proteins, biological samples and other temperature sensitive products, including food items, are regularly shipped in containers year round and are subjected to a wide range of temperatures. Though they are shipped in insulated containers and/or climate controlled environments, the temperature stability of the shipping containers can be significantly improved by utilising suitable phase change materials in an ordered fashion. The present invention provides a simple solution to the maintenance of temperature profiles for the transport and storage of temperature sensitive products."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190219320.pdf

Patent application: Method for making PCM products and system therefor

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 18, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190217553 (inventor Peter Horwath, New London, N.C.):

Horwath patent drawing"A method for processing phase change material includes providing pieces of phase change material having a transition temperature, the pieces of phase change material being in a solid phase. A medium is provided which is transformable from a liquid state to a solid state, the medium is in the liquid state and at a temperature which is below the transition temperature of the pieces of phase change material. The pieces of phase change material are combined with the medium to form a mixture. The mixture is supplied to a tool which forms a phase change material product. The medium is then transformed to the solid state."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190217553.pdf

Patent application: Viscoelastic polyurethane foam with coating

Ben Welter - Friday, July 12, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190211171 (assignees Dow Global Technologies LLC, Midland, Mich., and Rohm and Haas Co., Collegeville, Penn.):

"A coated viscoelastic polyurethane foam includes a viscoelastic polyurethane foam having the coating thereon, the viscoelastic polyurethane foam having a resiliency of less than or equal to 20% as measured according to ASTM D3574, and a coating material on and embedded within the viscoelastic polyurethane foam, the coating material including an aqueous polymer emulsion and an encapsulated phase change material."

Patent application: 3-D electronic structure with integrated phase-change cooling

Ben Welter - Saturday, June 22, 2019

Google patent drawingU.S. patent application 20190191589 (applicant Google LLC, Mountain View, Calif.):

"This document describes techniques for implementing phase-change cooling in a three-dimensional structure. A three-dimensional structure having three-dimensional curvatures is fabricated to include a phase-change chamber with a fluid in a saturated thermodynamic state. As part of fabrication, specific mechanisms may be included that create a thermo-mechanical network that improves thermal performance of the phase-change chamber and also provides structural integrity to the three-dimensional structure. ... Structures housing heat-producing components, such as a virtual reality headset, a personal assistant/smart speaker, a smartphone, or gaming controller, are often shaped with complex, three-dimensional curvatures. As part of manufacturing such a structure and using specific techniques, phase-change mechanisms using a phase-change material (PCM) may be integrated as part of the structure, improving thermal control over the electronic system that might otherwise rely on convection or conduction based mechanisms."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190191589.pdf

Patent application: Latent heat storage device

Ben Welter - Friday, June 21, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190186844 (applicant Tohoku University, Sendai-shi, Japan):

"A latent heat storage device includes: a heat transfer cylindrical body allowing a flow of a heat medium inside thereof and being rotatable about a longitudinal axis as a center of rotation; a fixed blade being adjacent to or in a slidable contact with an outer peripheral surface of the heat transfer cylindrical body; and a latent heat storage material disposed around the heat transfer cylindrical body, wherein by rotation of the heat transfer cylindrical body, the fixed blade scrapes a solidified body of the latent heat storage material adhering to the outer peripheral surface of the heat transfer cylindrical body off the outer peripheral surface of the heat transfer cylindrical body, and creates circulation of the latent heat storage material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190186844.pdf

Patent application: Thermal energy apparatus

Ben Welter - Friday, June 21, 2019

Boeing patent drawingU.S. patent application 20190189882 (applicant Boeing Co., Chicago, Ill.):

"An energy harvesting apparatus may include a thermoelectric device, a heat exchanger coupled to the thermoelectric device, a thermal capacitor container, and a thermal capacitor generation device. The thermal capacitor generation device may be configured to generate a thermal capacitor fluid, to be contained in the thermal capacitor container. An electrical energy storage device may be electrically connected to the thermoelectric device, to store electricity generated by the thermoelectric device."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190189882.pdf

Patent application: Thermally conductive apparel

Ben Welter - Friday, June 21, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190184673 (applicant VF Jeanswear LP, Greensboro, N.C.):

"Provided are garments that comprise thermally-conductive materials, the materials comprising a heat-collecting coating disposed on a fibrous base material having a thermally-conductive additive dispersed within. ... The disclosed garments can include a PCM disposed on and/or in a portion of the garment. Such a PCM can provide an improved moisture management or thermal management benefit to the overall garment."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190184673.pdf

Patent application: Phase change material for storing thermal energy

Ben Welter - Friday, June 14, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190177224 (applicant Université de Cergy-Pontoise, Cergy, France):

"A method for manufacturing a solid-solid organic phase-change material made of polyurethane, said method comprising: a single step (i) of synthesis by mixing and reacting a liquid polyethylene glycol, a crosslinking agent, and a liquid polyisocyanate, combined by mechanical agitation at a first controlled temperature, in an enclosure in order to obtain the liquid polyurethane, a step (ii) of curing the liquid polyurethane at a second controlled temperature in order to solidify the polyurethane, the synthesis step (i) being carried out in the absence of a solvent."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190177224.pdf

Patent application: Device and method for cooling living tissue

Ben Welter - Friday, June 14, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190175395 (applicant RecensMedical Inc., Ulsan, South Korea):

Tissue cooling device patent drawing"The present disclosure provides a device and a method for cooling living tissues for a medical purpose and other purposes. The cooling device comprises: a container configured to accommodate a cooling medium and thermally coupled with the cooling medium by directly contacting the cooling medium; a cooling generator configured to be thermally coupled with the container by a direct contact and thereby to provide cooling energy to the cooling medium; and a heat sink dissipating heat from the cooling generator. ... [The] heat transfer medium [116] may comprise a heat pipe or a vapor chamber and may include a pipe body and phase change material (PCM) provided inside the pipe body. The pipe body may be made of material having the high thermal conductivity so as to effectively transfer the heat from the cooling generating unit that is in contact with the heat transferring medium to the PCM therein."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190175395.pdf