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 www.puretemp.com/subscribe. For more frequent updates, follow @puretemp on Twitter or visit the Phase Change Matters blog, www.puretemp.com/pcmatters.
So, which PCM product idea was phony?
In 2017’s final issue of Phase Change Matters, we challenged you to identify which of these PCM product ideas was phony: an edible additive for chocolate, a feminine pad with cooling properties, a cooling pad for chickens, a thermally responsive bra and a temperature-controlled shipping container for mosquito eggs.
It was a trick question: All five product ideas were serious inquiries submitted to Entropy Solutions in the past year. Thanks to Holger Böhme, Shaun Mann and Kosheela Poo Palam for submitting answers – and for subscribing to our newsletter. Each will receive a PureTemp temperature-control coffee tumbler.
• Engineers at the University of Southern California and Northrop Grumman have developed a phase change material designed to control temperature swings that can disrupt the performance of satellites. A hybrid structure of silicon and vanadium dioxide works like textured skin to better control the radiation from the body of the satellite.
• Axiom Exergy of Richmond, Calif., is seeking a product engineering intern. It’s a three-month position with the possibility of transitioning to full-time employment. Applicants are asked to answer this bonus question: “Given the choice between pure water and a NaCl-water solution as the thermal energy storage medium in medium temperature (40°F, 4.4°C) refrigeration applications, what are the pros and cons of each material?”
• Spotted on Craigslist this week: 3,000 feet of BioPCM M27 is for sale in San Diego. The title lists a price of $1, but it’s unclear if that’s per unit. In a response to an email seeking more details, the seller described the material as “new in its original packaging” and wrote: “Make me an offer.”
• U.K.-based Sure Chill, whose water-based refrigeration technology is used to keep vaccines cool without the need for grid-based electricity, has been long-listed for a 2018 Ashden Award in the Sustainable Energy and Health category.
• Pelican BioThermal has appointed Dominic Hyde as vice president of Crēdo on Demand.
• Bio Gemüse Wagner, reported to be Germany’s largest organic greenhouse, opened last month in Mühlingen. A 3,000-cubic-meter water tank is used as a thermal battery, storing heat supplied by a nearby biogas installation.
• New from Transparency Market Research: “1-Tetradecanol Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2016 – 2024“
• New from Absolute Reports: “Europe And Regional Bio-Based Advanced Phase Change Materials (PCM) Industry Production, Sales and Consumption Status and Prospects Professional Market Research Report 2018-2023” and “North America and Regional Inorganic Advanced Phase Change Materials (PCM) Industry Production, Sales And Consumption Status and Prospects Professional Market Research Report 2018-2023“
• “Caesar’s Last Breath,” a new book by Sam Kean, details Albert Einstein‘s surprising passion project: a safer (but ultimately impractical) refrigerator.
U.S. patent application 20170370655 (applicant Valeo Systems Thermiques, Le Mesnil St. Denis, France):
“The present invention relates to a thermal battery comprising an enclosure comprising a fluid inlet and outlet and comprising within it an encapsulated phase-change material in the form of at least one tube, at least one tube being wound in a spiral within the enclosure.”
U.S. patent application 20170367850 (applicant American Breast Care LP, Marietta, Ga.):
“In a method of making a breast prosthesis for use by a wearer having a body temperature, a plurality of dissolvable beads is placed into an open back of a breast-shaped mold. The open back of the mold is sealed. A suspension of an uncured silicone rubber liquid  and a plurality of phase change material pellets  is injected into the mold around the beads. The uncured silicone rubber is allowed to cure, thereby forming a breast shape. The phase change material has a latent heat of fusion at a melting point so as to remove heat from the wearer when the body temperature is at least at the melting point. The breast shape is removed from the mold and the dissolvable beads are dissolved from the breast shape.”
U.S. patent application 20170368524 (applicant Coatex, Genay, France):
“The present invention relates to microparticles having a polymeric shell, and also to aqueous dispersions comprising these microparticles. The microparticles having a polymeric shell comprise: a) at least one acrylic copolymer of HASE type; b) at least one solid/liquid phase change material having a phase transition temperature Tf1 of greater than or equal to 20° C.; c) at least one solid/liquid phase change material having a phase transition temperature Tf2 of less than or equal to 30° C., provided that Tf2 is less than Tf1; d) optionally at least one active agent.”
For our full list of recent academic research, see puretemp.com/academic. Here are highlights from the past week:From Applied Energy:
• Energy efficiency of PCM integrated in fresh air cooling systems in different climatic conditions
• Composite phase change materials with good reversible thermochromic ability in delignified wood substrate for thermal energy storage
From Journal of Energy Storage:
• The role of vegetable oil in water based phase change materials for medium temperature refrigeration
From Construction and Building Materials:
• Performance analysis of incorporating phase change materials in asphalt concrete pavements
From Journal of Power Sources:
• Electric vehicles batteries thermal management systems employing phase change materials
From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:
• D-mannitol for medium temperature thermal energy storage
• Silica fume/capric acid-palmitic acid composite phase change material doped with CNTs for thermal energy storage
From Solar Energy:
• Microencapsulated n-alkane eutectics in polystyrene for solar thermal applications
From Energy Procedia:
• Thermal impact study of a bio-based wall coupled with an inner PCM layer
• Phase change materials for improving the building thermal inertia
• Thermal behavior in dynamic regime of a multilayer roof provided with two phase change materials in the case of a local conditioned
From Thermochimica Acta:
• Prediction of the Properties of Eutectic Fatty Acid Phase Change Materials
From Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing:
• Synthesis and characterization of beeswax-tetradecanol-carbon fiber/expanded perlite form-stable composite phase change material for solar energy storage
• An energy-efficient composite by using expanded graphite stabilized paraffin as phase change material
More than 1,100 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. New members include Karin Peterson, business development manager at Encapsys, Appleton, Wis.; Nesrin Elmehy, owner and general manager at NM Atelier Design Studio, Cairo, Egypt; and Shaun Mann, R&D manager, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association Inc., Denver, Colo.