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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.




Research roundup: Review of latent heat storage systems; triple-glazed window with PCM; myristic acid; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Design of a Latent Thermal Energy Storage System From Constructal Approach [ASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition]

Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Systems with Solid–Liquid Phase Change Materials: A Review [Advanced Engineering Materials]

Simulation Research on the Dynamic Thermal Performance of a Novel Triple-glazed Window Filled with PCM [Sustainable Cities and Society]

Charging and Discharging Period Analysis of Myristic Acid as Phase Change Material [pdf] [International Journal of Current Engineering and Technology]

Solid-liquid phase equilibria of stearic acid and dicarboxylic acids binary mixtures as low temperature thermal energy storage materials [Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics]

Comparative study on the solar still performance utilizing different PCM [Desalination]

Temperature stabilization using salt hydrate storage system to achieve thermal comfort in prefabricated wooden houses [Energy and Buildings]

Multiobjective optimization of a building envelope with the use of phase change materials (PCMs) in Mediterranean climates [International Journal of Energy Research]

Experimental research in the phase change materials based on paraffin and expanded perlite [Phase Transitions]

Enhanced Thermal Conductivity and Thermal Performance of Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)/Modified SiO2 Composite Phase Change Material [Science of Advanced Materials]

Research roundup: Protective clothing for firefighters; PCM-integrated wall insulation; TES using diesel engine exhaust; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 11, 2018

Guidelines for the specification of a PCM layer in Firefighting Protective Clothing Ensembles [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Summer thermal performances of PCM-integrated insulation layers for light-weight building walls: effect of orientation and melting point temperature [Thermal Science and Engineering Progress]

Numerical investigation on cooling behaviour of buildings using phase change material [International Journal of Renewable Energy Technology]

An experimental investigation of PCM based thermal energy storage system using diesel engine exhaust-gas [International Journal of Renewable Energy Technology]

Thermal storage/management system with phase change materials for building [Advances in Mechanical Engineering]

Research roundup: Non-eutectic PCM for cold storage; waste-to-energy plants; dynamic Kriging; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Non-eutectic Phase Change Materials for Cold Thermal Energy Storage [Energy Procedia]

Effects of void spaces in a phase change material based thermal energy storage system [Energy Procedia]

Preparation and Performance of Composite Building Materials with Phase Change Material for Thermal Storage [Energy Procedia]

Environmental performance assessment of the application of high temperature phase change materials in waste-to-energy plants [Energy Procedia]

Preparation and properties of fatty acids based thermal energy storage aggregate concrete [Construction and Building Materials]

Optimizing fin design for a PCM-based thermal storage device using dynamic Kriging [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

A new approach using un-encapsulated discrete PCM chunks to augment the applicability of solid gallium as phase change material in thermal management applications [Energy Conversion and Management]

Adjustment of thermal behavior by changing the shape of PCM inclusions in concrete blocks [Energy Conversion and Management]

Performance comparison of latent heat storage systems comprising plate fins with different shell and tube configurations [Applied Energy]

Characterization of microencapsulated and impregnated porous host materials based on calcium chloride for thermochemical energy storage [Applied Energy]

Research roundup: Fresh air cooling systems; CuO-nanoparticle concentration; Stefan problems and solutions; more

Ben Welter - Friday, January 05, 2018

Energy efficiency of PCM integrated in fresh air cooling systems in different climatic conditions [Applied Energy]

Effect of temperature and CuO-nanoparticle concentration on the thermal conductivity and viscosity of an organic phase-change material [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Stefan problems for moving phase change materials and multiple solutions [International Journal of Thermal Sciences]

Thermodynamic analysis of directionally influenced phase change material embedded building walls [International Journal of Thermal Sciences]

The role of vegetable oil in water based phase change materials for medium temperature refrigeration [Journal of Energy Storage]

Performance analysis of incorporating phase change materials in asphalt concrete pavements [Construction and Building Materials]

