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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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IRENA introduces 'world's largest collection' of renewable energy standards, patents

Ben Welter - Monday, July 06, 2015

The International Renewable Energy Agency has launched what it calls "the world’s largest collection of global renewable energy standards and patents."

The International Standards and Patents in Renewable Energy platform, also known as INSPIRE, allows users to search and analyze 400 international standards and more than 2 million patents for renewable energy technology.

IRENA collaborated with the European Patent Office and the International Electrotechnical Commission to develop the platform.

“The INSPIRE platform provides a strategic window into the innovation and growth taking place in the renewable energy sector,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Amin. “It consolidates vast collections of renewable energy patents and standards, which can foster collaboration between innovators, spur improvement through product comparison and help identify partners by matching domestic energy needs to innovative energy solutions.”

Patent application: Thermal energy storage system

Ben Welter - Thursday, June 25, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150176920: "A device including first and second heat accumulators, each including thermal energy storage containers. Each container includes an insulating enclosure containing earth crossed by at least one first line for the circulation of a first heat transfer fluid and at least one second line for the circulation of a second heat transfer fluid."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150176920.pdf

Patent application: Air conditioning system with supercooled PCM

Ben Welter - Friday, May 29, 2015

Carrier patent application 20150135743

U.S. patent application 20150135743 (assignee Carrier Corp., Farmington, Conn.): "An air conditioning system includes a chiller system including a compressor, a condenser, an expansion device and an evaporator; a phase change material in thermal communication with the condenser; an actuator coupled to the phase change material; and a controller providing a trigger signal to the actuator to initiate changing the phase change material from a supercooled state to a solid state."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150135743.pdf

Patent application: Phase change material pack for air conditioning system

Ben Welter - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150121944 (assignee: VKR Holding A/S, Denmark): "A phase change material (PCM) pack for an air conditioning system comprises phase change material sealed between a first thermally conductive layer forming a first outer surface of the PCM pack and a second thermally conductive layer forming a second outer surface of the PCM pack. At least the first or second outer surface of the PCM pack takes the form of a substantially planar surface having defined therein a plurality of depressions deviating from the planar surface towards the interior of the PCM pack in a direction perpendicular to the planar surface. The depressions improve heat transfer between the pack and an airflow passing over the surface of the PCM pack."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150121944.pdf

Patent application: Insect repellent, fireproof thermal paint with PCM

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 30, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150111984 (inventor Alberto Vargas San Jose): "This remarkable invention provides: a vinyl-acrylic water base paint that contains encapsulated phase change materials of oleoresin from capsaicin or capsicum, derived directly from the placenta of the chili pepper. The paint also has fire-retardant properties, in one of its modes. The paint is also used to maintain the temperature of a closed enclosure, in a zone of temperature that depends on the components of phase change materials and where they can work in a range of temperatures suitable for zones of comfort and cooling areas, saving costs because of less use of air conditioning and heating equipment systems."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2015/0111984.html

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."