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Phase Change Matters Newsletter July 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,


Thermal energy battery with enhanced heat exchange capability

U.S. patent application 20170205152 (applicant Promethean Power Systems Inc., Somerville, Mass.):

Thermal storage battery patent drawing“This invention provides a thermal energy battery having an insulated tank contains a multitude of densely packed plastic tubes filled with a phase-change material (PCM, such as ice) that changes from solid to liquid and vice-versa. Energy is stored when the PCM transitions from liquid to solid form, and released when the PCM transitions back from solid to liquid form. The tubes are arranged vertically, span the height of a well-insulated tank, and are immersed in heat transfer fluid (HTF) contained within the tank. The HTF is an aqueous solution with a freezing point temperature below the freezing point temperature of the chosen PCM. The HTF remains in liquid form at all times during the operation of the battery. Diffusers located allow the HTF to be extracted uniformly from the tank, pumped and cooled by a liquid chiller situated outside the tank and then and inserted back into the tank.”

Water heater with thermally isolating preheater

U.S. patent application 20170205114 (inventor Benjamin Thomas Knopp, Henrico, Va.):

“A water heater includes a thermally isolating preheater using a phase change material for increased efficiency. Cold water passes through the preheater and is heated using the phase change material therein. Due to the preheater, heated water is supplied to the water contained in the water heater storage tank.”

Refrigerator having a water dispensing assembly and a PCM

U.S. patent application 20170203948 (applicant BSH Hausgeraete GMBH, Munich, Germany):

“A refrigerator includes a liquid dispensing assembly having a dispensing reservoir for holding liquid and a dispensing unit for dispensing a cold drink containing the liquid. At least one wall of the dispensing reservoir includes a phase change material and/or at least one element including a phase change material is integrated into the dispensing reservoir.”

Method for determining the remaining life of thermal mass in a package

U.S. patent application 20170206497 (applicant Klatu Networks LLC, Poulsbo, Wash.):

“A shipping container is described for use with methods for monitoring and controlling shipment of a temperature controlled material and determining the remaining useful life of a Thermal Source [such as phase change material] contained within the shipping container. The container comprises an inner enclosure adapted to carry one or more commodities during shipment, a bladder conformed to the inner surface of the inner chamber, or a plate upon which commodities are place, and instrumented with at least one transducer and at least one processing device configured to receive measurements from the at least one transducer. The processing device communicates the measurements to a networked device upon detecting the presence of a network. The networked device may transmit commands to the processing device that causes the processing device to adjust a configuration parameter.”


GoSun solar stove• The makers of the GoSun portable stove, which uses solar energy to bake, roast or steam food at temperatures up to 290° C, have raised nearly $400,000 from investors on The stove initially used high-temperature phase change material to store the sun’s energy. “We abandoned the PCM a couple years ago after we started doing testing with it,” said GoSun’s Matt Gillespie. He said the material did not match the performance promised by the PCM maker, degrading “significantly” after just a few cycles. The current design uses compound parabolic reflectors and a horizontal vacuum tube to convert nearly 80 percent of sunlight into usable heat. The Cincinnati company has sold 10,000 stoves online and in retail outlets such as Home Depot, REI and Cabela’s. GoSun plans to use the SeedInvest funds to support continued growth. 

• A “new paradigm” is evolving in the pharma cold chain to address the rapid advance in cellular and genetic therapies that require extremely low temperatures, Pharmaceutical Commerce reports.  

Bio-based chemical processes that include a thermochemical conversion step are finding favor as early forms of industrial bio-based processing mature, Chemical Processing reports.

• New from Accuray Research: “Global Thermal Energy Storage (TES) Market Analysis & Trends – Industry Forecast to 2025” 

• New from QYResearch: “Global High Temperature Phase Change Materials Market Research Report 2017

• New from Future Market Insights: “Smart Fabrics Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2016-2026

• The University of Warwick has posted an opening for a Ph.D. studentship in thermal energy storage. The 3.5-year research position is open to candidates from the United Kingdom and European Union.  

Sonoco ThermoSafe has posted an opening for a regional sales manager

Creative Ticking of Gastonia, N.C., has announced two new PCM-based cooling technologies. Kyla treatments can be applied to fabrics at different levels depending on the desired cooling level, the company said. Kyla+ is a specially designed yarn that “is durable enough to withstand repeated washing without losing any cooling effects.” Creative Ticking is the bedding specialty division of Beverly Knits.


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

From Results in Physics:

A silicone rubber based composites using n-octadecane/poly (styrene-methyl methacrylate) microcapsules as energy storage particle

From Renewable Energy:

A calcium chloride hexahydrate/expanded perlite composite with good heat storage and insulation properties for building energy conservation

From Materials Science and Engineering:

Review of Phase Change Materials Based on Energy Storage System with Applications
Thermal Analysis of Fluidized Bed and Fixed Bed Latent Heat Thermal Storage System

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Thermal management performances of PCM/Water cooling-plate using for lithium-ion battery module based on non-uniform internal heat source

From Solar Energy:

Performance investigation of a lab-scale latent heat storage prototype – Experimental results

From Energy and Buildings:

Effect of direct evaporative cooling during the charging process of phase change material based storage system for building free cooling application—A real time experimental investigation

From International Journal of Thermal Sciences:

Effect of operating parameters on thermal performance of molten salt packed-bed thermocline thermal energy storage system for concentrating solar power plants

From Thermochimica Acta:

Preparation and Characterization of Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials with Binary Cores and Poly (allyl methacrylate) (PALMA) Shells Used for Thermo-regulated Fibers

From International Journal of Modern Physics B:

Thermal buffering performance of composite phase change materials applied in low-temperature protective garments

From Handbook of Thermal Science and Engineering:

Nanoparticles and Metal Foam in Thermal Control and Storage by Phase Change Materials


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 1,100 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 include David Oliver, materials scientist at Sunamp Ltd., Edinburgh, U.K.; Dr. Ranjith Krishna Pai, principal scientific officer with India’s Ministry of Science & Technology; Vipul Agrawal, market research associate at Mordor Intelligence, Hyderabad, India; and Adie Lee, marketing manager, Alexium International, Greenville, S.C.