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Phase Change Matters Newsletter Feb 24 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,


PCM makers discuss formation of North American association

Representatives of several U.S.-based PCM makers held a conference call this week to begin discussion of a proposed North American PCM manufacturers association. 

Entropy Solutions, Insolcorp, Phase Change Energy Solutions, Microtek Laboratories and representatives of companies in related industries, including Cold Chain Technologies, were among the participants. 

The effort, initiated at a thermal mass workshop in Florida last fall, is spearheaded by Dr. Jan Kosny of the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems. He is compiling a list of all potential member companies. Please contact him at if you wish to join the discussion.


Ice Energy developing line of ice batteries for commercial refrigeration

Ice Energy plans to introduce a line of ice-based thermal energy storage systems for the commercial refrigeration market. The new Polar Bear line, under development at the company’s IdeaLAB in Riverside, Calif., is designed for supermarkets and the general commercial refrigeration market.

A variety of Polar Bear models will support a range of storage capacities and application needs. They are expected to be available by the end of this year. No word yet on pricing.

The company says the systems will enable businesses with large refrigeration-based energy loads to reduce their peak electricity demand by up to 95 percent, shifting six hours of a building’s refrigeration-based peak load to cheaper off-peak hours. 

“The Polar Bear ice battery will seamlessly integrate with existing supermarket or commercial refrigeration systems,” the company said in a press release. “It will also provide a smart-grid controller to monitor energy use and control performance.”

Axiom Exergy and Viking Cold Solutions also offer load-shifting systems for the large-scale refrigeration market. Axiom, of Richmond, Calif., says its saltwater-based “refrigeration battery” can save customers up to 40 percent in energy use during peak hours. Viking, of Houston, Texas, has reported that its PCM-based technology showed reductions in electricity consumption of 30 percent and 39 percent in two low-temperature cold storage facilities in the San Diego area.


Refrigeration system with PCM heat exchanger

U.S. patent application 20170051954 (applicant Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, Georgia):

Coca-Cola patent drawing“The present application provides a refrigeration system. The refrigeration system may include a compressor and a condenser downstream of the compressor. The condenser may include a refrigerant tube (550), an outer jacket (510) surrounding the refrigerant tube, and a phase change material positioned between the refrigerant tube and the outer jacket and in contact with the refrigerant tube. … The phase change material heat exchanger (500) may include a heat source, a phase change material surrounding the heat source in whole or in part, and an outer jacket surrounding the phase change material. The phase change material removes heat when the heat source is on by melting and releases heat to the ambient when the heat source is off by solidifying.” 

PCMs comprising alkanolamides and diesters

U.S. patent application 20170044414 (applicant Entropy Solutions LLC, Plymouth, Minn.):

“This invention generally relates to thermoregulation and temperature stabilization, thermal protection and insulation, and nucleating agents. In particular, in alternative embodiments, provided are organic phase change materials comprising diesters and alkanolamides. In alternative embodiments, provided are Phase Change Material (PCMs) compositions comprising diesters and alkanolamides, and methods for making and using them. In alternative embodiments, the Phase Change Material (PCMs) compositions are used for thermal energy management, including energy storage and/or temperature stabilization, in various applications such as building, automotive, packaging, garment and footwear, textiles, fabrics, synthetic fibers, foods, microcapsules and other energy storage systems.”

Method for producing a latent heat storage device Siemens patent drawing

U.S. patent application 20170051984 (applicant Siemens AG, Munich, Germany):

“A method for producing a latent heat accumulator may include filling a can body (2) with a phase-change material (10) in the liquid or solid aggregate state, and closing the can body filled with said solid or liquid phase-change material by flanging such that fluid cannot pass through. … One embodiment provides a method for producing a latent heat storage device, wherein a phase-change material in the liquid or solid state is introduced into a can body, and wherein the can body filled with the solid or liquid phase-change material is closed in a fluid-tight manner by seam rolling.”

