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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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Research roundup: Economic analysis of CSP/TES systems; copper fins; ice storage AC systems; paraffin/palygorskite composite PCMs

Ben Welter - Monday, September 28, 2015

Methods for Analyzing the Economic Value of Concentrating Solar Power with Thermal Energy Storage [NREL]

Heat Transfer Enhancement Through PCM Thermal Storage by Use of Copper Fins [Thermal Science]

Optimal Energy Reduction Schedules for Ice Storage Air-Conditioning Systems [Energies]

Paraffin/palygorskite composite phase change materials for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Research roundup: Gypsum hardening properties; PCM in vacuum insulation panels; evacuated tube heat pipe solar collector

Ben Welter - Friday, September 25, 2015

Study of Fresh and Hardening Process Properties of Gypsum with Three Different PCM Inclusion Methods [Materials]

Integration of form-stable paraffin/nanosilica phase change material composites into vacuum insulation panels for thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

Theoretical model of an evacuated tube heat pipe solar collector integrated with phase change material [Energy]

Research roundup: Polyvinyl alcohol foams; radially finned thermal storage unit; close-contact melting modeling; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, September 24, 2015

Heat Storage and Dimensional Stability of Poly(vinyl alcohol) Based Foams Containing Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials [Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research]

Experimental Investigation of Encapsulated Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage [University of South Florida, Ph.D. dissertation]

Modeling of Constrained Melting in a Radially Finned Latent Thermal Energy Storage Unit [Advances in Computational Heat Transfer]

Modelling and optimization of CHP based district heating system with renewable energy production and energy storage [Applied Energy]

Molecular dynamics simulation of the domain size effect on the values of thermal conductivity of long chain n-alkanes [Advances in Computational Heat Transfer]

Investigation of Various Options for Numerical Modeling of Fluidized Beds for a Solar Thermal Application [Advances in Computational Heat Transfer]

Close-Contact Melting Modeling Combined with the Enthalpy Method [Advances in Computational Heat Transfer]

Ceiling tiles and incubators: PCM news from England and Switzerland

Ben Welter - Monday, September 21, 2015

Catching up on two stories that emerged while I was on vacation earlier this month:

• Two lines of Armstrong ceiling tiles – the PCM-based CoolZone and the light-reflecting Ultima+ – were installed together in a recent renovation at Bristol Royal Infirmary in Bristol, England. Rich Shore, director of subcontractor Pegasus Interiors, said: "The CoolZone tiles were easy to use and install and they give a great effect due to their metal finish. They complemented the Ultima+ tiles very nicely."

• Benjamin Rime, a materials science student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, devoted a semester project and his master's thesis to developing a PCM-powered thermoregulator for incubators in developing nations. “If the power goes out," he said, "a small battery-powered fan connected to a simple and rugged electronic regulator takes over and maintains a constant temperature in the incubator.” The GlobalNeonat project is in the hands of the institute's EssentialTech program and its Swiss and African partners.

A look at the new GHS standards and how they affect the PCM industry

Ben Welter - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Manufacturers of phase change material are required to follow the new Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals and must accurately report the hazards associated with their products. The requirements took effect June 1, 2015. Here's some background on the GHS and a brief look at how it's affecting the PCM industry.

http://www.puretemp.com/stories/the-effect-of-the-ghs-on-the-pcm-industry

Research roundup: Complex roof with PCM; diatomite-based nanocomposites; seasonal TES; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, September 03, 2015

Experimental investigation on a complex roof incorporating phase-change material [Energy and Buildings]

Application of PCM energy storage in combination with night ventilation for space cooling [Applied Energy]

Solar Water Distillation Using Three Different Phase Change Materials [Materials Today]

Easy and industrially applicable impregnation process for preparation of diatomite-based phase change material nanocomposites for thermal energy storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

A Review of Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Systems [Applied Mechanics and Materials]

Performance of Latent Heat Solar Thermal Energy Storage System Using Various Heat Transfer Fluids [Applied Mechanics and Materials]

Financial analysis of an installed small scale seasonal thermal energy store [Renewable Energy]

Temperature control of permanent-magnet synchronous motor using phase change material [Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics]

Calorimetric and Dynamic Mechanical Behavior of Phase Change Materials Based on Paraffin Wax Supported by Expanded Graphite [Thermochimica Acta]

Patent application: Fluid system and method of making and using the same

Ben Welter - Tuesday, September 01, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150240759 (applicant GM Global Technology Operations, Troy, Mich.):

Fuel tank patent drawing"A number of variations may include a product including a housing including at least one phase change material and a medium constructed and arranged for thermal energy transfer to or from a vehicle fuel. ... [E]thanol fuel may be prone to clogging of the vehicle engine within the surroundings during undesirable conditions. This clogging may cause the vehicle engine to stall or not start upon desired ignition. ... [W]hen the conditions become undesirable ... the phase change material within the housing may at least partially freeze or solidify, releasing thermal energy through the medium and into the ethanol fuel. The increased thermal energy to the ethanol fuel may allow at least a portion of the ethanol fuel's gel, wax-like, or crystalline state to liquefy or melt enough to start or continue to run the vehicle engine."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150240759.pdf

20% annual growth projected for global PCM market through 2019

Ben Welter - Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The global market for advanced phase change material is expected to reach $1.39 billion in 2019, according to the latest report from Technavio. That's a compound annual growth rate of 20.03 percent from 2014 through 2019.

The report identifies increased environmental regulation and cost savings as important factors driving demand for PCMs, which are used in a variety of environmentally friendly heating and cooling applications. BASF, Cryopak, Phase Change Energy Solutions, Outlast Technologies, Honeywell Electronic Materials and Entropy Solutions are listed among the leading companies discussed in the report.  

“Entropy Solutions is a key vendor in the market that offers 100% renewable phase-change materials that can be used for a broad range of temperature control applications," said Faisal Ghaus, Technavio vice president. "New entrants that offer such innovative and green solutions are growing in the market, and this is expected to drive market growth during the forecast period.”

http://www.technavio.com/report/global-advanced-phase-change-materials-market-2015-2019

Research roundup: Paraffin/perlite composite PCM; constructal design of horizontal fins; hybrid shell materials; electrospun polyvinyl alcohol/PCM fibers

Ben Welter - Friday, August 21, 2015

A novel paraffin/expanded perlite composite phase change material for prevention of PCM leakage in cementitious composites [Applied Energy]

Constructal design of horizontal fins to improve the performance of phase change material rectangular enclosures [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Synthesis and thermal properties of a novel nanoencapsulated phase change material with PMMA and SiO2 as hybrid shell materials [Thermochimica Acta]

Electrospun Polyvinyl Alcohol/Phase Change Material Fibers: Morphology, Heat Properties and Stability [Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research]

Research roundup: New device for characterizing PCMs; graphene paraffin nanocomposites; kaolinite-stabilized PCMs; more

Ben Welter - Friday, August 14, 2015

A new experimental device and inverse method to characterize thermal properties of composite phase change materials [Composite Structures]

Thermal properties measurement and heat storage analysis of paraffin-nanoparticles composites phase change material: comparison and optimization [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Molecular-dynamics calculation of the thermal conduction in phase change materials of graphene paraffin nanocomposites [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Kaolinite stabilized paraffin composite phase change materials for thermal energy storage [Applied Clay Science]

Energy efficient bio-based PCM with silica fume composites to apply in concrete for energy saving in buildings [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]