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Phase Change Matters Newsletter June 9 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,


Ice Bear 20 gets high marks in third-party energy efficiency tests

Ice Energy reports that its Ice Bear 20 home cooling and energy storage system has achieved a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 14.56 when operating like a conventional AC unit. Not bad. But the unit’s Energy Efficiency Ratio when operating in ice cooling mode is a remarkable 150. According to CEO Mike Hopkins, that is “more than three times greater than the next best rating we could find, which is a geothermal system with an EER of 46.” Many wall air conditioners now in use have an EER of around 10.

During off-peak hours, the Ice Bear stores cooling energy 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.

Large-scale manufacturing of the Ice Bear 20 is set to begin this summer to fulfill utility-sponsored programs in California and Massachusetts. Later this year the product will be made available directly to homeowners in California, Hawaii, Australia and the Middle East.


PCM-enhanced table selected for French accelerator program

A table designed to reduce energy costs by absorbing heat when indoor temperatures rise above a comfortable level is among 25 innovations chosen for FAIRE Paris, an accelerator program supporting “innovative urban design and architecture projects” in France. 

Table Climatique“Table Climatique,” designed by Jean-Sébastien Lagrange and Raphaël Ménard, contains microencapsulated Micronal phase change material within triangular folds of lightweight anodized aluminum. The PCM has a melting point of 22º Celsius. It releases heat when temperatures fall below a comfortable level.

“The waved geometry of the conductive aluminum fosters thermal exchanges between the room and the PCMs located inside the Climatic Table,” according to the creators’ website. “The folds of the light-weight sheet of aluminum give also an excellent structural rigidity and carrying strength. Thus, the plateau might have a very large span.”

Ménard and Lagrange hope to develop a line of “zero energy furniture” products based on the table.  


PCM wood flooring concept is finalist for Schweighofer Prize

A Canadian Ph.D. student who wants to develop PCM-enhanced engineered wood flooring is one of six finalists for the 2017 Schweighofer Prize Student Award

Damien Mathis of Laval University in Quebec proposes flooring with a layer of solid-solid PCMs, which would allow the boards to be cut and installed without the risk of leakage associated with solid-liquid PCMs. He envisions a product with four times the thermal mass of standard EWF.

“I’m planning to use new solid-solid PCMs that are currently in development,” he said in an interview. “It’s nonflammable white powder with a PC enthalpy of ~100 J/g.”

The Schweighofer Prize recognizes innovative ideas, technologies, products and services aimed at strengthening Europe’s wood products industry. The winner in the student category, which will be determined in part by online voting, will be honored at an awards ceremony June 20 in Vienna. The top prize: 5,000 euros.  


Temperature maintenance and regulation of vehicle exhaust catalyst systems

U.S. patent application 20170157559 (applicant Ford Global Technologies LLC, Dearborn, Mich.):

“A vehicle exhaust system is provided and comprises a catalyst positioned in an exhaust passage of a vehicle. The catalyst is in the form of a washcoat supported on a substrate. The system includes a phase change material [52] located adjacent to the catalyst to maintain the temperature of the catalyst between engine shut-down and subsequent start-up as well as to regulate the temperature during engine operation. In some embodiments, the phase change material comprises particles of a metal or metal alloy encapsulated in a ceramic material. The metal or metal alloy is adapted to have a phase change that occurs within a temperature range wherein the catalyst is active.”

Heat storage device

U.S. patent application 20170160020 (applicant Linde AG, Munich, Germany):

“A heat storage device for transferring heat indirectly between a fluid and a heat storing medium, and for storing transferred heat, includes a container that surrounds an interior of the container, the heat storing medium being located in this interior. A plurality of vertical tubes are arranged in the interior of the container, each of these tubes being fluidically connected to a vertical header tube by means of a lower end section. Each of the tubes has a plurality of heat transfer fins that contact the heat storing medium. … The heat storage medium can be, in particular, a phase change material (PCM), using which the heat of a fluid, which can be any desired process medium or a process stream, can be stored or liberated at a virtually constant temperature using the latent heat (e.g. in the liquid-solid phase transition).”