Systems, methods and devices for building envelope system

U.S. patent application 20170051501 (assignee Mark G. Miller Inc., Layton, Utah)

“A building envelope system includes several elements that aid in reducing heat transfer. Panels combining insulation and radiant barrier materials, a weather-resistant textile (e.g., canvas) cover, tube insulation, a vestibule and strip curtains can all contribute to reducing heat transfer and, correspondingly, reducing energy requirements for heating and/or cooling. The panel can include a tongue and groove or similar (e.g., dovetail) coupling allowing two panels to mate. The panel can include a top insulation layer, top air gap layer(s), radiant barrier layer(s), bottom air gap layer(s), phase change insulation layer(s) and a bottom insulation layer. By including an air gap on both sides of the radiant barrier, the radiant barrier is effective at reducing heat transfer in and out of the shelter.”


• The global microencapsulation market is expected to reach $17.94 billion by 2025, according to a new report from Grand View Research. Microtek Laboratories, Encapsys, BASF and Aveka Inc. are among the companies profiled in the report, “Microencapsulation Market Estimates & Trend Analysis By Application (Pharmaceutical, Household Product, Agrochemical, Food Additive, Phase Change Material), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, RoW), And Segment Forecasts, 2014 – 2025

• New from QYResearch: “China Bio-Based Phase Change Materials Market Research Report 2017

• New from Transparency Market Research: “Reusable Ice Packs Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2016-2024

• A Rochester Institute of Technology study casts a shadow on the economics of residential solar-plus-storage. The conclusion: A customer must face high electricity bills and unfavorable net metering or feed-in policies for “grid defection” to work. 

A one-day workshop on energy storage for building, solar and wind sectors will be held March 4 at Anna University in Chennai, India. Topics include integration of PCMs for passive cooling in buildings, energy-efficient cool thermal energy storage systems and thermal energy storage technologies for solar applications.

The National Law Review has posted a detailed update on implementation of the newly revised Toxic Substances Control Act. A key takeaway: Resource and budgetary constraints under the Trump administration could have an impact on the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to implement the new provisions.

• The latest issue of Chemical & Engineering News features a piece on “natural catalysts” derived from wild plants, mud and earthworms. 

Samit Jain, director at Pluss Advanced Technologies, talks about his company’s pharma logistics products in an interview with India’s Financial Express.


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

From Journal of Energy Storage:

Performance evaluation and optimization of encapsulated cascade PCM thermal storage

From Powder Technology:

A facile hydrothermal preparation for phase change materials microcapsules with a pliable self-recovering shell and study on its thermal energy storage properties

From Carbohydrate Polymers:

Enhancement the thermo-regulating property of cellulosic fabric using encapsulated paraffins in modified pectin

From Materials Letters:

Form-stable phase change material embedded with chitosan-derived carbon aerogel

From Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry:

Thermal properties characterization of two promising phase change material candidates

From ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering:

Self-assembly synthesis and properties of microencapsulated n-tetradecane phase change materials with calcium carbonate shell for cold energy storage

From Solar Energy:

Effect of a low-cost parabolic reflector on the charging efficiency of an evacuated tube collector/storage system with a PCM
Carbon nanotube/paraffin/montmorillonite composite phase change material for thermal energy storage

From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:

Numerical study on free-surface jet impingement cooling with nanoencapsulated phase-change material slurry and nanofluid
Heat transfer performance and melting dynamic of a phase change material subjected to thermocapillary effects

From Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica:

Synthesis and Properties of Polyurethane/Coal-Derived Carbon Foam Phase Change Composites for Thermal Energy Storage

From Applied Energy:

Evaluation and optimization of melting performance for a latent heat thermal energy storage unit partially filled with porous media


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You are invited to join the group and connect with PCM and TES experts from around the world. New members include Hans d’Achard, senior system architect, TMC-Physics, Netherlands; Carlos Roldan Posada, senior research & engineering specialist, Kimberly-Clark, Colombia; and Ram Kumar Veeraragavan, research assistant at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts.