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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: Enclosure cooling for thermal management of unmanned aerial vehicles

Ben Welter - Friday, January 11, 2019

Qualcomm drone patent drawing

U.S. patent application 20190009878 (applicant Qualcomm Inc., San Diego, Calif.):

"Arrangements described herein relate to apparatuses, systems, and methods for a housing of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the housing includes but is not limited to a metallic porous material having a shape of an enclosure of the UAV, and a phase change material (PCM) provided in at least a portion of the metallic porous material. The metallic porous material and the PCM are configured to passively cool the UAV."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190009878.pdf

Patent application: Fibrous structures comprising phase change materials

Ben Welter - Friday, January 04, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190002747 (applicant Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, Ohio):

"Fibrous structures, for example sanitary tissue products, such as toilet tissue, having one or more neat, endothermic phase change materials on at least one exterior surface, methods for making same, and methods for eliciting a sensation on a user's skin are provided. ... The fibrous structure according to claim 1 wherein the neat, endothermic phase change material is selected from the group consisting of: hydrocarbons, waxes, oils, natural butters, fatty acids, fatty acid esters, dibasic acids, dibasic esters, 1-halides, primary alcohols, aromatic compounds, anhydrides, ethylene carbonates, polyhydric alcohols, and mixtures thereof."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190002747.pdf

Patent application: Thermal storage system and temperature controlled container

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 03, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190003781 (applicants University of Ghent, Belgium; Colruyt Group, Halle, Belgium):

"Passive thermal storage systems and methods comprising at least one thermal storage module for storing thermal energy in a predetermined temperature range, are disclosed. The thermal storage module comprises an FT unit and a Heat Storage (HS) unit at least partially filled with a first Phase Change Material (PCM). The HS unit comprises a container. The thermal storage module may be in the form of a stacked structure comprising the FT unit having a first wall with a first heat exchange surface and the HS unit having a second wall with a second heat exchange surface, the first and second heat exchange surfaces being in thermal contact with each other. The thermal storage system may be used to maintain the temperature of the payload of a temperature controlled container at a predetermined value or within a predetermined range."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190003781.pdf

Patent application: Inverse latent heat thermal energy storage system

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 03, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190003782 (applicant UChicago Argonne LLC, Chicago, Ill. ):

UChicago Argonne patent drawing"The invention provides a method for storing and releasing heat having the steps of thermally contacting thermal transfer fluid to a mixture of foam and phase change material for a time sufficient for the material to change from a first phase to a second phase during a time when electricity rates are at a first price point; maintaining said material in the second phase until electricity rates are at a second point, wherein the second point is higher than the first price point; and thermally contacting the thermal transfer fluid to the composite in the second phase for a time sufficient for the material to change from the second phase to the first phase. The invention also provides an energy storage module having a mixture of phase change material and high surface area substrate."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190003782.pdf

Patent application: Heat exchanger with PCM

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 03, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190003369 (applicant Castrol Ltd., Pangbourne, Great Britain):

"In one embodiment, there is provided a heat exchanger for equipment, having: at least one phase change material; and at least one heat exchange interface for heat exchange between the phase change material and a fluid flowing within, into and/or from a replaceable fluid container for the equipment, the replaceable fluid container having at least one fluid port adapted to couple to a fluid circulation system of the equipment when the replaceable container is coupled to a dock."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190003369.pdf

Patent application: Load bearing structure with PCM

Ben Welter - Wednesday, January 02, 2019

U.S. patent application 20180370681 (applicant Airdex Corp., Newport Beach, Calif.):

"The present invention provides a movable load bearing structure having indentations, grooves, valleys, channels or other similar depressions on its underside. These depressions are mated with corresponding features for improved loading bearing capabilities. The load bearing structure may be a dunnage platform or a container for storing and/or shipping cargo. ... In an embodiment of the invention ... pockets may be used to locate phase change materials."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180370681.pdf

Patent application: Surgical instrument with phase change cooling

Ben Welter - Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Covidien patent drawing

U.S. patent application 20180375402 (applicant Covidien LP, Mansfield, Mass.):

"Systems and methods are discussed herein for cooling a surgical handset using a phase-change material. A container filled with a phase-change material may be telescoped over a heat-generating mechanism of a surgical handset, such as a battery and/or a motor. When the surgical handset is activated, the heat generated by the heat-generating mechanism is absorbed by the phase-change material in the container, which transitions from a first phase to a second phase."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180375402.pdf

Patent application: Implantable thermal therapy devices

Ben Welter - Friday, December 21, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180360652 (applicant Medicool Technologies Inc., Rochester, Minn.):

"Implantable thermal therapy devices, systems, and methods are provided for the treatment of pathological conditions including arrhythmias and trauma. The implantable thermal therapy devices and systems are specifically structured to deliver transient cooling to a target tissue, and to gradually dissipate the heat energy transferred from the target tissue to other body masses in a controlled and delicate manner. In some examples, a phase change material can be used to accomplish such a gradual dissipation of the heat."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180360652.pdf

Patent application: Insulating container and transportation device

Ben Welter - Friday, December 21, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180362243 (applicant Solee Science & Technology Co. Ltd., Wuhan, China):

"An insulating container comprises a container body and a container cover connected to the container body. The container both and the container cover each comprises a frame and a plate arranged on the frame. The plate comprises, from inside out, an external high strength sheet, an extruded polystyrene sheet, phase-change insulating sheets made of phase-change material, and an internal sheet. A phase-change process of the phase-change insulating sheets cooperates with a refrigeration system of the transportation device to precisely control the temperature of the insulating container and a refrigerator truck to be near a phase-change temperature. In the present disclosure, the phase-change insulating sheets made of the phase-change material remain to be in a solid state before or after occurrence of a phase change, so that the structure of the insulating container does not change with the phase change and a leakage problem of the phase-change material does not exist."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180362243.pdf

Patent application: Temperature control device with PCM

Ben Welter - Monday, December 10, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180347869 (inventors Anthony Boule, Toulouse, France; Pierre Lapalus, Marseille, France):

"The invention relates to a portable device for regulating the temperature of an element, comprising: an engagement part adapted to be placed in contact with the element, a temperature regulation unit comprising a thermoelectric module having two sides (41, 42), a first side (41) of the thermoelectric module being thermally coupled with the engagement part (2). The device further comprises: a reception part (5) adapted to removably receive a phase change material (PCM) (6), a second side (42) of the thermoelectric module being thermally coupled with the reception part (5), such that a phase change material (PCM) (6) provided in the reception part will also be thermally coupled with the second side (42) of the thermoelectric module."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180347869.pdf