Compressed gas energy storage and harvesting system

U.S. patent application 20170160019 (applicant IFP Energies Nouvelles, France ):

“The present invention relates to an AACAES system and method in which balls make it possible to store heat. The heat exchanges are produced by means of at least one radial heat exchanger, in which the balls and a first fluid circulate, the first fluid passing radially through means for circulating the balls. … [Said] heat storage balls are produced in alumina, in metal or by micro or nano capsules of phase change material, such as paraffins, metals or salts. “

Returnable cold chain packaging composite

U.S. patent application 20170158411 (applicant Proprietect LP, Toronto, Canada):

“Provided is a reusable composite container comprising a thermally insulating inner container fitted within a durable outer container. The outer container can also be thermally insulating. In preferred embodiments, the inner container comprises expanded polystyrene and the outer container comprises one or more of expanded polypropylene (EPP), EPS (Polystyrene), EPE (Polyethylene), PEPP (porous EPP) and PS/PE (Polystyrene/Polyethylene). The composite container can be used to ship temperature-sensitive payloads such as perishable goods. To ship a payload (e.g., perishable goods) using a composite container 10 with a separable inner container 30 and outer container 20, the payload is first placed inside of the inner container 30 along with cooling means (e.g., ice pack, crushed ice, dry ice, PCM (phase change material), etc.).”


Dr. Halime Paksoy, EnerSTOCK 2018 chair, reports that the energy storage conference has received more than 200 abstracts. Acceptance notifications will be sent out at the end of June. The conference will be held April 25-28, 2018, at Cukurova University in Adana, Turkey. 

• A workshop on “Thermal Energy Storage System for Energy Efficient Buildings” will be held June 22 at Ruhr University Bochum in Bochum, Germany. The workshop, which will be conducted in English, is part of the EU-supported project TESSe2b.

• Ryan Adelman, formerly chief commercial officer at Axiom Exergy, is now executive sales director for distributed energy at Direct Energy Business.

• New industry analysis from McKinsey & Co.: “What to do when a specialty chemical business gets commoditized.”

• New from QYResearch Group: “Global Thermal Energy Storage Sales Market Report 2017

KOTUG International BV has been nominated for a Maritime Innovation Award for its zero-emission heat recycling system, which uses phase change material to store and regenerate heat on tugboats. The annual award is presented by Netherlands Maritime Technology.

• Dutch food supplier Huuskes is using BoTemp‘s “Cold Battery” in cold chain logistics.
The refrigerated transport system, which does not require continuous electrical power, uses phase change material to remove heat in the cargo space and maintain a temperature anywhere from -20º C to +4º C.

Two new varieties of oil palm developed in Indonesia will increase crude palm oil yields by up to double current levels, says SMART Tbk, a subsidiary of Golden-Agri Resources. The two clones of oil palm planting material – called Eka 1 and Eka 2 – were approved for use in April by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture. The new varieties also have a quicker time to harvest – 24 months – compared to the industry average of 30 months.

Sunamp Ltd.‘s PCM heat battery system was featured in a BBC News piece this week: “From hand-warmer to house-warmer for tech firm.”


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

From International Journal of Refrigeration:

Experimental phase diagram of the dodecane-tridecane system as phase change material in cold storage

From Building and Environment:

Effect of PCM cool roof system on the reduction in urban heat island phenomenon

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

Two components based polyethylene glycol/thermosetting solid-solid phase change material composites as novel form stable phase change materials for flexible thermal energy storage application
Corrosion of steel alloys in eutectic NaCl+Na2CO3 at 700 °C and Li2CO3 + K2CO3 + Na2CO3 at 450 °C for thermal energy storage
Characterization of wastes based on inorganic double salt hydrates as potential thermal energy storage materials

From Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews:

Passive cooling of buildings with phase change materials using whole-building energy simulation tools: A review

From Energy:

Design optimization method for tube and fin latent heat thermal energy storage systems

From Applied Energy:

Simulation-based optimization of PCM melting temperature to improve the energy performance in buildings

From Energy and Buildings:

Energy assessment of a novel dynamic PCMs based solar shading: results from an experimental campaign

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Improving Thermal Characteristics and Stability of Phase Change Material Containing TiO2 Nanoparticles after Thermal Cycles for Energy Storage


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.

You are invited to join the group and connect with PCM and TES experts from around the world. This week we welcome Anna Muizis, environmental engineer at QINOUS GmbH, Berlin; Purav Patel, founder/owner at Valor Industries GELID, Ahmedabad, India; and Yushan Gao, sales and marketing coordinator at C-Therm Technologies Ltd., Canada.