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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: Temperature-regulating apparel with PCM

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 30, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150106992U.S. patent application 20150106992 (applicant Under Armour Inc.): "The present invention is directed toward an article of apparel effective to regulate the temperature of the wearer. In an embodiment, the article of apparel includes a base textile with a thermal regulation membrane. The thermal regulation membrane contains a plurality of system-reactive components selectively engaged heat and/or moisture. In an embodiment, the printed coating includes a cooling agent, a phase change material, and a heat dissipation material. In operation, the article of apparel is effective to delay/diminish the rise in skin temperature (compared to a garment lacking the membrane), increasing wearer comfort."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150106992.pdf

Patent application: Heat storage member for canister

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 30, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150107561 (assignee Aisan Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha): "A heat storage member housed in a canister together with an adsorbent capable of adsorbing fuel vapor has a sealed container and a phase-change material housed in the sealed container. The phase-change material becomes semisolid gel state at the melting point of the phase-change material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150107561.pdf

Patent application: Utilizing waste heat in hybrid vehicle via PCM

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 09, 2015

Patent application 20150089922 drawingPatent application 20150089922 (Assignee: Ford Global Technologies): "The system may reduce engine warm-up time and increase an amount of time an engine of a hybrid vehicle is deactivated while the hybrid vehicle is powered by a motor. In one example, a phase change material selectively stores and releases exhaust gas energy from and engine to improve vehicle operation."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150089922.pdf

Patent application: Thermal management system with PCM liner and panels

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 02, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150068242 [Pelican BioPharma, applicant]:

Patent application U.S. patent application 20150068242 drawing"A thermal management system includes a case; an insulation material provided within the case, the insulation material defining an interior volume of the insulation material; a liner arranged in the interior volume, the liner having an inner surface that extends toward a center of the case; an outer container of phase change material provided in the liner, the outer container comprising a plurality of outer panels containing a first phase change material, the plurality of outer panels comprising a bottom outer panel, a top outer panel, and side outer panels; and an inner container of phase change material provided in the outer container, the inner container comprising a plurality of inner panels containing a second phase change material; wherein an outer surface of each of the side outer panels is parallel with the inner surface of the liner."

Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

Ben Welter - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Phase Change Matters logoNew on LinkedIn: A group devoted to the discussion of phase change material and thermal energy storage, a place for PCM and TES experts and industry leaders from around the world to gather and share ideas. It's called Phase Change Matters, and it's intended as a highly interactive complement to the blog and newsletter of the same name.

The first topic up for discussion: PCM and off-peak cooling systems:

TES pioneers like CALMAC and Ice Energy have been installing ice-based energy storage systems for years. And district cooling has been around for decades. What are the main barriers to wider adoption of phase change material in these types of thermal energy storage systems? Complexity? Education? Cost?

You are invited to join the discussion. Here's a link to the group:

https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=6953237

Patent application: Engineered foam and foam mattress with PCM

Ben Welter - Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sealy patent application 20150067967U.S. patent application 20150067967 [Assignee Sealy Technology LLC]: 

"In accordance with one aspect of the disclosure and inventions, there is provided engineered foam for use as a layer in a foam mattress construction having multiple layers including a top layer of foam and at least one additional layer of foam, and a coating of phase change material applied to a top surface of the top layer of foam. Surface application of phase change material to a top surface of a top layer of foam of a foam mattress provides more efficient transfer of heat away from a body on the mattress and reduced heat accumulation at the body-mattress interface."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150067967.pdf

Patent application: Cooling apparatus using solid-liquid PCMs

Ben Welter - Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Patent application 20150060017: "The cooling apparatus includes a pipeline, a housing enclosing the pipeline, and the solid-liquid PCM filling in an interior of the pipeline and a space between the pipeline and the housing. The solid-liquid PCM can contact a heat source and absorb the heat generated by the heat source, so as to transform from solid state to liquid state. The solid-liquid PCM in the liquid state can circulate inside the pipeline and the space between the pipeline and the housing. Thus, the heat is dissipated by the means of thermal convection. Meanwhile, the heat also can be dissipated through the housing. Therefore, the heat dissipation can be achieved by thermal conduction and heat convection simultaneously."

New patent: Thermal energy storage device

Ben Welter - Wednesday, March 04, 2015

U.S. patent 8966902, "Storage and recovery of thermal energy based on counter current principle of heat transfer medium transportation": "A thermal energy storage device is provided. The device has a heat exchanger arrangement for guiding a flow of a heat transfer medium between a first end and a second end of the heat exchanger arrangement, and a heat storage material surrounding the heat exchanger arrangement." 

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/8966902.pdf