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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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PCM briefing: 25-year-old IceBank system still going strong; PCM-powered cooling jacket faces stiff test in desert

Ben Welter - Friday, June 17, 2016

• In an interview with CleanTechnica, CALMAC CEO Mark McCracken talks about the ice-based energy storage system at JCPenney headquarters in Plano, Texas. The IceBank system, installed 25 years ago, saved JCPenney about $100,000 in electricity costs in 2015.

• An update on appliance maker Glen Dimplex's Quantum electric thermal storage system: In a trial program funded in part by EU's Horizon 2020 program, the technology has been installed in 200 of a planned 800 homes in Ireland. Installation is about to begin on the first 100 of 400 homes in Germany. The remaining 50, in Latvia, will be complete by the end of the summer.

Cooling jackets made by a "private company in Gurgaon" – Pluss Advanced Technologies, perhaps? – are being tested by India's Border Security Force. The jackets, fitted with phase change material, face extreme conditions: Temperatures in the Thar Desert on the Pakistan border can exceed 50º C (122º F).

PCM briefing: Ice Bear 20 to be installed at CEO's California ranch; $7.8 trillion to be invested in renewable power in next 25 years

Ben Welter - Monday, June 13, 2016

• About $7.8 trillion will be invested in renewable power worldwide over the next 25 years, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The report, New Energy Outlook 2016, projects that wind, solar, hydro and other renewable energy sources will generate 70 percent of Europe’s power in 2040, up from 32 percent in 2015. In the United States, 44 percent of power will come from renewables in 2040, up from 14 percent in 2015.

Ice Bear 20Ice Energy CEO Mike Hopkins reports on LinkedIn: "I'm excited to be getting an Ice Bear 20 for my ranch in Santa Barbara. It will be our first installation in California. Here's a picture of it all wrapped up and ready for shipping from our factory in Hammondsport, New York. It will have a stopover at our facility in Riverside and then up to my place." The Ice Bear 20, a smaller version of the company's commercial thermal energy storage system, is designed for the residential market. The ice-based system has a 265-gallon tank and a thermal storage capacity of 240,000 BTUs. It is 44 inches wide, 40 inches high and 75 inches deep.

Cold Chain Technologies, a manufacturer and distributor of temperature-controlled packaging solutions, has promoted Richard M. Formato to the new position of principal technologist. Formata led the commercial development of the company's line of phase change materials and, more recently, gelled PCMs.

PCM briefing: Alexium adds clients in bedding industry; new research on temperature-controlled pharma packaging

Ben Welter - Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Alexium International has announced an agreement to sell its new flame-retardant phase change material to a U.S.-based textile finisher serving the bedding industry. Alexium, based in Perth, Australia, and Greer, S.C., announced in May that it had reached a PCM sales agreement with one of the world's largest producers of mattress ticking. "Alexium is now in production or full-scale trials with six global mattress fabric finishers," said CEO Nicholas Clark "and for the first time, a major manufacturer in apparel is evaluating our flame retardant phase change material technology." 

• New from Research and Markets: "Temperature Controlled Pharmaceutical Packaging Solutions (TCPPS) Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2016-2026."

TheM dining mat• Months after falling short of raising $30,000 on IndieGoGo, developers of a PCM-powered thermal dining placemat called TheM said in January that they hoped to develop a successful design by the end of February. The team is now apologizing again, telling backers: "The PCM material did not work as intended and [we are] trying to develop a solution that can still add value to the innovation. Please bear with us and within the next 60 days [we hope] to have a product with which [we] can reward your support and patience."

Ira Smith, director of strategic development for global transport and biologistics at Pelican BioThermal, is among the panelists at the FlyPharma conference in Brussels this week. The topic: The increasing appeal of inter-continental rail freight services and sea freight.

Glacier Tek cooling vests are profiled in the June issue of OR Today magazine. The vests, which use PureTemp bio-based phase change material to maintain thermal comfort, are being marketed as a way to address heat stress among surgeons and operating room staff, who endure "bright lights, sterile gowns, lead aprons, physical exertion and time stress."

GreenCE is offering a free hourlong webinar, "Reinventing Green Building: Focus on Carbon & Leverage Technology," at 1 p.m. June 14. Instructors will discuss the limitations of LEED certification in various U.S. market segments and identify alternatives to LEED certification. 

• The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has named Peter Green as the new deputy laboratory director for science and technology. Green is a professor of materials science and engineering, chemical engineering and applied physics at the University of Michigan.  

