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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: Methods and systems for energy recovery via an EGR cooler

Ben Welter - Friday, May 17, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190145359 (assignee Ford Global Technologies LLC, Dearborn, Mich.):

"Methods and systems are provided for an EGR [exhaust gas recirculation] cooler comprising a phase-change material. In one example, exhaust gas may be conducted through the EGR cooler when an engine is deactivated to maintain an engine temperature. ... The phase-change material may extract heat from the hot exhaust gas conducted through the cooler, and thus serves as an additional heat sink but also as an energy store. In other words, the cooler equipped with the phase-change material according to the disclosure may extract more energy from the exhaust gas than a conventional cooler which uses only coolant. This offers advantages in the case of large exhaust-gas quantities which occur at high engine speeds or loads, and in particular at the high exhaust-gas temperatures which occur at high loads."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190145359.pdf

Patent application: High-density latent heat storage device

Ben Welter - Friday, May 10, 2019

University of Texas patent drawing

U.S. patent application 20190137190 (applicant Board of Regents, University of Texas System, Austin, Texas):

"Latent heat storage devices are disclosed, such as latent heat storage devices comprising a phase change material encapsulated in sufficiently conductive tubes, wherein the tubes are arrayed in a hexagonal-packed pattern. The devices herein can be used, for example, in residential and/or commercial HVAC systems."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190137190.pdf

Patent application: Cooling pack

Ben Welter - Friday, May 10, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190133819 (inventor Andrew John Mason, Mono, Calif.):

"Described are various embodiments of a cooling pack. In one such embodiment a cooling pack is provided for cooling a crotch region of a human while seated on a seating surface, the cooling pack comprising a tapered container for holding a cooling material therein, and defined by tapering upper and lower surfaces drawing into a tapered edge to be positioned between the crotch region and the seating surface in use, thereby providing cooling for the region."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190133819.pdf

Patent application: Sports garment

Ben Welter - Friday, May 10, 2019

Puma patent drawingU.S. patent application 20190133213 (applicant Puma SE, Herzogenaurach, Germany):

"A garment, especially to a sports garment, including a textile substrate which covers a part of the body of the wearer of the garment, wherein at least a section of the textile substrate is coated with at least two different Phase Change Materials, wherein a first Phase Change Material is arranged which has a phase transition temperature between 27° C. and 29° C., wherein a second Phase Change Material is arranged which has a phase transition temperature between 35° C. and 37° C., wherein both of the Phase Change Materials are in thermal contact with at least one thermochromic dye. By doing so, an improved thermal regulation during sporting activities is obtained which can be controlled visually."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190133213.pdf

Patent application: Thermal barrier for a battery

Ben Welter - Friday, May 03, 2019

Hutchinson patent drawing

U.S. patent application 20190131675 (applicant Hutchinson SA, Paris, France):

"A thermal barrier to maintain the temperature of a battery. The barrier comprises elements with respectively cold and hot PCM materials, and elements, thermal isolators, arranged at least in case of some between two of the PCM material elements. ... With regard to the hot and cold PCM elements respectively, for two types of batteries for example, operating favourably at between 25° C. and 35° C. and between 45° C. and 55° C. (all to within 15%), it will in particular be possible to use encapsulated PCMs (typically microencapsulated) in a porous, open-pore matrix, preferably of the elastomer type, such as based on NBR and HNBR silicone."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190131675.pdf

Patent application: Eco-friendly ice pack to be easily separated and discharged

Ben Welter - Friday, May 03, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190128585 (inventors Jung Kyun Na and Seok Choi, Hwaseong-si, South Korea):

"Disclosed herein is an eco-friendly ice pack, which includes a water repellent material that maintains the shape of the ice pack and does not absorb a refrigerant, so that it can be easily separately discharged after use of the ice pack. In accordance with the present invention, the above and other objects can be accomplished by the provision of an eco-friendly ice pack including a refrigerant including a phase change material changing phase according to temperature, an outer case including the refrigerant and being formed by sealing in order to prevent the refrigerant from being discharged to the outside, and a water repellent supporter being disposed in the outer case, holding the shape of the ice pack to prevent the shape of the ice pack from being changed according to the shape of the refrigerant, and having water repellency to the refrigerant to avoid mixing with the refrigerant."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190128585.pdf

Patent application: PCM composites and methods of manufacture thereof

Ben Welter - Friday, May 03, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190127620 (applicant Rogers Corp., Chandler, Ariz.):

"A composite includes a polymer; and a phase-change composition including an unencapsulated first phase-change material, and an encapsulated second phase-change material. ... A method of manufacturing the composite or the article includes combining the polymer or a prepolymer composition optionally including a solvent, the unencapsulated first phase-change material, the encapsulated second phase-change material, and optionally an additive to form a mixture; forming an article from the mixture; and optionally removing the solvent to manufacture the composite."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190127620.pdf

Patent application: Heat exchanger for an exhaust tuning system

Ben Welter - Monday, April 29, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190120103 (applicant Ford Global Technologies, Dearborn, Mich.):

"Methods and systems are provided for a heat exchanger phase change material installed as a component of a variable exhaust tuning system. In one example, a method may include absorbing excess heat energy from exhaust gases during and after an engine-on event within a heat exchanger material, releasing heat energy stored in the heat exchanger material during and after an engine-off event, and heating an adjustable exhaust valve with the heat energy stored in the heat exchanger material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190120103.pdf

Patent application: Sodium acetate trihydrate formulations

Ben Welter - Friday, April 26, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190119543 (applicant British American Tobacco (Investments) Ltd., London):

"An inhalation device comprising: a heatable material; and a formulation comprising: sodium acetate trihydrate (SAT), a solvent, and at least one of potassium acetate and a kinetic inhibitor, wherein the kinetic inhibitor is selected from the group consisting of: sodium carboxymethyl cellulose; gelatine; ethyl cellulose; polyethylene glycol; xanthan gum; glycerol; urea; polysorbate 20; polysorbate 80; polyacrylic acid; sodium pyrophosphate; polyacrylamide; pullulan; poly(vinyl alcohol); and poly(vinyl acetate). wherein the formulation is configured to provide a heat source that heats the heatable material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190119543.pdf

Patent application: Temperature-controlling vest for relieving menopause symptoms

Ben Welter - Friday, April 26, 2019

Imanano cooling vest patent drawingU.S. patent application 20190117447 (applicant Imanano Inc., Lewes, Del.):

"The field of the invention relates generally to devices and methods for controlling the temperature of a human or non-human body. More specifically, the field of the invention may relate to wearable devices, which may be worn by a subject, which human or non-human, wherein the wearable device is in thermal communication with a portion of the subject's body containing brown adipose tissue and wherein the wearable device comprises a means for providing a constant or near constant temperature to the subject's body and therefore controls the temperature of the subject's body, by using a phase change material. The phase material transitions state at a predetermined temperature which may be higher or lower than the subject's exterior body temperature. The device and method are usable to control temperature-related effects of menopause, post menopause and drug induced thermoregulatory symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes and sleep disturbance."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190117447.pdf