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.
Registration is open for the 6th Swiss Symposium Thermal Energy Storage, to be held in Lucerne, Switzerland, on Jan. 25, 2019. The symposium will focus on seasonal storage systems and the sector coupling of power and heat. So far, five speakers have been confirmed:
• Dan Bauer, research area manager for thermal energy systems with phase change, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Stuttgart, Germany.
• Peter Schossig, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Germany.
• Colin Pulham, head of school of chemistry, University of Edinburgh, U.K.
• Yulong Ding, director of the Birmingham Center for Energy Storage, University of Birmingham, U.K.
• Aris de Groot, founder and director of Ecovat Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage, Eindhoven, Netherlands.
The registration fee is 300 Swiss francs. Lunch is included. The 2018 symposium drew more than 100 participants.
U.S. patent application 20180313613 (applicant Hutchinson, Paris, France):
“An assembly having a structure provided with an interior volume in which is present for example at least one fluid capable of circulating in said volume and under the action of circulation means. Thermally insulating elements of VIP construction are arranged around a layer containing a PCM and extending around the peripheral wall that surrounds the volume. Protrusions fixed to the peripheral wall delimit spaces in which the thermally insulating elements are positioned. A sleeve extends around the protrusions and the insulating elements.”
U.S. patent application 20180313578 (applicant David Kreutzman, Louisville, Colo.):
“Provided herein are systems and methods directed to using renewable energy sources with hot water heating systems. The system and method provide for interconnecting a single electrical heating element of a hot water heater to first and second electrical power sources. … To achieve additional heat storage, the inventors have recognized it would be beneficial to include a fusion pack with the water heater. The fusion pack [150[ is formed of a phase change material that is adapted to melt and solidify at a predetermined temperature.”
U.S. patent application 20180313080 (applicant Schmetzer Industries Holdings Pty. Ltd., Hornsby, Australia):
“A material arrangement for insulating a building structure in an installed condition, the material arrangement including first and second flexible polymer foam layers and a flexible phase change material layer between the first and second flexible polymer foam layers, and at least one flexible reflective layer extending over at least one of the first and second flexible polymer foam layers. A method of forming and installing such a material arrangement is also disclosed.”
• Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and Universidad de La Rioja have created a system capable of storing solar energy for extended periods. The Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage system uses a molecular photo switch made from carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. Sunlight turns the molecule into an energy-rich isomer. The isomer can be stored in a liquid form to be used for heating at night or in winter. “The energy in this isomer can now be stored for up to 18 years. And when we come to extract the energy and use it, we get a warmth increase which is greater than we dared hope for,” said Kasper Moth-Poulsen, professor at Chalmers.
• New research at California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reveals how an unusual type of ice known as Ice VII can form at speeds over 1,000 miles per hour. “This ice type was only discovered occurring naturally in March, trapped inside diamonds deep underground,” reports Science Alert, “and this latest study looks in detail at how exactly it takes shape – apparently in a way that’s completely different to how water usually freezes into ice.”
• A research team at the Graz University of Technology, Austria, has combined the advantages of pumped storage technology and heat storage using water as a medium in a hybrid storage concept called “hot-water pumped storage hydropower.” The new system stores and supplies electricity, heat and cooling energy.
• The U.S. Department of Energy‘s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has openings for program directors, tech-to-market advisors and two-year fellowships.
• Registration is open for the 2019 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, to be held in Denver, Colo., July 8-10. Now in its 10th year, the annual conference and technology showcase “brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways.”
• A full agenda is available for the World Bio Markets conference, to be held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, April 1-3. Speakers include Rolf Hogan, executive director, Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials; Chris Sayner, vice president customer alliances, corporate sustainability, Croda; and Davide Bragholi, project manager, environmental innovations, Tetra Pak.
• Registration is open for the inaugural Thermal Materials Summit to be held in Los Angeles on May 2. This technical forum will explore the latest advancements in thermal interface materials for professionals working in aerospace, automotive, telecom, batteries and other fields. Presentation proposals are due by Dec. 7.
• Ecozen Solutions of India is one of five finalists in Rabobank’s inaugural Food Loss Challenge Asia. The competition aims to identify innovative ag-tech start-ups working to solve farm-to-market food loss problems. The finalists will present their solutions to a panel of judges at Rabobank’s annual Asia Food & Agribusiness advisory board meeting in Singapore later this month. Ecozen makes portable solar cold rooms for small farms, using a thermal storage unit that can store power for more than 36 hours in case of cloudy or rainy weather.
For our full list of recent academic research, see puretemp.com/academic. Here are highlights from the past week:From Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry:
• Preparation and characterization of novel form stable phase change materials based on stearic acid
From Construction and Building Materials:
• Thermal performance enhancement of organic phase change materials using spent diatomite from the palm oil bleaching process as support
From Journal of Facade Design and Engineering:
• Modelling Envelope Components Integrating Phase Change Materials (PCMs) with Whole-Building Energy Simulation Tools: A State of the Art
From Renewable Energy:
• Two side serpentine flow based photovoltaic-thermal-phase change materials (PVT-PCM) system: Energy, exergy and economic analysis
From Advanced Functional Materials:
• Thermally Conductive Phase Change Composites Featuring Anisotropic Graphene Aerogels for Real‐Time and Fast‐Charging Solar‐Thermal Energy Conversion
From Indoor and Built Environment:
• The year-round thermal performance of a new ventilated Trombe wall integrated with phase change materials in the hot summer and cold winter region of China
• Solar thermal energy storage based on sodium acetate trihydrate phase change hydrogels with excellent light-to-thermal conversion performance
From Advances in Material Science and Engineering:
• Shape Stability of Polyethylene Glycol/Acetylene Black Phase Change Composites for Latent Heat Storage [pdf]
From Solar Energy:
• Energy performance comparison of concentrated photovoltaic – Phase change material thermal (CPV-PCM/T) system with flat plate collector (FPC)
From Cogent Engineering:
• Evaluation of a concrete-graphite hybrid mixture for low-cost thermal energy storage material
More than 1,380 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 Ankit Jhanwar, vice president for corporate planning and strategy at Pluss Advanced Technologies, Gurgaon, India; Tim Craig, head of HVAC systems engineering at MAHLE, Buffalo, N.Y.; Rakesh Yedla, senior application engineer at 3M Co., Staffordshire, U.K.; and Yulong Ding, Highview-RAEng chair of cryogenic energy storage and director of Birmingham Centre of Cryogenic Energy Storage at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, U.K.