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Phase Change Matters Newsletter Nov 4 2016

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,


• Imagine this: Your technology on display at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit early next year. The Technology Showcase is an opportunity to get your innovative energy technology in front of investors and researchers ready to collaborate. There is no fee to apply; the application deadline is Dec. 16.

• The CEGA congress for technical building equipment experts, hosted by Recknagel and VDI, will be held Nov. 29-30 in Baden-Baden, Germany. Dr. Bernd Boiting of the University of Münster will give a lecture about thermal energy storage using phase change material. More than 50 lectures on topics such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and building automation will be presented at the conference, which will be conducted in German.

• On the agenda for the International District Cooling Conference in Dubai Nov. 13-15: Steve Benz of EVAPCO will talk about thermal energy storage types and best practices for optimizing chilled water dispatch. Henry Johnstone of GLHN Architects & Engineers will address the question of managing Delta T in buildings.

Croda, the U.K.-based specialty chemicals company whose product line includes biobased CrodaTherm phase change material, has earned EcoVadis Gold Status for the third year running, placing in the top 1 percent of all chemical companies evaluated. The designation is based on a company’s environmental, labor, fair business and sustainable procurement practices.

• The European Commission has launched a major review of REACH, the European Union’s main chemical safety law, publishing a 43-page questionnaire and asking for public feedback on its strengths and weaknesses.

Pharma Logistics IQ is inviting temperature controlled logistics experts to submit papers four upcoming conferences: Temperature Controlled Logistics Europe, Cold Chain-GDP & Temperature Management Latin America, Cold Chain Canada and Pharma Cold Chain and Temperature Management Summit China. Contact Pharma IQ editor Chanice Henry at

Momentive Performance Materials has introduced ceramic powders designed to improve the thermal conductivity of plastics. The company, based in Waterford, N.Y., says its CoolFX hybrid polymer modifiers can be more cost-effective than traditional boron nitride fillers.

• In a piece in Apparel magazine, Alexium International CEO Nicholas Clark weighs in on “What Flame Retardant Apparel Manufacturers Need to Know About the Lautenberg Act.”

• In an interview in Minnesota Business, Pelican BioThermal‘s Adam Tetz talks about the expansion of the company’s manufacturing capacity in Plymouth. The expansion will support production of single-use temperature-controlled shippers in the United States.

• New from QYResearch: “Global Paraffin Compounds Sales Market Report 2016

A CALMAC thermal energy storage system is being installed at Pueblo’s historic county courthouse in Colorado. The system makes and stores ice at night and then uses it to cool buildings during the day.

ETH Zurich is looking for a licensing or collaboration partner to work on a high-temperature thermal energy storage system that provides active control of the heat-transfer fluid outflow temperature. Possible applications include concentrated solar power plants and advanced adiabatic compressed air energy storage.

ARPA-E will hold a workshop on “Lower Grade Waste Heat Recovery” Dec. 13-14 in the San Francisco area. The workshop will convene experts in waste heat recovery, materials development and novel solid-state materials to identify innovative research paths for the development of lower grade (below 400° C) waste heat recovery systems.

ARPA-E will hold a workshop on “Fuel Cell and Heat Engine Hybrid CHP Systems” on Jan. 26-27, 2017, in the Washington, D.C. area. The workshop will convene experts in fuel cells, heat engines, materials and advanced manufacturing technologies to identify related technological solutions that would help to enable the introduction of highly efficient yet cost-effective commercial-scale combined heat and power systems.

CIC Energigune is seeking candidates for a postdoctoral position in the thermal energy storage group for research focused on materials development and characterization. The research center, based in Spain’s Basque Country, also has openings for a lab technician and a TES group leader. 

• Australia’s National Solar Energy Centre is seeking a Ph.D. student to join a research team studying high-temperature solar thermal energy storage. Areas of research may include novel thermal processes and energy storage systems; process dynamic simulation and integration; and computational modeling of particulate flow.  

GreenTEG has posted a case study explaining how heat flux sensors can help construction planners better understand how phase change materials perform in building materials.

Dr. Barbara Pause, president of Textile Testing and Innovation LLC, talked about the potential for phase change materials in automotive applications at last month’s Industrial Fabric Association International Expo in North Carolina. She presented data showing that PCM embedded in adhesives and fabrics can lower the temperature inside a parked car from as high as 180º F down to under 120º F over a two-hour period.

Cardinal Health Inc. will give a presentation on its award-winning packaging solutions at Pack Expo International in Chicago on Tuesday. The Reusable Packaging Association recently honored Cardinal for its innovative approach to ensuring the safe, efficient and sustainable delivery of refrigerated pharmaceuticals. In partnership with Sonoco ThermoSafe, Cardinal switched from water-based coolant gel packs within its reusable plastic totes to plant-based PureTemp phase change materials. The change helped Cardinal reduce product spoilage by 90 percent.

