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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: 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

    Research roundup: Slurry PCMs in solar heating system; content-stable composites; TES in cold climates; more

    Ben Welter - Friday, January 02, 2015

  • Potentialities of a Low Temperature Solar Heating System Based on Slurry Phase Change Materials [Energy Procedia]

  • Development of content-stable phase change composites by infiltration into inorganic porous supports [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • A Review of the Performance of Buildings Integrated with Phase Change Material: Opportunities for Application in Cold Climate [Energy Procedia]

  • The Effectiveness of PCM Wallboards for the Energy Refurbishment of Lightweight Buildings [Energy Procedia]

  • Temperature Regulation and Thermal Energy Storage Potential of Phase Change Materials Layer Contained at the Back of a Building Integrated Photovoltaic Panel [30th International Plea Conference, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India] [pdf]
  • Research roundup: Thermal energy storage; system design; overview of technologies; porous mullite; more

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 30, 2014

  • Optimal Chiller and Thermal Energy Storage Design for Building HVAC Systems [Purdue University]

  • A Numerical and Graphical Review of Energy Storage Technologies [Energies]

  • Lithium in thermal energy storage: A state-of-the-art review [Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews] [pdf]

  • Impregnation of porous mullite with Na2SO4 phase change material for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

  • Synthesis and performances of novel solid–solid phase change materials with hexahydroxy compounds for thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

  • Research roundup: Residential PCM system, concentrated solar, PAN/SA-LA/ZMS, heat pumps

    Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 23, 2014