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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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Qatar's World Cup cooling solution 'very, very expensive'

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup hinged partly on the promise of a pioneering method for cooling stadiums in the tiny emirate's searing summer heat, which can hit 50º Celsius in June. A 500-seat prototype showed how solar power, chillers and phase change material could be combined to chill and store water to cool stadium air and keep temperatures below 27º C on the field.

Artist's rendering of Al-Gharafa stadiumObservers were skeptical of the solution, and this week a FIFA task force recommended moving the international soccer tournament to November-December 2022. The panel cited the "consistently hot conditions" that prevail in the desert peninsula.

FIFA is expected to approve the move. Still, organizers say they're going ahead with the cooling plan, which has been criticized as overly ambitious and "not good from a long-term sustainability point of view." 

"Basically, you use the heat to produce cold," Graeme Maidment, professor of air conditioning and refrigeration at London South Bank University told the BBC. "It's doable. But it's going to be very, very expensive."

Research roundup: Conventional chiller system; TES at 575° C and above; vermiculite-perlite composites; more

Ben Welter - Monday, February 23, 2015

  • A comparison of the field performance of thermal energy storage (TES) and conventional chiller systems [Energy]

  • Experimental and numerical investigation of combined sensible–latent heat for thermal energy storage at 575° C and above [Solar Energy]

  • Experimental investigation of the specific heat of a nitrate–alumina nanofluid for solar thermal energy storage systems [International Journal of Thermal Sciences]

  • Preparation of energy efficient paraffinic PCMs/expanded vermiculite and perlite composites for energy saving in buildings [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • Electrospun fibers based on polyvinyl pyrrolidone/Eu-polyethylene glycol as phase change luminescence materials [Materials Letters]

  • The Potential of Phase Change Materials to Reduce Domestic Cooling Energy Loads for Current and Future UK Climates [Energy and Buildings]

  • Parametric Investigations of Using a PCM Curtain for Energy Efficient Buildings [Energy and Buildings]

  • Effect of Silver Nanoparticles on the Thermal Properties of Sodium Acetate Trihydrate [International Journal of Thermophysics]

  • Research roundup: Polyethylene-paraffin composites; horizontal tanks; activated carbon; DSC; more

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • Polyethylene/paraffin binary composites for phase change material energy storage in building: A morphology, thermal properties, and paraffin leakage study [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • Experimental determination of the heat transfer and cold storage characteristics of a microencapsulated phase change material in a horizontal tank [Energy Conversion and Management]

  • Activated carbon derived from peat soil as a framework for the preparation of shape-stabilized phase change material [Energy]

  • Thermal analysis by DSC of phase change materials, study of the damage effect [Journal of Building Engineering]

  • Characterization and thermal performance of nitrate mixture/SiC ceramic honeycomb composite phase change materials for thermal energy storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

  • Design of an ice thermal energy storage system for a building of hospitality operation [International Journal of Hospitality Management]

  • Research roundup: Nanoparticle-enhanced PCMs; amphiphilic block copolymers; more

    Ben Welter - Thursday, February 12, 2015

  • Energy storage system based on nanoparticle-enhanced phase change material inside porous medium [International Journal of Thermal Sciences]

  • Highly Stable Phase Change Material Emulsions Fabricated by Interfacial Assembly of Amphiphilic Block Copolymers during Phase Inversion [American Chemical Society]

  • Improving thermal conductivity phase change materials—A study of paraffin nanomagnetite composites [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • Energy and economic analysis of a building air-conditioner with a phase change material [Energy Conversion and Management]

  • Research roundup: Under-floor heating; fire retardants; even-numbered n-alkanes; more

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

  • Effect of thermal conductivities of shape stabilized PCM on under-floor heating system [Applied Energy] 

  • Fire Retardant for Phase Change Material [Engineering Materials]

  • Temperature-dependent thermal properties of solid/liquid phase change even-numbered n-alkanes: n-Hexadecane, n-octadecane and n-eicosane [Applied Energy]

