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.
• Pluss Advanced Technologies of India has won a Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises award for successful commercialization of the MiraCradle, a low-cost passive cooling device for treating newborns suffering from birth asphyxia. India’s president, Pranab Mukherjee, presented the award Thursday at a National Technology Day event in New Delhi. The device uses two types of form-stable inorganic phase change materials.
• Energy Storage North America is seeking nominations for its 2017 Innovation Awards. Thermal storage projects are eligible. Winners will be honored at ESNA’s annual conference and expo, Aug. 8-10 in San Diego, Calif. The deadline for entering is June 2.
• Sonoco ThermoSafe has expanded the Certis brand of one-way shipping solutions to include a two-day platform for the distribution of pharmaceutical and biological products. Like its three- and five-day predecessors, the Certis 2-Day Platform employs the same pack-out for 2-8° C, 15-25° C and frozen shipments. It uses just four shippers and three types of phase change material to create 12 shipping solutions.
• Entropy Solutions, maker of PureTemp phase change materials, will be among the companies honored with a Eureka! Innovation Award at a reception in June. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal awards program, now in its fourth year, recognizes “game-changing” Minnesota businesses in energy, manufacturing, media, health care, product design, engineering, architecture and other categories.
• SupplyChainBrain recently spoke with supply chain executives about the tools, talents and techniques needed to create accurate and responsive demand forecasts. Jane Kaiser, director of North American supply chain planning for Monsanto, cites collaborative forecasting as one way suppliers and customers can succeed. “It’s a question of [better] data mining, being truthful with each other, talking to one another,” said Kaiser.
• As air freight rates remain high and capacity tightens, more temperature-sensitive medicines are moving by ocean freight, writes Cathy Roberson of Logistics Trends & Insights.
• New from QYResearch: “Global Phase Change Materials Market Forecast 2017.”
• The agenda for the Expert Forum for VDI Guideline 2164, set for June 20 in Düsseldorf, is now available. Several members of the RAL Quality Association PCM will present lectures. Dr. Bernd Boiting, chairman of the VDI 2164 committee, will give a brief overview of the guidelines. Other speakers include Esther Kieseritzky of Rubitherm; Marco Schmidt of BASF; and Stefan Thomann, managing director of the quality association. The Association of German Engineers‘ building and building technology group (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure, or VDI) will host the meeting. VDI Guideline 2164 defines the fundamentals for latent-heat storage systems in German buildings. To register for the forum, visit https://www.vdi.de/technik/fachthemen/bauen-und-gebaeudetechnik/artikel/berechenbarer-einsatz-von-phasenwech-selmaterialen.
• A seminar titled “PCM and Thermal Energy Storage: Characterization of TES Materials by Thermal Analysis, Calorimetry and Thermal Conductivity” will be held in Milan and Naples next week. The free seminar, presented by Automation Ltd. in collaboration with Milan Polytechnic and others, will focus on how the thermal analysis, calorimetric and thermal conductivity methods can be used to investigate the different TES techniques and to characterize the transitions or reactions of typically used materials (fatty acids, paraffins, organic substances, inorganic salts, adsorbents, clathrates).
• In a piece written for North American Clean Energy, Axiom Exergy‘s Ryan Anderson outlines the advantages of thermal energy storage systems. Saltwater-based systems, he writes, avoid “many of the often hidden, balance of systems costs that electrochemical or flow batteries must account for, such as power converters, fire suppression, and interconnection charges/regulatory time.”
• Driven by consumer demand, “a flurry of bio-based, compostable and biodegradable products is making its way from research and development labs to market,” reports GreenBiz.com. The U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s BioPreferred Program says the trend is saving millions of barrels of oil and keeping millions metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions out of the atmosphere.
U.S. patent application 20170131014 (applicant Sonoco Development Inc., Hartsville, S.C.):
“Temperature controlled cargo containers may include thermal masses conditioned to temperatures above and/or below a target temperature. Example thermal masses may include plates including phase change materials, such as eutectic materials. One or more fans may be selectively operated to circulate air in the cargo container across one or more of the thermal masses to maintain the temperature within the cargo container within a prescribed temperature band. Some example temperature controlled cargo containers may include refrigeration units and/or heaters for regenerating the thermal masses when receiving power from an external power source and/or may include one or more rechargeable batteries for providing power during transport or storage independent of external power sources.”
