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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: Solar TES in residential buildings; smart food packaging; expanded metal mesh; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Phase change materials for solar thermal energy storage in residential buildings in cold climate [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews]

Development of Polystyrene-based Films with Temperature Buffering Capacity for Smart Food Packaging [Journal of Food Engineering]

Melting of phase change material assisted by expanded metal mesh [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Lattice Boltzmann simulation of convection melting in complex heat storage systems filled with phase change materials [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Improving Performance of Household Refrigerators by Incorporating Phase Change Materials [International Journal of Refrigeration]

• Preparation and thermal properties of form-stable phase change materials composed of palmitic acid/polypyrrole/graphene nanoplatelets [Energy and Buildings]

Research roundup: Expanded graphite with PCM; thermal cycle test; concrete with macroencapsulated PCM; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, April 28, 2015

RT100/expand graphite composite phase change material with excellent structure stability, photo-thermal performance and good thermal reliability [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Thermal Cycle Test of Binary Mixtures of Some Fatty Acids as Phase Change Materials For Building Applications [Energy and Buildings]

Development of structural–functional integrated concrete with macro-encapsulated PCM for thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

Phase Change Materials—A Sustainable Way of Solar Thermal Energy Storage [pdf] [Energy Sustainability Through Green Energy]

Characterization and real-time testing of phase-change materials for solar thermal energy storage [Energy Research]

Latent Heat Thermal Storage (LHTS) for Energy Sustainability [Energy Sustainability Through Green Energy]


Research roundup: High-temperature apps; underground trench TES; cement paste; 0-D numerical model; building envelopes; PCM in buildings

Ben Welter - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thermal Energy Storage with Encapsulated Phase Change Materials for High Temperature Applications [Lehigh University dissertation]

Heat transfer analysis of underground thermal energy storage in shallow trenches filled with encapsulated phase change materials [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Development of Carbon Nanotube Modified Cement Paste with Microencapsulated Phase-Change Material for Structural–Functional Integrated Application [International Journal of Molecular Sciences]

Experimental validation of a 0-D numerical model for phase change thermal management systems in lithium-ion batteries [Journal of Power Sciences]

Phase Change Materials: A Prospective Solution for Surface Layers of Building Envelopes [Applied Mechanics and Materials]

Application of Phase Change Materials in Buildings [Advanced Materials Research]

Promethean to expand distribution of milk chiller to Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Ben Welter - Monday, April 13, 2015

Promethean Power Systems milk chillerPromethean Power Systems, which makes a milk chiller recently introduced in rural parts of India, is planning to expand distribution to Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka over the next few months. Co-founder Sam White said his company hopes to have 500 units in the field by the end of the year.

Thanks to a thermal battery filled with phase change material, the chiller needs only intermittent electricity to quickly chill raw milk to a temperature that arrests bacterial growth. That's a potential game-changer for developing countries, where many dairy farmers don't have access to reliable electricity.

Boston-based Promethean manufactures the device, and the PCM, in Pune, India. White declined to identify the composition of the PCM, but a U.S. patent application for the device describes a salt hydrate with a melting point of -2º Celsius and a latent heat of fusion of 290 J/g. A nucleating agent is added to reduce the effect of supercooling.

The tech blog Gizmodo featured a Doc North video of the product over the weekend:

http://gizmodo.com/phase-change-material-chills-milk-without-electricity-1697312107

PCM market projected to reach $339 million in the Americas by 2019

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 09, 2015

The market for advanced phase change materials in the Americas will reach $339.56 million by 2019, according to the latest report from MicroMarket Monitor. That's a compound annual growth rate of 19.9% from 2014 to 2019. The report identifies the shipping, packaging and refrigeration segment as a key driver and attributes much of the growth to initiatives by the Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and other bodies.

MicroMarket Monitor is planning to release similar reports next month on the PCM markets in Asia-Pacific and Middle East-Africa. The Asia-Pacific market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 19.2 percent from 2013 to 2018. The Middle East-Africa market is expected see a CAGR of 11.9 percent in the same period.

http://www.micromarketmonitor.com/market/americas-advanced-phase-change-materials-3734986145.html

Steep growth projected for Europe's organic PCM market through 2018

Ben Welter - Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The European market for organic phase change materials is projected to see a compound annual growth rate of 20.4 percent from 2013 to 2018, according to the latest report from MicroMarket Monitor. Organic PCMs fall into two categories: paraffins (derived from petroleum) and fatty acids (derived from animal fat and plant oils). The report, to be released May 2, attributes much of the growth to new government rules aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.

http://www.micromarketmonitor.com/market/europe-organic-advanced-phase-change-materials-8730183541.html

Research roundup: Stability testing of high-temperature PCMs; n-octadecane in spherical capsule; modeling peak load reduction; more

Ben Welter - Friday, April 03, 2015

Determination of thermo-physical properties and stability testing of high-temperature phase change materials for CSP applications [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

The experimental exploration of sodium chloride solution on thermal behavior of phase change materials [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Fixed-grid numerical modeling of melting and solidification using variable thermo-physical properties – Application to the melting of n-Octadecane inside a spherical capsule [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Experimental observations on the heat transfer enhancement caused by natural convection during melting of solid–liquid phase change materials (PCMs) [Applied Energy]

Modeling Peak Load Reduction and Energy Consumption Enabled by an Integrated Thermal Energy and Water Storage System for Residential Air Conditioning Systems in Austin, Texas [Energy and Buildings]

Dutch-led project explores use of high-temperature PCMs to improve industrial efficiency

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 02, 2015

A consortium led by the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) is working to develop industrial heat storage applications using phase change materials. The two-year LOCOSTO project is focusing on the application of new PCMs with a substantial heat storage density at temperatures between 100°C and 250°C.

Participants include end users Dow Chemical and Emmtec Services, engineering consultant DWA, system supplier Bronswerk Heat Transfer and materials suppliers Nedmag, Salca and Croda.

https://www.ecn.nl/news/item/locosto-improving-industrial-energy-efficiency-by-storage-of-heat/

Research roundup: Nanomaterial composite PCMs; close-contact melting; mush region effect; underfloor heating; more

Ben Welter - Monday, March 30, 2015

Preparation and thermal properties characterization of carbonate salt/carbon nanomaterial composite phase change material [Energy Conversion and Management]

Close-contact melting in a horizontal cylindrical enclosure with longitudinal plate fins: Demonstration, modeling and application to thermal storage [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

A similarity solution to unidirectional solidification of nano-enhanced phase change materials (NePCM) considering the mushy region effect [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Application of PCM underfloor heating in combination with PCM wallboards for space heating using price based control system [Applied Energy]

Thermal conductivities and characteristics of ternary eutectic chloride/expanded graphite thermal energy storage composites [Applied Energy]

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