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Phase Change Matters Newsletter Feb 10 2017

The Phase Change Matters e-mail newsletter is a weekly summary of the latest news and research on phase change materials and thermal energy storage. To subscribe, visit For more frequent updates, follow @puretemp on Twitter or visit the Phase Change Matters blog,


Technically speaking, PCM-infused lingerie exudes an air of mystery

Giapenta‘s beautiful new line of PCM-infused lingerie features soft, breathable mesh, delicate appliques and natural, moisture-wicking fabrics. As far as technical details, though, the brand’s founder has decided to leave much to the imagination.

Giapenta modelThe Florida startup, which launched a Kickstarter campaign last month to cover costs of its first production run, says the TempPro fabric used in the lingerie “proactively” pulls heat away to cool the body. Giapenta’s message to consumers:

“Just as you start to get warm, the phase changing materials in the fabric actively pull heat away from your body. Overheating and sweating are reduced. If you do start to get cold, stored heat is released back to you, when you need it the most.”

The company was founded by Kris Strouthopoulos, who managed Sleep Number mattress and bedding stores for 10 years. That’s where she became familiar with temperature-regulating fabrics and materials.

“Women especially would always come up to me to tell me how amazing and life changing the fabric was for them,” she said. “I always thought that if they were getting such an amazing benefit from this technology all night long, why not get the same effects during the day from their undergarments? So that is how we initially got into the lingerie industry and built a team dedicated to infusing technology and smart design solutions into garments to help improve the lives of others.”

Giapenta brasShe and her sister, Marketing VP Elena Strouthopoulos, have been working on the brand for two years. The Kickstarter campaign met its modest target of raising $25,000 in just one day, putting the company on a path to complete the initial production run in Canada by April and ship the first orders in May.

I contacted Kris Strouthopoulos to learn more about the TempPro fabric, which the company says is used throughout the line. What type of phase change material is used? What is its melt point? How is it encapsulated? She politely declined to answer any questions of a technical nature, saying such information is proprietary. Fair enough. We’ll leave that to the imagination.


Energy harvesting, heat managing, multi-effect therapeutic garment

U.S. patent application 20170035605 (applicant New York Knitworks, New York, N.Y.):

“An energy harvesting, heat managing, multi-effect therapeutic garment, defining an inner surface and an outer surface, seamlessly knitted using a predetermined number of yarns is provided. The yarns for constructing the therapeutic garment are selected from a yarn that absorbs, stores, and releases heat energy through a phase change, yarns that convert heat energy and ultra violet radiation energy into far infrared radiation energy and radiate the far infrared radiation energy to other yarns and to a wearer’s body part, a yarn that adsorbs moisture from the wearer’s body part and/or ambient environment and generates heat energy through an exothermic reaction, a heat insulting and hydrophobic yarn, and a heat conductive yarn that maintains a uniform temperature within the yarns. The yarns of the therapeutic garment are bundled and knitted to create a uniform surface area distribution of the yarns that contact each other and cover the wearer’s body part.”

Device for heating and cooling the neck

Neck warmer patent drawingU.S. patent application 20170035602 (applicant Schawbel Technologies, Burlington, Mass.):

“The present invention provides devices for cooling and heating an individual’s neck. Devices of the invention include two heating and cooling members that each a contoured surface for resting against a side of a user’s neck and are coupled together via a bridge portion. The members each include a temperature assembly. The temperature assembly includes a heating and cooling module positioned against the contoured surface of the member. The temperature assembly may also include a heat sink, a fan, or both. The device further includes a controller for controlling the temperature assembly. … [In some embodiments, the device] includes a pad designed for transferring hot and cold temps, while maintaining comfort to the user. The pad may be formed from a phase-change material.”

Use of computationally generated thermal energy 

U.S. patent application20170042068 (applicant LO3 Energy, Brooklyn, N.Y.):

“In one aspect, a computing device-implemented method includes receiving at least one triggering event signal from one or more components of a heat recovery system. The method also includes determining, based in part on the at least one triggering event signal, a computation workload assignment to be executed on one or more computation devices. The method further includes sending one or more command signals to the one or more computation devices. The one or more command signals include a portion of the computation workload assignment for execution by the one or more computation devices. The method also includes initiating capture of heat energy to be stored in one or more heat reservoirs, the heat energy being generated by the one or more computation device based upon the computation workload assignment. … [And] one or more heat reservoirs includes a casing made of one or more phase change material. “

Surface infusion of flexible cellular foams with novel liquid gel mixture

U.S. patent application 20170037215 (applicant Peterson Chemical Technology, West Lake Hills, Texas):

“A method of forming a surface-infused gel layer comprising the following steps, not necessarily in this order: making a liquid gel mixture by solvating at least one flexible polymeric carrier in parachlorobenzotrifluoride (PCBTF) solvent; introducing at least one microencapsulated phase change material (MPCM) in the flexible polymeric carrier; infusing at least a portion of the liquid gel mixture into at least one layering substrate to give a product having a surface-infused gel layer on the layering substrate; and at least partially removing the PCBTF solvent from the product.”


