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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.




Patent application: Device for conserving, transporting fresh or frozen products

Ben Welter - Thursday, May 19, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160109187 (applicant Thermo King Corp., Bloomington, Minn.):

Thermo King patent application drawing"An apparatus for a thermally insulated container is disclosed. The apparatus includes one or more heat accumulators. Each of the thermal accumulators includes a plurality of longitudinal heat accumulation modules. Each of the longitudinal modules includes a casing forming a cavity therein. The cavity is configured to receive a phase change material. A first wall of the casing includes a substantially flat surface and a second wall includes a heat transfer enhanced surface portion. The longitudinal modules include a heat exchanger having at least a portion disposed within the cavity that is configured to supply a heat transfer fluid. The plurality of longitudinal heat accumulation modules are securely connected to each other and are in thermal communication with each other."


Patent application: Tube with phase change material for vehicle air conditioning system

Ben Welter - Thursday, May 19, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160137019 (applicant Valeo Systemes Thermiques, France):

Valeo patent application drawing"A tube (13) has a container of phase change material (M) for a heat exchange bundle of a heat exchanger of an air conditioning system of a passenger compartment of a vehicle. The tube includes a first plate (15) configured to form a first outer surface (17) of the tube, a second plate (19) configured to be sealingly assembled with the first plate and to form a second outer surface (21) opposite the first outer surface, and an intermediate plate (23) configured to be sealingly assembled with the first and second plates, between the latter, and to define on either sides thereof at least one channel (9) for the flow of a coolant (F) into the bundle and at least one recess (25) for the phase change material. The invention also relates to a heat exchange bundle and to a method for assembling a heat exchanger including the tube."


Patent application: Latent heat storage module and latent heat storage apparatus

Ben Welter - Friday, May 06, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160123680 (applicant Hyundai Motor Co., Seoul, South Korea):

"A latent heat storage module includes a plurality of film packs configured to accommodate a phase change material configured to use phase change latent heat as a heat medium of room temperature ( C. or more). A guide is configured to fix the plurality of film packs. ... The phase change material is tetradecane (C14H30) of n-paraffin series, which is an organic material."

Patent application: Heating appliance with PCM

Ben Welter - Friday, May 06, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160123627 (applicant Societe Muller & Cie, Paris):

"A heating appliance includes a frame and a heating element. The frame has a casing and a rear face demarcating an internal volume of the frame. The rear face is configured to be secured to a wall that is substantially vertical. The heating element is placed in the internal volume of the frame. The casing of the heating appliance includes a phase-change material."

U.S. patent application: Improved phase change compositions

Ben Welter - Thursday, May 05, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160102232 (Sunamp Ltd., Edinburgh, Scotland):

Sunamp PCM patent application illo

"There are herein described phase change materials containing sodium acetate trihydrate having improved homogeneity, a process for the preparation of said materials, and their utility in phase change systems. More particularly, the present invention relates to the use of phase change compositions comprising sodium acetate trihydrate, at least one alkali soluble polymer for inhibition of sodium acetate anhydrous crystal formation in sodium acetate trihydrate containing phase change materials, and at least one sodium acetate trihydrate nucleation promoter, and, if a lower phase change temperature is required, at least one melting point depressing agent."

Patent application: Bottle-cooling display stand with PCMs

Ben Welter - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160109176 (inventor Cigdem Harms, Las Vegas, Nev.):

Bottle-cooling display stand"The present disclosure relates to a device for holding a bottle, in particular the bottle holder includes a stand, the stand including a base portion, an angled stand portion, and an annular holding portion. The base portion is configured to rest against a supportive surface, and the angled stand portion extends upward away from the base portion. The angled stand portion can include first and second prongs forming a primary void in a front planar face therebetween. An annular holding portion extends rearwardly from the front planar face between the first and second prongs. A cooling insert can be provided which is configured to rest in the annular holding portion and provide cooling to a bottle contained therein. ... The cooling insert can be filled with a freezable gel or other phase change material and placed into the bottle holder assembly so as to provide a cooling effect to a bottle held by the bottle holder assembly and thereby maintain the liquid contained therein at a desired drinking temperature."

Patent application: Robust air conditioning systems configured to utilize thermal energy storage

Ben Welter - Monday, April 25, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160084536 (Axiom Exergy Inc., Richmond, Calif.):

"Systems and methods in accordance with embodiments of the invention implement air conditioning systems that are operable to establish/maintain a desired temperature for a target space and simultaneously establish/maintain a temperature lower than the desired temperature for the target space for an included cold thermal energy storage unit. In one embodiment, an air conditioning system includes: a condensing unit; a liquid pressurizer and distributor ensemble; a cold thermal energy storage unit; a target space; and a suction gas/equalizer; where the listed components are operatively connected by piping such that vapor compression cycles can be simultaneously implemented that result in the cooling of the cold thermal energy storage unit and the target space ... wherein the cold thermal energy storage unit comprises a phase change material encased in thermal insulation."

Patent application: High-strength microcapsules

Ben Welter - Monday, April 25, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160106635 (Encapsys, Appleton, Wis.):

"A method of making microcapsules comprising a high strength wall material and an encapsulated hydrophobic core material said method comprising (a) forming a dispersion of an oil phase composition comprising a hydrophobic core material and one or more polymerizable ethylenically unsaturated monomers, the core monomer, that are wholly or partially soluble in the hydrophobic core material in a water or water-based solution, the continuous phase, said continuous phase, also referred to as the water phase composition, comprising water and at least one or more ethylenically unsaturated polymerizable monomers, the water phase monomer, all or a portion of which are poor to moderately hydrophilic, (b) subjecting the dispersion to one or more conditions that initiate or effectuate the polymerization of the water phase monomer and the core monomer, (c) maintaining the dispersion under such conditions so as to continue polymerization of the monomers until such time as the full capsule walls are formed and, optionally, thereafter (d) isolating the formed microcapsules from the continuous phase. "

Related Encapsys applications

U.S. patent application 20160108339 (Controlled release dual walled microcapsules)

U.S. patent application 20160108340 (Controlled release microcapsules)

Patent application: Apparatus for the storage, transport and distribution of refrigerated or frozen goods

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 21, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160109186 (applicant Thermo King Corp., Bloomington, Minn.):

"An apparatus for the storage, transport and distribution of refrigerated or frozen goods, in particular for thermally insulated containers of refrigerated vehicles, cold rooms and the like, including one or more thermal storage devices, each including a housing defining a cavity for holding a phase change material. The cavity contains a heat exchanger that may be supplied with a heat exchange fluid. The housing includes a substantially flat wall portion and a heat transfer enhanced wall portion. The apparatus includes ventilator in communication with the thermal storage device."

Patent application: Pressure vessel with PCM and method of use

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 21, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160109065 (assignee Steelhead Composites LLC, Golden, Colo.):

"The present invention provides a metal-lined composite gas storage device comprising a phase-change material coated on the exterior surface of a metallic liner. The presence of the phase-change material on the exterior surface of the metal liner reduces the temperature change within the interior of the metal liner during a gas filling process compared to a similar vessel that does not have a phase-change material coating, thereby allowing a significantly greater amount of gas to be filled at a given pressure."