Monodraught's Cool-Phase cooling and ventilation system has been specified for Harrogate's new civic headquarters, now under construction in County Durham, England. The system combines a phase change material thermal energy store with an intelligently controlled air handling unit to actively ventilate and cool buildings without the use of refrigerants. The company says the system contributes credits toward BREEAM standards for lifecycle costs, indoor air quality and low- and zero-carbon technologies. 

PCM briefing; Tariff relief for U.S. chemical producers; registration open for green chemistry conference in Portland

Ben Welter - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

• Legislation signed into law this week by President Obama will provide tariff relief to U.S. chemical producers that import raw materials and intermediate products. “With 80 percent of specialty chemical manufacturers importing raw materials for which there is no domestic source, this bill is a huge deal,” said William E. Allmond IV, vice president of government and public relations at the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates.

• The global thermal energy storage market will top $3 billion by 2023, according to a report published by Market Research Engine, “Global Thermal Energy Storage Market by Technology for Commercial and Industrial, Utilities, and Residential End Use Applications – Trends and Forecast 2016-2023.” 

Arsenal's new jerseyArsenal has unveiled new uniforms for the 2016-17 soccer season. The Puma jerseys feature ACTV Thermo-R technology. Strategically placed tape infused with microencapsulated phase change material absorbs excess heat and releases it back to the body when needed.

• Registration is open for the Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference June 14-16 in Portland, Ore. The theme for the 20th annual conference is "Advancing Sustainable Solutions by Design." Technical session topics include sustainable materials, chemical manufacturing processes, next-generation catalysis and chemical building blocks.    

Allen Yun, formerly director of strategic initiatives for OPTUM, is joining Pelican BioThermal as director of global services

• A survey suggests that many U.S. companies will not meet OSHA's new hazard communication standards on time. The deadline for compliance is June 1.

More than 8.1 million people worldwide are now employed by the renewable energy industry, up 5 percent from last year, the International Renewable Energy Agency says.

• The Environmental Protection Agency's chemical data reporting rule brings challenges and opportunities, writes James G. Votaw, a partner with the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. The next CDR reports, covering chemical manufacture and import activities during the period 2012-2015, must be submitted to the EPA by Sept. 30. 

PCM briefing; China tightens vaccine-handling rules; Pelican BioThermal has new partners in Chile, Brazil

Ben Welter - Monday, May 09, 2016

China has strengthened cold chain regulations in the wake of a scandal involving the illegal sale of expired and improperly handled vaccines. County health officials are now required to get vaccines directly from manufacturers before sending them to hospitals, instead of going through wholesalers. Hospitals, clinics and government authorities must also keep better records of purchases and inventory, with regular monitoring of vaccine temperatures.

Pelican BioThermal, the temperature-controlled packaging specialist, recently announced partnerships with BioThermal Solutions of Chile and NatBio of Brazil.

Ice Energy is a founding member of the recently launched Community Storage Initiative, an industry group that includes utility trade associations, environmental groups, manufacturers and more than a dozen utilities. The Glendale, Calif., company makes the Ice Bear thermal energy storage system. "Community storage" refers to utility-sponsored programs that aggregate distributed energy storage resources such as water heaters, electric vehicles and interconnected storage batteries to deliver electricity to consumers more efficiently.

The global market for green chemistry, estimated at $11 billion in 2015, will explode to about $100 billion by 2020,  the American Sustainable Business Council and the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council report. "In a nutshell," writes Libby Bernick of Trucost, "the green chemistry market is poised for takeoff."

• The U.S. Green Building Council has launched "Ask Brendan," an offbeat yet informative video series featuring Senior Vice President of Knowledge Rachel Gutter and Chief of Engineering Brendan Owens. The pilot episode is free but requires site registration. Subsequent episodes will be available only to Education @USGBC subscribers.

PCM briefing: 12 principles for green energy storage; 24x7 operation for EnergyNest pilot project

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 23, 2016

University of Michigan researchers have developed a set of 12 principles for green energy storage. No. 10: "Substitute non-toxic and non-hazardous materials."

EnergyNest AS has agreed to hire additional staff to provide around-the-clock operation of its thermal energy storage pilot facility at the Masdar Institute's beam-down solar power plant in Abu Dhabi. The increased staffing – seven engineers and technicians – is necessary for EnergyNest to demonstrate system performance over many charge/discharge cycles.

CALMAC founder Calvin D. MacCracken has been posthumously inducted into the ASHRAE Hall of Fame. CALMAC's IceBank energy storage technology, which shifts cooling production to off-peak hours, is among MacCracken's 80 patents.

Monodraught says it's getting positive feedback on the low-energy cooling and ventilation strategy the company developed for Cambridge University's Greenwich House. Monodraught installed its Cool-Phase systems and Windcatcher X-Air in a number of open plan office areas, several meeting rooms and a café area. The system combines a thermal energy store containing phase change material with an intelligently controlled air-handling unit.