Sunamp Ltd. of Scotland has joined the RAL Quality Association PCM, a European-based organization established in 2004 to develop standards for the phase change material industry. Sunamp’s “heat batteries” use phase change material to store energy that can be released on demand to provide heat and hot water. The association has two key objectives: Promote the use of high-quality PCMs and influence the political landscape in the European Union in favor of PCMs. Other RAL members are Croda, BASF, Rubitherm, EMCO, va-Q-tec, PCM Technology, Global Energy Systems Europe, Sasol, Pluss Advanced Technologies and Entropy Solutions.

Malouf CarbonCool pillow• Bedding maker Malouf‘s new CarbonCool Plus OmniPhase pillow combines the temperature-regulation properties of graphite and microencapsulated phase change material. “At the molecular level,” Furniture Today reports, “the material inside the capsules changes from a solid to a liquid when the temperature is high and vice versa when the temperature is low. This continuous cycle is designed keep the pillow surface between 87 and 91 degrees, which research shows is the ideal skin temperature range for deep sleep.” The queen size shown here retails for $299.99.

Ice Energy will join forces with the Southern California Public Power Authority to provide up to 100 Ice Bear 20 cooling units for residential use within the utility’s 12 member territories in 2017. Installations will begin in June. The Ice Bear 20 stores cooling energy during off-peak hours by freezing water in an insulated tank. During peak hours, the company says, the stored ice delivers up to four hours of cooling, reducing the typical peak load by 95 percent. The new deployment is designed to demonstrate the Ice Bear 20’s grid value to utilities. The units will be installed in single-family homes chosen by Ice Energy based on site visits. Homes that need 4-, 5- or 6-ton air-conditioning systems replaced are the likely targets. The utilities will pay for the Ice Bears; it’s unclear at this point who will pay installation costs. If all 100 Ice Bear 20s are purchased, the total cost to the utilities will be $1.33 million (not including installation).

• New from Absolute Reports: “United States Advanced Phase Change Materials (PCM) Market By Manufacturers, States, Type And Application, Forecast To 2022

SPX Flow‘s new FLEX Series refrigerated air dryer uses phase change material to tightly regulate temperatures and reduce compressor cycling.

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is working on a way to produce free-standing candles using vegetable oil instead of paraffin wax, which has been the main raw material for candles for many decades.

Prongo insulin bagPluss Technologies’ PronGo bag, introduced last year for personal transport of frozen and chilled food and beverages, is now being promoted as a way to keep insulin at the right temperature for up to 10 hours. The 3-liter bag comes with two sets of PCM cooling packs. It’s available on for about $52. In an interview with Express Pharma, company director Samit Jain talked about the PronGo and another new product, Celsure, a passive shipper designed to keep pharma products “at the right temperature for 96 hours and beyond at the tropical temperatures that countries like India, South East Asia and Africa have.”

1414 Degrees, the Australian company that has developed a way to store electricity as thermal energy by heating and melting containers full of silicon, is now scaling up the technology and plans to launch the first commercial systems this year. Executive Chairman Kevin Moriarty said the company is waiting for AusIndustry, a division of Australia’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, to sign off on the 10MWh project in February so manufacture can begin. On the financial side, the company says it is preparing for an initial public offering on the Australian Stock Exchange.

• More than half of respondents to a Chemical Watch survey plan to add staff this year for chemical-compliance work related to the Toxic Substances Control Act, Europe’s REACH program and the U.N.’s globally Harmonized System.

CIC Energigune, an energy research center based in the Basque Country of Spain, is seeking to fill the position of scientific director in its thermal energy storage unit. 


For our full list of recent academic research, see Here are highlights from the past week:

From Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews:

A review on encapsulation techniques for inorganic phase change materials and the influence on their thermophysical properties
Phase equilibrium in the design of phase change materials for thermal energy storage: State-of-the-art

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Investigating the impact of Cp-T values determined by DSC on the PCM-CFD Model
Performance of a Finned, Latent-Heat Storage System for Solar Thermal Power Application

From Applied Energy:

Impact of periodic flow reversal of heat transfer fluid on the melting and solidification processes in a latent heat shell and tube storage system
The effects of flake graphite nanoparticles, phase change material, and film cooling on the solar still performance
A quick-fix design of phase change material by particle blending and spherical agglomeration

From Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers:

Phase-change heat transfer in a cavity heated from below: The effect of utilizing single or hybrid nanoparticles as additives

From Energy:

Field evaluation of microencapsulated phase change material slurry in ground source heat pump systems

From Renewable Energy:

Numerical studies on thermal and electrical performance of a fully wetted absorber PVT collector with PCM as a storage medium
Glass encapsulated phase change materials for high temperature thermal energy storage

From SAE World Congress Experience:

Integration and Validation of Thermal Energy Storage System for Electric Vehicle Cabin Heating

From Engineering Technology International Conference 2016:

Preparation and characterization of form-stable paraffin/polycaprolactone composites as phase change materials for thermal energy storage


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than a thousand of your peers 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.

LinkedIn logoYou are invited to join the group and connect with PCM and TES experts from around the world. New members this week include Wang Xuezhen, who recently earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas; and Ronan Guillermic, export sales manager at FAFCO SA, United Arab Emirates.