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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: Salt-based carbon nanotube nanomaterials; finned heat pipes; nitrate/expanded graphite composite PCM; more

Ben Welter - Monday, August 10, 2015

Effect of solvent on specific heat capacity enhancement of binary molten salt-based carbon nanotube nanomaterials for thermal energy storage [International Journal of Thermal Sciences]

Three-dimensional simulation of high temperature latent heat thermal energy storage system assisted by finned heat pipes [Energy Conversion and Management]

Experimental and numerical study of heat transfer performance of nitrate/expanded graphite composite PCM for solar energy storage [Energy Conversion and Management]

Investigation on the dynamic characteristics of a direct contact thermal energy storage charging process for use in conventional air-conditioning systems [Applied Thermal Engineering]

The form-stable phase change materials based on polyethylene glycol and functionalized carbon nanotubes for heat storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Studies on the effect of shape-stabilized PCM filled aluminum honeycomb composite material on thermal control [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Preparation and thermal properties of graphite foam/eutectic salt composite as a phase change energy storage material [Carbon]

Performance comparison of three models for thermal property determination from experimental phase change data [Thermochimica Acta]

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

Experimental investigations on the performance of a collector–storage wall system using phase change materials [Energy Conversion and Management]

Experimental analysis, modeling and simulation of a solar energy accumulator with paraffin wax as PCM [Energy Conversion and Management]

Research roundup: Phase change cold storage; gypsum-based composites; root zone heating system; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, August 06, 2015

Influencing factors on the energy saving performance of battery storage and phase change cold storage in a PV cooling system [Energy and Buildings]

Development and thermal characterization of innovative gypsum-based composites incorporating phase change material as building energy storage system [Energy and Buildings]

LCA & LCCA of a PCM application to control root zone temperatures of hydroponic crops in comparison with conventional root zone heating systems [Renewable Energy]

Consolidated microcapsules with double alginate shell containing paraffin for latent heat storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Investigation of the corrosion behavior of NiVAl multilayer coatings in hot salt melts [Surface and Coatings Technology]

Geopolymer-based composite materials containing PCM for thermal energy storage [Ceramics for Energy conference paper]

Exergy analysis of the solar still integrated nano composite phase change materials [Applied Solar Energy]

Thermal properties of C17H36/MCM-41 composite phase change materials [Computational Materials Science]

Novel solid-solid phase change materials with biodegradable trihydroxy surfactant for thermal energy storage [RSC Advances]

Heat capacity enhancement of water tanks by use of phase change materials for domestic purposes [Instal]

Research roundup: Nano-encapsulated n-nonadecane for TES; acid-hybridized expanded perlite; corrosion behavior of molten salt; more

Ben Welter - Monday, August 03, 2015

Nano-encapsulated n-nonadecane using vinyl copolymer shell for thermal energy storage medium [Macromolecular Research]

Acid-hybridized expanded perlite as a composite phase-change material in wallboards [RSC Advances]

Thermal Performance of a Domestic Chromium Solar Water Collector with Phase Change Material  [Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences]

Numerical Study of the Melting of Nano-PCM in a Rectangular Enclosure Heated by Downward Heat Transfer Fluid [International Conference on Materials & Energy]

Corrosion Behavior of Eutectic Molten Salt Solution on Stainless Steel 316L [Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences]

• Numerical study on performance enhancement of shell-and-tube latent heat storage unit [International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer]

'Pioneering' Crossway Passive House featured on 'Grand Designs'

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 30, 2015

Crossway Passive House

Renowned architect Richard Hawkes' Crossway Passive House, completed in 2009, gets another look on this week's episode of the British TV series "Grand Designs."  

"The iconic feature of this pioneering house," writes Building Construction Design, "is a scarily thin soaring arched roof. Made by gluing clay tiles together using Plaster of Paris without any formwork, this in turn supports over 100 tons of soil which is now host to a thriving wildflower habitat."

The 3,000-square-foot home is packed with energy-efficient technology, including 580 liters of phase change thermal storage and DuPont Energain PCM panels in the south-facing rooms.  

