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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: Thermal conductivity; decarbonization potential of compact heat storage; liquid desiccant cooling systems; more

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 06, 2019

From Energy:

Effects of thermal conductivity and density on phase change materials-based thermal energy storage systems

From Renewable Energy:

Melting process investigation of phase change materials in a shell and tube heat exchanger enhanced with heat pipe

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Compact latent heat storage decarbonisation potential for domestic hot water and space heating applications in the UK
Numerical and experimental study of phase-change temperature controller containing graded cellular material fabricated by additive manufacturing
A novel composite phase change material with paraffin wax in tailings porous ceramics
Characterisation and evaluation of a new phase change enhanced working solution for liquid desiccant cooling systems
Thermal properties enhancement and application of a novel sodium acetate trihydrate-formamide/expanded graphite shape-stabilized composite phase change material for electric radiant floor heating

From Environmental Research:

Latent heat storage biocomposites of phase change material-biochar as feasible eco-friendly building materials

From Colloids and Surfaces A:

A facile microencapsulation of phase change materials within silicone-based shells by using glass capillary devices

From Microporous and Mesoporous Materials:

Phase change in modified metal organic frameworks MIL-101(Cr): Mechanism on highly improved energy storage performance

From Applied Energy:

Role of porous metal foam on the heat transfer enhancement for a thermal energy storage tube
Energy saving performance assessment and lessons learned from the operation of an active phase change materials system in a multi-storey building in Melbourne

From Building and Environment:

Comparative analysis of the PCM application according to the building type as retrofit system

From Construction and Building Materials:

Evaluation of the potential use of form-stable phase change materials to improve the freeze-thaw resistance of concrete

From Results in Physics:

Application Research of Nano-storage Materials in Cold Chain Logistics of E-commerce Fresh Agricultural Products

From Journal of Energy Storage:

Using PCM as energy storage material in water tanks: Theoretical and experimental investigation

Patent application: Contact lens with metered liquid system

Ben Welter - Monday, January 28, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190025610 (applicants California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., and University of Southern California, Los Angeles):

Contact lens patent drawing"A contact lens fluid delivery device having a liquid reservoir connected to a channel with a flow regulator is described. Other eye hydration and variable dioptric power contact lenses are described herein. Also described are implantable liquid delivery apparatuses having a liquid storage reservoir connected to a channel with a flow regulator. These devices and apparatuses are useful for specific, targeted delivery of therapeutic liquids within a subject. In some embodiments, the devices incorporate actuation chambers which provide a driving force releasing the fluid into the targeted area e.g., the eye. The actuation chambers described herein can contain phase change materials or osmotic chambers or a combination thereof to drive the release of fluid."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190025610.pdf

Patent application: Thermal kinetic energy recovery system for hybrid vehicle

Ben Welter - Monday, January 28, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190023113 (applicant Eaton Corp., Cleveland, Ohio):

"A transmission system selectively coupled to an engine crankshaft of an internal combustion engine arranged on a vehicle includes a waste heat recovery (WHR) system, a brake assembly and a phase-change thermal heat storage system. The WHR system selectively circulates a WHR fluid in the transmission system. The brake assembly selectively couples a transmission output shaft to a drive axle. The brake assembly is configured to operate in a braking mode that retards relative rotation between the transmission output shaft and the drive axle while generating heat. The heat storage system includes a housing defining at least one cavity and a fluid transfer manifold. A phase-change material is disposed in the cavity that is configured to change phase during the braking mode."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190023113.pdf

Patent application: Phase change materials from wax-based colloidal dispersions

Ben Welter - Monday, January 28, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190023959 (applicant Henry Co. LLC, El Segundo, Calif.):

"This invention generally relates to phase-change materials (“PCM” or “PCM materials”) made from colloidally-protected wax-based microstructures. This invention also relates to such PCM materials configured in various physical forms. This invention further relates to a process of configuring such PCM materials for a variety of end-use applications in which dampening of temperature fluctuations by absorption and desorption of heat is desired. This invention further relates to preparing colloidally-protected wax-based microstructures in particulate form that function as PCM materials."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190023959.pdf

PCM briefing: Cash infusion for PCES; call for e-textile conference papers

Ben Welter - Monday, January 28, 2019

Phase Change Energy Solutions Inc. of Asheboro, N.C., last week announced an investment by Pegasus Capital Advisors, Emerald Technology Ventures and Third Prime, an early-stage venture fund and prior investor. Dennis McGill, operations advisor at Pegasus, joined PCES last month as chief executive officer. The company says it will use the proceeds to fund the continued development of its thermal storage products and expand its operations globally. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. 

Mark RichardsMark Richards, right, CEO at Emery Mechanical Engineering in San Diego, is featured in a recent episode of the HVAC 360 podcast. Richards, former applications engineering manager at Phase Change Energy Solutions, talks about "Phase Change Materials in Practice." 

1414 Degrees of Australia reports that the first commercial pilot of its molten silicon energy storage system is one step closer to commissioning. The GAS-TESS will store energy to generate electricity from biogases produced at a wastewater treatment plant. 

