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Case studies, white papers, product descriptions and “how it works” videos are effective ways to market thermal energy storage systems. But what potential customers really want to know is: “How much will your system save me?”
Viking Cold Solutions’ new web-based calculator can answer that question.
Viking makes TES systems designed to stabilize temperatures and reduce cold storage energy costs by up to 35 percent. The systems pair phase change material with intelligent controls and remote energy-monitoring software.
“It’s a new technology in an old industry,” said Damon Vance, who joined the Houston company last year as marketing director. “We use the tool as a starting point for conversations about what we could potentially save customers. It just helps open doors and start conversations.”
The calculator, www.vikingcold.com/estimate-energy-savings/calculator, is adapted from a more sophisticated tool used by the company for years to provide customers with detailed estimates of potential savings. The pared-down version asks users to provide freezer square footage, temperature set point, equipment type, condenser type, compressor load control, defrost type and average kWh rate. A summary of the results is displayed in the web browser. The user can fill out a form to get more detailed results.
Vance said several hundred visitors have completed the form since the tool was introduced a few months ago. More than half of requests, he said, have led to “legitimate customer conversations.”
“We’ve got good feedback on it,” he said. “We use it as a sales tool, but it also sets realistic expectations for customers and opens their eyes to the potential of the technology.”
Viking recently installed one of its systems at a Dreisbach Enterprises food warehouse in Richmond, Calif. The system is designed to ensure temperature stability in the freezer space while reducing the electricity demand by over 55 percent for 11 hours each day – from 850 kilowatts to 400 kilowatts – and reducing total electricity consumption in the 93,000-square-foot warehouse by as much as 35 percent.
U.S. patent application 20180120873 (applicant University of Maryland, College Park, Md.):
"Despite otherwise uncomfortable conditions in a surrounding environment, a customizable microenvironment can be created around a user to maintain a comfortable temperature and/or humidity level using a [mobile] comfort unit . For example, the environment may be an office building where conditions are out of the comfortable range to save on energy or for other reasons, a factory/shop environment that is poorly conditioned, or an outdoor location with little to no conditioning. A sensing unit can monitor biometric and environmental data and can determine a comfort level of the user . The comfort unit can then dynamically respond to the determined comfort level and adjust the microenvironment to improve the user's comfort level. The comfort unit can follow the user as the user moves within the macro-environment, or can otherwise move within the macro-environment to achieve certain functions, such as recharging or spatial shifting of thermal load within the overall macro-environment. ... [The system uses] a phase change material (PCM) that stores heat by changing phase."
U.S. patent application 20180124945 (applicants French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission and Airbus Operations SAS, France):
"An electronic device includes an electronic component and a protective shield including a phase change material having a phase change temperature of between 20 degrees C. and 90 degrees C., an antivibration gel having hyperelastic and/or viscoelastic behavior at 20 degrees C., and a separation barrier positioned so as to separate the phase change material and the antivibration gel. The antivibration gel is positioned, at least partly, in contact with the electronic component, and has a thermal conductivity of greater than 1 W/mK at 20 degrees C."
• TJ Rizzo, senior vice president of international operations at Cold Chain Technologies, will give a presentation on "Temperature Excursion Analysis" at the Global Clinical Supplies Group conference in Atlanta April 30.
• Axiom Exergy, maker of behind-the-meter thermal energy storage systems, has posted an opening for a director of business development.
• Thermal energy storage company 1414 Degrees is planning an initial public offering. The Australian company hopes to raise $30 million to $50 million AUD.
• Yusuf Yusufoglu, R&D technology team leader at Arcelik, and Orkun Kaymakçı, R&D specialist at Arcelik, received the "Best PCM Paper Award" at EnerSTOCK 2018 in Turkey this week, according to a LinkedIn post. Their topic: "Application of Phase Change Materials in Household Appliances." I would provide a link to the EnerSTOCK 2018 website for those interested in learning more about the conference, but the site appears to have been hacked; visitors are redirected to a site flagged as "deceptive."
• Neothermal Energy Storage Inc. is one of 16 Canadian tech startups selected to participate in the Volta Cohort Pitch Event May 16 in Halifax. Up to five companies will receive $25,000 in investment, mentorship and resources. The Halifax company's electric thermal storage heater is designed to supplement heating systems in residential housing. It takes advantage of time-of-day electricity rates to lower heating costs by up to 50 percent.
• Chicago-based NETenergy is one of 11 energy startups selected to participate in the VERGE Accelerate event in Hawaii in June. The finalists will pitch to a live audience of business leaders, government officials and investors, as well as to a global online audience.
• New from HTF Market Report: "Global Cold Chain Equipments Market Research Report 2018"
For our full list of recent academic research, see puretemp.com/academic. Here are highlights from the past week:From Particuology:
More than 1,200 people have joined a LinkedIn group devoted to the discussion of phase change material and thermal energy storage. The Phase Change Matters group is an interactive complement to the award-winning blog and newsletter of the same name.
You are invited to join the group and connect with PCM and TES experts from around the world. This week we welcome Ryad Dahmani, group CEO at Cold Chain Vision, Florianopolis, Brazil; Giuseppe Travaglini, chemical engineer at Petronas Lubricants International, Turin, Italy; Maria Claudia Ramirez, general director at QASAY Soluciones, Nuevo León, Mexico; and Jason Weedon, CEO at Gourmet Gorilla Inc., Chicago, Ill.