  • Numerical analysis on thermal behavior of solid–liquid phase change within copper foam with varying porosity [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

  • Thermal behaviour of insulation and phase change materials in buildings with internal heat loads: experimental study [Energy Efficiency]

  • Resource and revenue potential of California residential load participation in ancillary services [Energy Policy]

  • A review of large-scale electrical energy storage (including a mathematical model for thermal energy storage as a battery) [Energy Research]

  • Research roundup: Organogel; mobilized thermal storage container; passive solar wall

    Ben Welter - Thursday, February 05, 2015

  • Organogel used as phase change material: solvent effects on structure, leakage and thermal performance [RSC Advances]

  • Experimental study on melting and solidification of phase change material in indirect contact mobilized thermal energy storage container [Chemical Industry and Engineering Progress]

  • Thermal behavior of a passive solar wall with silica aerogel and phase change materials [Proceedings of Energy Forum on Advanced Building Skins]

  • Effect of internal void placement on the heat transfer performance – Encapsulated phase change material for energy storage [Renewable Energy]
  • Expert says in-depth analysis is key to energy retrofits

    Ben Welter - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

    Matteo D'AntoniMatteo D’Antoni, a senior researcher at the European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano in Italy, talked with youris.com about installing energy-saving technologies in existing buildings. He lists three important planning steps:

    1. Evaluate the building's existing energy consumption.
    2. Evaluate the integration of passive technologies, such as phase change material.
    3. Evaluate the integration of active technologies, such as solar energy. 

    "It is a complex approach," he explained. "One the one hand, we have to calculate how much primary energy can we save; on the other, how much it costs. Technologies have to be easy to install and maintain and [incur] a limited investment cost. If they are expensive, we have to understand whether it makes sense to install them. And this analysis has to take into account the energy concept of a specific building replaced in its own environmental context."

    Research roundup: Composite PCM in cement-paste panel; PCM in solar greenhouse; more

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

  • Composite of Coal-Series Kaolinite and Capric–Lauric Acid as Form-Stable Phase Change Material [Energy Technology]

  • Thermal Environment Regulating Effects of Phase Change Material in Chinese Style Solar Greenhouse [Energy Procedia]

  • Performance Demonstration and Evaluation of the Synergetic Application of Thermochromic Window and Phase Change Material in Passive Buildings [Energy Procedia]

  • Theoretical Analysis on the Solid Sensible and Latent Heat Storage in Building Cooling Heating and Power Systems [Energy Procedia]

  • Comparison of Thermal Performance of BCHP System with Latent Thermal Energy Storage in Different Locations [Energy Procedia]

  • Influence of Position of Thermal Energy Storage with Different Effectiveness on the Performance of BCHP System [Energy Procedia]

  • Optimizing the Performance of Ice-storage Systems in Electricity Load Management Through a Credit Mechanism: An Analytical Work for Jiangsu, China [Energy Procedia]

  • On the Natural Convection Enhancement of Heat Transfer during Phase Transition Processes of Solid-liquid Phase Change Materials [Energy Procedia]
  • CSP storage system has theoretical thermal efficiency of more than 74%

    Ben Welter - Monday, January 05, 2015

    Using a novel modeling tool for concentrated solar power, Spanish researchers have designed a more efficient storage system employing multilayered phase change material. The CSP system has a theoretical thermal efficiency of more than 74 percent and requires only a third of the molten salt needed in traditional two-tank systems.

    The system was first described in "A New Thermocline-PCM Thermal Storage Concept for CSP Plants. Numerical Analysis and Perspectives," a paper presented at SolarPACES 2013. "The key aspect of this new concept," the researchers wrote, "is the inclusion of PCM layers at both ends of the tank, whose fusion temperatures are conveniently chosen to be inside the 'admissible' temperature ranges for the outlet of both charge and discharge processes."

    http://social.csptoday.com/technology/research-team-pcm-storage-breakthrough