Electric vehicles batteries thermal management systems employing phase change materials [Journal of Power Sources]

Research roundup: Composite PCM/concrete wall; thermal inertia in buildings; multilayer roof with two PCMs; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 04, 2018

Thermal impact study of a bio-based wall coupled with an inner PCM layer [Energy Procedia]

Numerical study of the thermal behavior of a novel Composite PCM/concrete wall [Energy Procedia]

Phase change materials for improving the building thermal inertia [Energy Procedia]

Thermal behavior in dynamic regime of a multilayer roof provided with two phase change materials in the case of a local conditioned [Energy Procedia]

Composite phase change materials with good reversible thermochromic ability in delignified wood substrate for thermal energy storage [Applied Energy]

D-mannitol for medium temperature thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

Novel metal coated nanoencapsulated phase change materials with high thermal conductivity for thermal energy storage [Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells]

State and state of charge estimation for a latent heat storage [Control Engineering Practice]

Microencapsulated n-alkane eutectics in polystyrene for solar thermal applications [Solar Energy]

Improving thermal properties of shape-stabilized phase change materials containing lauric acid and mesocellular foam silica by assessing thermodynamic properties of the non-melting layer [Thermochimica Acta]

Research roundup: Cooling vests; palygorskite-based composites; convective solar crop dryer; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 21, 2017

An Optimal Two-Bout Strategy with Phase Change Material Cooling Vests to Improve Comfort in Hot Environment [Journal of Thermal Biology]

Preparation of palygorskite-based phase change composites for thermal energy storage and their applications in Trombe walls [Journal of Wuhan University of Technology]

Thermal performance of optimum thermal energy storage in natural convective solar crop dryer [Bhartiya Krishi Anusandhan Patrika]

Integrated Dispatch Model for Combined Heat and Power Plant with Phase-change Thermal Energy Storage Considering Heat Transfer Process [IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy]

Modeling of District Heating Networks for the Purpose of Operational Optimization with Thermal Energy Storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Study of Nusselt Number Evolution in PCM Shell-and-Tube Configuration [Euro-Mediterranean Conference for Environmental Integration]

Reduced-scale experiments to evaluate performance of composite building envelopes containing phase change materials [Construction and Building Materials]

Research roundup: Cold chain insulated container; convective heat transfer; new form-stable composite; more

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 14, 2017

Improving Performance of Cold-Chain Insulated Container with Phase Change Material: An Experimental Investigation [Applied Sciences]

Energy Storage in a Complex Heat Storage Unit Using Commercial Grade Phase Change Materials: Effect of Convective Heat Transfer Boundary Conditions [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Porosity and density measurements of sodium acetate trihydrate for thermal energy storage [Applied Thermal Engineering]

Melting and solidification behaviour of phase change materials with cyclic heating and cooling [Journal of Energy Storage]

Thermal performance enhancement of composite phase change materials (PCM) using graphene and carbon nanotubes as additives for the potential application in lithium-ion power battery [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

A novel form-stable phase change composite with excellent thermal and electrical conductivities [Chemical Engineering Journal]

Influence of PCM design parameters on thermal and optical performance of multi-layer glazed roof [Applied Energy]

A Novel Phase Change Based Cooling System for Prismatic Lithium Ion Batteries [International Journal of Refrigeration]

Facile method of fabricating microencapsulated phase change materials with compact bonding polymer–silica hybrid shell using TEOS/MPS [Thermochimica Acta]

PCM briefing: Net-zero apartment complex in Los Angeles has BioPCM in walls

Ben Welter - Monday, December 11, 2017

Silver Star Apartments, the first multifamily affordable housing development to achieve the net-zero energy designation in Los Angeles, is reducing heat gain through the use of phase change material in the walls. Energy consultant Green Dinosaur, which worked on the 49-unit development, identifies the PCM as Phase Change Energy Solutions' BioPCM, 23Q-M27.

