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.
• Ice Energy of Santa Barbara, Calif., has signed a distribution agreement with Fuji Bridex Pte Ltd. Under the agreement, Fuji Bridex will market, install and service Ice Energy’s commercial and residential ice-based thermal energy systems across Singapore, Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia.
• Pluss Advanced Technologies of Gurgaon, India, announced on LinkedIn this week that its PronGO insulated food bag is now available in 13 states across India and has “moved over 150 metric tons of #frozen and #chilled foods safely every month.” The bag, right, uses PCM cooling pouches to keep perishable foods cool for up to eight hours and frozen foods frozen for up to five hours.
• 1414 Degrees of Australia fired up the burners for the first time at its gas thermal energy storage system at the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant in Adelaide this week. The system will enable South Australia Water to time-shift the use of its biogas to produce electricity and heat on demand, rather than use the biogas as it is generated.
• Registration is open for the 5th International Conference on Industrial Waste Heat Valorisation May 21-22 in Kortrijk, Belgium. Among the topics: “Thermal storage technologies for medium and high temperatures,” “Thermal (heat and cold) storage in industrial processes,” “Thermal storage in P2H2P (Power to Heat to Power)” and “Increase flexibility of your energy system by adding thermal storage.”
• Alexium International Group Ltd. this week announced that it has entered into a supply agreement with an unnamed “multi-billion dollar North American manufacturer of mattresses.” Alexium says the agreement makes it “the preferred supplier of phase change material (PCM) products for textile applications to its bedding products with the intent to form a strategic partnership.”
• Brooklyn Bedding‘s new Aurora hybrid mattress features PCM “gel beads” that melt and solidify as needed to maintain a comfortable temperature. A reviewer for the Stamford Advocate gives the mattress high marks: “While I admittedly didn’t take a thermometer to bed with me, I can say that this technology isn’t marketing fluff — it actually worked for me. I never overheated, and neither did my partner who tends to sleep much hotter than I do.”
• MIT researchers have developed thin polymer films that conduct heat better than ceramics and many metals, including steel. “We think this result is a step to stimulate the field,” says Gang Chen, the Carl Richard Soderberg Professor of Power Engineering at MIT, and a senior co-author on the paper. “Our bigger vision is, these properties of polymers can create new applications and perhaps new industries, and may replace metals as heat exchangers.”
• Matthias Wuttig, a professor at RWTH Aachen University, was honored by the Materials Research Society as a 2019 Fellow for making “path-breaking contributions to the advancement of phase-change materials, including unraveling their unique bonding mechanism, unconventional transport properties and unusual kinetics.” The society, founded in 1973, has more 14,500 members who are material experts from industry, academia and national labs.
• Posted by Warmilu founder Grace Hsia on LinkedIn this week: “So honored Doctors Without Borders is piloting the Warmilu infant warming incubator blankets in Bangladesh. Thank you again to the whole Doctors Without Borders team and the Warmilu team stepping up to support infant healthcare initiatives. It was a great honor to be an abstract presenter at Doctors Without Borders MSF 2019 International Paediatric Days! We just saw the abstract published in ResearchGate and two of my personal + career dreams have finally come true: working with Doctors Without Borders and being published! Huge thank you to the whole MSF Scientific Committee and to Dr. Nadia Lafferty for your words of wisdom and amazing insights.” Warmilu’s IncuBlanket uses packs filled with sodium acetate trihydrate to keep infants warm for up to five hours.
PCM composites and methods of manufacture thereof
U.S. patent application 20190127620 (applicant Rogers Corp., Chandler, Ariz.):
“A composite includes a polymer; and a phase-change composition including an unencapsulated first phase-change material, and an encapsulated second phase-change material. … A method of manufacturing the composite or the article includes combining the polymer or a prepolymer composition optionally including a solvent, the unencapsulated first phase-change material, the encapsulated second phase-change material, and optionally an additive to form a mixture; forming an article from the mixture; and optionally removing the solvent to manufacture the composite.”
Eco-friendly ice pack to be easily separated and discharged
U.S. patent application 20190128585 (inventors Jung Kyun Na and Seok Choi, Hwaseong-si, South Korea):
“Disclosed herein is an eco-friendly ice pack, which includes a water repellent material that maintains the shape of the ice pack and does not absorb a refrigerant, so that it can be easily separately discharged after use of the ice pack. In accordance with the present invention, the above and other objects can be accomplished by the provision of an eco-friendly ice pack including a refrigerant including a phase change material changing phase according to temperature, an outer case including the refrigerant and being formed by sealing in order to prevent the refrigerant from being discharged to the outside, and a water repellent supporter being disposed in the outer case, holding the shape of the ice pack to prevent the shape of the ice pack from being changed according to the shape of the refrigerant, and having water repellency to the refrigerant to avoid mixing with the refrigerant.”
Thermal barrier for a battery
U.S. patent application 20190131675 (applicant Hutchinson SA, Paris, France):
“A thermal barrier to maintain the temperature of a battery. The barrier comprises elements with respectively cold and hot PCM materials, and elements, thermal isolators, arranged at least in case of some between two of the PCM material elements. … With regard to the hot and cold PCM elements respectively, for two types of batteries for example, operating favourably at between 25° C. and 35° C. and between 45° C. and 55° C. (all to within 15%), it will in particular be possible to use encapsulated PCMs (typically microencapsulated) in a porous, open-pore matrix, preferably of the elastomer type, such as based on NBR and HNBR silicone.”
For our full list of recent academic research, see puretemp.com/academic. Here are highlights from the past week:From Journal of Energy Storage:
• Performance comparison of four spherically encapsulated phase change materials for medium temperature domestic applications
From International Journal of Thermal Sciences:
• Exploration of a thermal therapy respirator by introducing a composite phase change block into a commercial mask
From Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews:
• Review on nanoporous composite phase change materials: Fabrication, characterization, enhancement and molecular simulation
• The Effect of Phase Change Materials on the Physical, Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Cement
From Applied Energy:
• High energy-density and power-density thermal storage prototype with hydrated salt for hot water and space heating
From Journal of Thermal Science and Engineering Applications:
• Thermal Cycling of Calcium Chloride Hexahydrate With Strontium Chloride as a Phase Change Material for Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Applications in a Nondifferential Scanning Calorimeter Set-Up
• Numerical Investigation of Scheffler Concentrator Receiver for Steam Generation Using Phase Change Material
• Solar Thermal Energy Storage Using Paraffins as Phase Change Materials for Air Conditioning in the Built Environment
From Reactive and Functional Polymers:
• Design and fabrication of pH-responsive microencapsulated phase change materials for multipurpose applications
From Advances in Fluid and Thermal Engineering:
• Experimental Investigation on a Solar Thermal Energy Packed Bed Sensible Heat Storage Combined with Latent Heat Storage
From Bulletin of Materials Science:
• Development of an acetanilide/benzoic acid eutectic phase change material based thermal energy storage unit for a passive water heating system
From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:
• Solidification performance of a latent heat storage unit with innovative longitudinal triangular fins
Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn
More than 1,450 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. This week we welcome Pat Hadnett, owner of Valleywide Plumbing, San Jose, Calif.; Simona Fried, LEED Green Associate, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Mukund Vijay, senior mechanical engineer at Akruta, San Jose, Calif.; and Michael Beatty, data center facilities consultant, Harrisburg, Penn.