• Mattress ticking producer Fine Cotton Factory has doubled its production space in Toronto to 80,000 square feet. The company is planning to introduce several products this year, including copper-infused fabrics and phase change yarns.

In a piece on coolpack.com, four industry experts offer a new way to measure the performance of passive cold-chain shipping containers. They say a "performance curve" chart could simplify the design process. [pdf]

PCM briefing: California leads U.S. in net-zero buildings; Ice Energy CEO among speakers at green conference

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ice Energy CEO Mike Hopkins and renowned architect Frank Gehry are among the speakers at the VerdeXchange green economy conference Jan. 24-26 in Los Angeles.

California is home to almost half of all the net-zero buildings in the United States, according to a new survey from the Net-Zero Energy Coalition. Sacramento is first among U.S. cities, with more than 925 zero-energy housing units and 800 more planned. 

MIT researchers have developed a new material that can store solar energy during the day and release it later as heat on demand. The transparent polymer film could be applied to window glass, clothing or other surfaces.

• New from Grand View Research: "Fatty Acid Ester Market Analysis By Product (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Glyceryl Monostearate, Isopropyl Esters), By Application (Personal Care & Cosmetics, Lubricants, Food Processing, Surfactants & Detergents, Pharmaceuticals) and Segment Forecasts To 2022"

A housing development in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is said to be the first in the world to run on solar-powered hydrogen energy storage.

PCM briefing: Ice Energy hires CFO; Ember temperature-adjustable mug among gadgets at Consumer Electronics Show

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 07, 2016

Ice Energy, maker of the Ice Bear thermal energy storage system, has hired Charles Costenbader as its new chief financial officer. Costenbader most recently served as chief operating officer of Synthesis Energy Systems, Shanghai, China.

Ember Technologies' temperature-adjustable mug, powered by phase change material, is among the gadgets on display at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Appliance maker Glen Dimplex is about to begin recruiting 1,250 households in Germany, Latvia and Ireland to test its Quantum electric thermal storage system later this year.

The UK Green Building Council has launched a program to ensure that commercial buildings across the country meet the performance standards promised by developers.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is accepting applications for a year-round student internship to help foster clean energy development on tribal lands. 

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy is seeking technology-to-market experts to guide ARPA-E awardees in the development and execution of technology commercialization strategies. 

ARPA-E has posted the agenda for the Energy Innovation Summit, Feb. 29-March 2 in suburban Washington, D.C. Advanced Cooling Technologies and the Electric Power Research Institute, which are developing PCM-based dry-cooling technologies for thermoelectric power plants, are listed among the 267 showcase participants. 

Warmilu CEO makes Forbes' '30 Under 30' list in manufacturing

Ben Welter - Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Grace HsiaGrace Hsia, co-founder and CEO of Warmilu LLC, has been named to Forbes' "30 Under 30 list" of bright young entrepreneurs in manufacturing and industry. Forbes writes:

"At Warmilu, Hsia developed a phase change technology that provides a safe and controlled heat source, without electricity, that is used in infant blankets and heat packs for pain sufferers. She’s also a senior project manager for an advanced manufacturing consortium sponsored by the National Science Foundation and based at the University of Michigan."

http://www.forbes.com/30-under-30-2016/manufacturing-industry/

Sustainability firm's CEO spreads the word on PCMs

Ben Welter - Friday, October 16, 2015

Kristen VictorKristen Victor, the founder and CEO of a San Diego firm that advises commercial builders on sustainable technologies, is helping others understand how phase change materials can improve building performance. In an interview with the Union-Tribune, she describes how Sustainability Matters helped to develop passive cooling systems for a U.S. Olympic archery training center and a passive house in San Diego County:

"We worked to incorporate a new technology called BioPCM, a specially formulated material that is installed within the roof and exterior walls. BioPCM naturally absorbs excess heat during the day, stores it, and then releases it at night. This passive solution helps minimize the need for energy-intensive heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. As a result, the Easton Archery Center, located in Chula Vista, maintains an internal temperature of 75 degrees without the use of air-conditioning. ...

"Most of our solutions are applicable in both commercial and residential settings. Sustainability Matters recently teamed with Alliance Green Builders to build a passive house in North County called Casa Aguila. It's the most advanced home ever built in San Diego County. It features an onsite wastewater treatment system, BioPCM phase change material, a rainwater collection system, solar water heating and several other innovative systems and technologies."

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/oct/14/tp-one-on-one-with-kristen-victor-u-t-profiles/