• New from QY Research: "Global Advanced Phase Change Material (PCM) Market Research Report 2017"

• The United States is poised for a 0.8 increase in non-pharmaceutical chemical output in 2017, with bigger increases in the following three years, the American Chemistry Council says.

PCM-assisted cooling system designed to cut energy costs at Norwegian airport

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 07, 2017

Two of four TES tanks installed at Bergen Airport

A PCM-based thermal energy storage system at a new airport terminal in Bergen, Norway, is designed to reduce energy costs by chilling water overnight, when ambient temperatures are lower.

To handle peak demand during summer, Bergen Airport required a cooling system with a maximum output of 5 megawatts, said civil engineer Rune Teigland, who designed the system.

Instead, chillers with a maximum output of just 2.5 megawatts were installed. An additional 11,000 kWh of cooling can be drawn from four large tanks that hold 44,000 panels filled with a modified salt-based phase change material. The PCM has a melting point of about 10º Celsius. The HDPE panels act as thermal batteries, holding the “chill” produced overnight for use during the day.

Installation of PCM panels in TES tank at Bergen Airport “The obvious advantage is that the cooling plant does not need to be big enough to handle the maximum cooling requirement. This offers some clear benefits, in terms of price, energy consumption and maintenance,” explained Teigland, a project leader and energy specialist at COWI of Lyngby, Denmark.

The panels, supplied by U.K.-based PCM Products Ltd., are 50x25x3 centimeters in size and are stacked on top of each other in the water-filled tanks. Each tank is 13 meters long and 3 meters in diameter.

When water at a temperature below the PCM’s freezing point is passed through the tanks, the PCM solidifies and energy is stored in the panels. When water is fed in at a temperature above the PCM’s freezing point, the PCM will melt and produce a cooling effect.

COWI says the system can run for two hours at full capacity solely on the energy stored in the PCM panels. The company projects an annual savings of 5,000 megawatt-hours compared to a conventional system.

“The method provides for big savings in energy and running costs, and we see great potential for buildings, data centers and production halls, which need to keep both temperatures and CO₂ emissions down. This method could change the whole cooling industry,” said Teigland.

Teigland said he began “measuring and logging” system performance a few months before the terminal opened in August. He plans to submit a paper about the project to ASHRAE. He offered these additional comments on the project:

"In an ordinary system one would install 5 MW with mechanical cooling. This means that at least 50% of the chillers rarely would be running, maybe only a few weeks in summer. A chiller or any refrigeration compressor is designed to be running. In long stand-still periods, flex gaskets will dry up which may result in refrigerant leaks and even engine damage. In summer time when maximum cooling capacity is needed we will first have to repair chillers that have had a long time with stand still. 

"We try to choose a more environmentally sustainable approach to this situation and we like to be in front of the technical development.

"We even use the tanks in winter to try to obtain maximum COP from chillers running. If one chiller is running and the next one is only on low partial load we would rather supply with energy from the tanks to avoid low partial load."

Research roundup: Erythritol in spheres; triplex-tube TES system enhancement; spray freezing of PCM; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Theoretical and numerical analysis on phase change materials (PCM): A case study of the solidification process of erythritol in spheres [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Optimisation analysis of PCM-enhanced opaque building envelope components for the energy retrofitting of office buildings in Mediterranean climates [Applied Energy]

Solidification enhancement of PCM in a triplex-tube thermal energy storage system with nanoparticles and fins [Applied Energy]

System-Level Analysis of a Novel Air-Cooled Condenser using Spray Freezing of Phase Change Materials [Applied Thermal Energy]

Analysis of operational performance of a mechanical ventilation cooling system with latent thermal energy storage [Energy and Buildings]

Evaluation of two cooling devices for construction workers by a thermal manikin [Fashion and Textiles]

Study on improving the heat storage property of Ba(OH)2 • 8H2O with paraffin [Materials Research Express]