U.S. patent application 20170130112 (applicant Outlast Technologies LLC, Golden, Colo.):
“In accordance with one aspect, a material for energy management and peak energy reduction in a building structure, comprises an insulative base material, a first phase change material, and a functional polymeric phase change material that dynamically absorbs and releases heat to adjust heat transfer at or within a temperature stabilizing range. The functional polymeric phase change material has at least one phase change temperature in the range between −10° C. and 100° C. and a phase change enthalpy of at least 5 Joules per gram, the functional polymeric phase change material including a plurality of polymer chains that include a backbone chain and a plurality of side chains, wherein a first portion of the plurality of polymer chains are crosslinked to each other, wherein a second portion of the plurality of polymer chains are crosslinked with the first phase change material and a third portion of the plurality of side chains are mechanically entangled with the inorganic insulative base material.”
U.S. patent application 20170119574 (assignee Imanano Inc., Irvine, Calif.):
“In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, the invention comprises a pliable enclosure  containing a Phase Change Material (PCM) that maintains a nearly constant predetermined temperature while transmitting heat during phase change. The predetermined temperature is maintained which the PCM absorbs heat from the body of the patient , thus maintain the patient’s body temperature at a nearly constant predetermined temperature for as long as the PCM material is transitioning phase. The pliable enclosure, which in an embodiment forms an enclosed volume, may be comprised of a shell which contains the PCM. The shell may be fabricated from polyethylene, polyurethane, or any other pliable material and may further comprise graphene covering on at least one of its surfaces to provide a tough exterior that is resistant to puncture by, for example, hypodermic needles, suture needles, scalpels, or other sharp instruments.”
U.S. patent application 20170125866 (applicant Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc., Erlanger, Ky.):
“A thermally managed electrical supply unit is provided. The unit contains an energy unit comprising a battery or a battery pack; a casing of a porous thermally conductive framework comprising a phase change material on at least one surface of the energy unit; at least one heat flux rectifier unit on the thermally conductive framework casing; wherein a surface of the heat flux rectifier opposite to the PF/PCM casing is subject to cooling. Also provided is a method for thermal management of an energy unit comprising absorption of heat from the energy unit within a phase change material, transfer of the heat energy from the phase change material through a heat flux rectifier and removal of the heat transferred across the heat flux rectifier. The flow of heat across the heat flux rectifier is irreversible and the heat flux rectifier acts as an on/off switch to control the heat flow.”
U.S. patent application 20170121097 (applicant Cold Chain Technologies Inc., Holliston, Mass.):
“Thermally insulated shipping system for use in transporting a pallet-sized payload. In one embodiment, the system includes a plurality of thermally insulating walls arranged to define an interior volume suitable for receiving a pallet-sized payload. The thermally insulating walls include a top wall, a bottom wall, a front wall, a rear wall, a left wall, and a right wall, of which all but the bottom wall include at least two slots facing towards the interior volume. One of the slots is an inner slot that is more proximal to the interior volume, and one of the slots is an outer slot that is more distal to the interior volume. The system also includes a plurality of inner cassettes disposed in at least some of the inner slots and a plurality of outer cassettes disposed in at least some of the outer slots. The inner and outer cassettes include phase-change materials.”
For our full list of recent academic research, see puretemp.com/academic. Here are highlights from the past week:From International Journal of Hydrogen Energy:
• A new hydrogen-based phase change material open-cycle micro engine
From Solar Energy:
• Photovoltaic module temperature stabilization with the use of phase change materials
From Applied Energy:
• A review of salt hydrates for seasonal heat storage in domestic applications
• Experimental investigation of a latent heat storage for solar cooling applications
From Renewable Energy:
• Shape-stabilized composite phase change materials with high thermal conductivity based on stearic acid and modified expanded vermiculite
• Novel CFD-based numerical schemes for conduction dominant encapsulated phase change materials (EPCM) with temperature hysteresis for thermal energy storage applications
From Energy Conversion and Management:
• Performance evaluation of a novel solar photovoltaic–thermal collector with dual channel using microencapsulated phase change slurry as cooling fluid
From RSC Advances:
• Fatty acid eutectic mixtures and derivatives from non-edible animal fat as phase change materials
More than a thousand 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. New members this week include Camille d’Harboullé, business development manager at Villafrance, Munich, Germany; Dinal Perera, graduate research assistant, Montana State University; Jeremiah Crossett, chief technological officer at NRGsim Inc., Portland, Ore.; and Davoud Heidari, postdoctoral researcher at Université de Sherbrooke, Canada. Abhinav Bhaskar, research and development engineer at the Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi, posted a query on PCM modeling:
“We are trying to model solid-liquid phase change and would like to know which software tool is being used by our fellow researchers. We are thinking of using COMSOL multiphysics for our work. Is there an alternative? Has anyone tried any open source tool like ELMER for phase change modeling?”