• In collaboration with Canada's Université Laval, researchers at the University of the Basque Country in Spain conclude that "fake ISO 9001 quality certificates are very widespread across Chinese companies and that the certification processes of the auditing companies lack credibility." 

• The Association Connecting Electronics Industries has issued a call for technical conference abstracts and educational course proposals for IPC E-TEXTILES 2019 to be held Sept. 11 in Philadelphia, Pa. Topics include reliability, test methods, design, washability and materials innovation. Abstracts and proposals are due by April 10. 

PureTemp introduces temperature-control fabric coating

Ben Welter - Wednesday, January 23, 2019

PureTemp LLC has developed a fabric coating engineered to provide an effective buffer against ambient temperature swings in consumer products such as apparel, footwear, bedding, safety, medical, workwear and industrial applications.

Scanning electron microscope image of PureTemp fabric coating Through a proprietary process, PureTemp's biobased phase change material is enclosed in spherical microcapsules and bound to the surface of the fabric. PCMs absorb, store and release thermal energy as they cycle between solid and liquid states. The PCM coating interacts continuously with the unique microclimate of the human body, storing and releasing energy to balance body temperature and increase comfort.

PureTemp honeycomb pattern coatings are available for knit, woven, interlock, circular knits, nonwoven, cotton, polyester and other blends. The photo above shows what PureTemp coated fabric looks like under a scanning electron microscope.

The Minnesota company began producing the world’s first 100 percent biobased PCMs in 2007. PureTemp PCMs, developed in three years of research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are used in a wide variety of temperature-control applications, from cooling vests and warming blankets to shipping containers and coffee mugs.

PureTemp's Dan Keller is directing the business initiative. For more information on PureTemp coated fabrics, contact him via inquiries@puretemp.com or visit https://www.puretemp.com/fabrics.

Research roundup: Micro environmental control system; alkali nitrate salts; sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

From Journal of Thermal Science and Engineering :

Phase Change Material Freezing in an Energy Storage Module for a Micro Environmental Control System
Phase Change Material Melting in an Energy Storage Module for a Micro Environmental Control System

From Renewable Energy:

Form-stable oxalic acid dihydrate/glycolic acid-based composite PCMs for thermal energy storage
Molecular simulation of the structure and physical properties of alkali nitrate salts for thermal energy storage

From Applied Energy:

Effect of inclination on the thermal response of composite phase change materials for thermal energy storage

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

Characterization and thermal performance of microencapsulated sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate as phase change material for thermal energy storage
Fabrication and applications of dual-responsive microencapsulated phase change material with enhanced solar energy-storage and solar photocatalytic effectiveness

From Energy:

Numerical investigations of optimal phase change material incorporated into ventilated walls

From Polymer Degradation and Stability:

EG-based coatings for flame retardance of shape stabilized phase change materials

From Construction and Building Materials:

Freeze-thaw performance of phase change material (PCM) incorporated pavement subgrade soil

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Patent application: Cooling fabric with PCM coating

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190017200 (applicant Bedgear LLC, Farmingdale, N.Y.):

Bedgear patent drawing"A three-layer circular knitted jacquard fabric includes a first layer having a yarn made from a first material. A second layer of the fabric includes a yarn made from a second material. A third layer of the fabric includes a yarn made from a third material. At least one of the materials includes ultra-high weight molecular polyethylene. The second layer is positioned between the first layer and the third layer such that the second layer provides loft between the first layer and the third layer. ... In some embodiments, a top layer, such as, for example, the first layer can be coated with a phase change material and a bottom layer, such as, for example, the third layer can be coated with a phase change material. It is envisioned that the first layer and/or the third layer can be soaked with a phase change material and/or can be infused with a phase change material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190017200.pdf

Patent application: Radiative cooling with solar spectrum reflection

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190017758 (applicant Board of Trustees of Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.):

"Aspects of the present disclosure are directed toward radiative cooling with solar spectrum reflection. In certain more specific embodiments, a structure facilitates far-field radiation at particular wavelengths while blocking radiation at solar wavelengths. Additionally, aspects of the present disclosure allow for twenty-four hour cooling of buildings and similar structures, and for cooling through a heat exchange to other liquid, gases, or solids. ... The heat exchange interface may further interface with phase-change materials either directly or indirectly to allow for thermal storage driven by the radiative properties of the plurality of different materials."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190017758.pdf

Patent application: Thermal receptacle with phase change material

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Booska patent drawing

U.S. patent application 20190014932 (applicant Raymond Booska, Melbourne, Fla.): 

"A liquid receptacle has an inner vessel for holding a liquid, an insulated outer shell spaced from the inner vessel, and a chamber defined between the inner vessel and the outer shell. A phase change material is disposed in the chamber for absorbing thermal energy from the liquid and then releasing the thermal energy back to the liquid to maintain the temperature of the liquid. ... In some versions, a second phase change material is disposed within the second chamber. This phase change material has a phase change temperature different than the first phase change material. The phase change temperature of the second phase change material may be different than the phase change temperature of the first phase change material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190014932.pdf