Research roundup: Uncertainty propagation analysis; milk cooling system; metal hydride tank; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, July 30, 2015

Uncertainty propagation and sensitivity analysis of thermo-physical properties of phase change materials (PCM) in the energy demand calculations of a test cell with passive latent thermal storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Performance characterization of a small milk cooling system with ice storage for PV applications [International Journal of Refrigeration]

Numerical Analysis of Metal Hydride Tank with Phase Change Material [Applied Thermal Engineering]

System Design and Energy Performance of a Solar Heat Pump Heating System with Dual-tank Latent Heat Storage [Energy and Buildings]

Modeling and simulation on the performance of a novel double shape-stabilized phase change materials wallboard [Energy and Buildings]

The preparation of the hydrotalcite-based composite phase change material [Applied Energy]

Research roundup: PCM and cement; nanotube composites; expanded graphite; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, June 25, 2015

Application of Phase Change Materials to Improve the Thermal Performance of Cementitious Material [Energy and Buildings]

Study on the phase change thermal storage performance of palmitic acid/carbon nanotubes composites [Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing]

Positive influence of expanded graphite on the physical behavior of phase change materials based on linear low-density polyethylene and paraffin wax [Thermochimica Acta]

CO2 mitigation accounting for Thermal Energy Storage (TES) case studies [Applied Energy]

Binary Solid-Liquid Equilibrium Systems Containing Fatty Acids, Fatty Alcohols and Triolein by Differential Scanning Calorimetry [Fluid Phase Equilibria]

Development of a numerical model for the reaction zone design of an aqueous sodium hydroxide seasonal thermal energy storage [Solar Energy]

Power plant cooling research focuses on tiny paraffin beads in 'rotary heat exchanger'

Ben Welter - Monday, June 22, 2015

Drexel University offers a detailed look at the novel dry-cooling technology being studied to reduce water use at thermoelectric plants. The research team, which includes Drexel, the University of Memphis, Evapco, WorleyParsons and the Electric Power Research Institute, is focusing on phase change material in the form of tiny wax beads:

PCM cooling unit"The group’s design uses large mesh disks, 20 meters in diameter, woven from quarter-inch-thick tubes filled with tiny bead-like capsules of paraffin just a few millimeters in diameter. The discs would be stacked 15 meters-high in a cylinder the team calls a 'rotary heat exchanger unit.' With the look of a sophisticated water wheel, the unit will have openings on the top and bottom for hot water to flow in, cooled water to drain out and ambient air to keep the system moving.

"As the hot water enters the unit from the steam condenser, the beads in the mesh will absorb the heat. The discs will continue to rotate as the water enters the unit. When the heated portion of the disc reaches the cooling side of the unit, ambient air is pumped in to let the beads release the heat before returning to the atmosphere outside the plant. The cooled beads spin back to the other side as the disc rotates, ready to repeat the process."

Research roundup: PCM wall optimization; photovoltaic PCM system; elimination of supercooling; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Phase change material wall optimization for heating using metamodeling [Energy and Buildings]

Indoor Characterisation of a Photovoltaic/ Thermal Phase Change Material System [Energy Procedia]

Morphing tree structures for latent thermal energy storage [Journal of Applied Physics]

PCM Thermal Energy Storage in Buildings: Experimental Study and Applications [Energy Procedia]

Supercooling elimination of phase change materials (PCMs) microcapsules [Energy]

Experimental Study on the Performance of RT 25 to be Used as Ambient Energy Storage [Energy Procedia]

Research roundup: 'Red Brick' TES; rocks as filler material; thermoelectric space cooling; more

Ben Welter - Monday, May 04, 2015

Preparation and thermal characterization of composite “Paraffin/Red Brick” as a novel form-stable of phase change material for thermal energy storage [International Journal of Hydrogen Energy]

Stability testing of thermal oil in direct contact with rocks used as filler material for thermal energy storage in CSP power plants [Energy Procedia]

Improving the Thermochemical Energy Storage Performance of the Mn2O3/Mn3O4 Redox Couple by the Incorporation of Iron [ChemSusChem]

Experimental and Numerical Evaluation of Longitudinally Finned Latent Heat Thermal Storage Systems [Energy and Buildings]

Facile synthesis and thermal performances of stearic acid/titania core/shell nanocapsules by sol–gel method [Energy]

Theoretical study on effective thermal conductivity of salt/expanded graphite composite material by using fractal method [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Study of a Thermoelectric Space Cooling System Integrated with Phase Change Material [Applied Thermal Energy]

Ergodyne launches 3 redesigned cooling vests

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ergodyne of St. Paul, Minn., has launched three redesigned cooling vests featuring phase change material. The maker of workplace gear says flexible honeycomb cooling packs and a shorter, wider vest design give wearers increased comfort and mobility. Ergodyne says the cooling material is a "non-toxic, non carcinogenic substance." Product safety data sheets identify the PCM as a paraffin.  

http://ergodyne.com/newsevents/Pages/Ergodyne-Announces-New-Product-Additions-to-Phase-Change-Series.aspx