• New from Wise Guy Reports: “Global Eutectic PCMs Sales Market Report 2016,” “Global Salt Hydrates Sales Market Report 2016,” “Global Inorganic PCMs Sales Market Report 2016,” “Global Non-Paraffin Compounds Sales Market Report 2016” and “Global Paraffin Compounds Sales Market Report 2016.”


On-demand beverage cooler with PCM

U.S. patent application 20160313047 (inventors Avner Sodot and Shaul Hanuna, Israel):

Beverage cooler patent drawing“A beverage cooler includes a heat pump having a cooling element thermally coupled to a negative-heat-energy accumulator. The accumulator (14) includes a heat-energy dispersion arrangement formed from thermally conductive material which is in thermal contact with a quantity of phase-change material having a phase-change temperature above zero Celsius. A conduit for the beverage defines a circuitous path thermally coupled to accumulator. The heat pump draws heat energy predominantly from the phase-change material so as to ensure that a temperature of the phase-change material is reduced by at least as much as the temperature of the beverage within conduit, even under zero-flow conditions. This ensures that the accumulator can he fully charged during periods of low beverage dispensing demand without risk of freezing the beverage within conduit.”

Transportation refrigeration system

U.S. patent application 20160320107 (applicant New West Technologies LLC, Los Angeles, Calif.):

“A thermal energy storage system that enables the discharge of refrigerated air for cooling cargo or passengers in large compartments, such as the trailer of a semi-truck, for a period of time well in excess of several hours. The thermal energy storage system is able to provide refrigeration without operating a conventional VCC unit, the truck engine, or the TRU diesel APU engine during all or a significant portion of the period of the typical range of time that a 53 foot refrigerated the truck is traveling over the road. The thermal energy storage system includes a phase change material reservoir, a cooling system-to-working fluid heat exchanger in fluid communication with the phase change material reservoir, and a phase change material-to-target heat exchanger in fluid communication with the phase change material reservoir. The phase change material reservoir contains a phase change material, a working fluid and a working fluid-to-phase change material heat exchanger.”

Flexible phase change material composite for thermal management systems

U.S. patent application 20160319174 (applicant All Cell Technologies LLC, Chicago, Ill.):

United Technologies patent drawing

“A thermal management composite, comprising a phase change material within a carbon or graphite matrix. The matrix is coated with a polymer coating to improve flexibility. The matrix can be a molded carbon or graphite material or a carbon or graphite cloth. … This invention is directed to phase change material/graphite matrix composites that are widely used in thermal management battery systems, and more particularly to a phase change material/graphite matrix composite material that is compressible and flexible, and that can withstand mechanical stresses without breaking apart or losing thermal contact with cells.”

Gas turbine engine compressor rotor vaporization cooling

U.S. patent application 20160319667 (United Technologies Corp., Hartford, Conn):

“A gas turbine engine rotor includes a rotor that provides a cooling cavity. The cooling cavity has a first chamber and a second chamber that are fluidly connected to one another by a passageway. At least one of the first and second rotor portions is configured to support a blade that is fluidly isolated from the cavity. A phase change material is arranged in the cavity. The phase change material is configured to be arranged in the first chamber in a first state and in the second chamber in the second state. The passageway is configured to carry the phase change material between the second and first chambers once changed between the first and second states.”

Support cushions including a mixed filling

U.S. patent application 20160316929 (applicant Tempur-Pedic Management LLC, Lexington, Ky.):

Tempur-Pedic patent drawing

“A support cushion is provided that makes use of a blend of materials for providing comfort and support to the body of a user. The support cushion includes a filling comprised of a plurality of fibers and a plurality of flexible foam fragments. A sleeve comprised of a flexible foam is also included in the support cushion and encapsulates the filling. … [I]n some embodiments, the liner is comprised of a netting that includes an amount of phase change material, such that the body of a user, or a portion thereof, resting on the pillow is provided with a cooling sensation. “


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

From Applied Energy:

Thermochemical energy storage by consecutive reactions for higher efficient concentrated solar power plants (CSP): Proof of concept

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Development of microencapsulated phase change material for solar thermal energy storage
Three-dimensional numerical study on solid-liquid phase change within open-celled aluminum foam with porosity gradient

From Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews:

Review on clay mineral-based form-stable phase change materials: Preparation, characterization and applications
Thermal energy storage materials and systems for solar energy applications

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

Identification and characterization of promising phase change materials for solar cooling applications

From Solar Energy:

Fabrication and characterization of microcapsulated phase change materials with an additional function of thermochromic performance

From Renewable Energy:

Seasonal thermochemical energy storage: Comparison of the experimental results with the modeling of the falling film tube bundle heat and mass exchanger unit

From International Journal of Low-Carbon Technologies:

Experimental and numerical study of a PCM window model as a thermal energy storage unit

From Journal of Materials Chemistry A:

Air-dried, high-density graphene hybrid aerogels for phase change composites with exceptional thermal conductivity and shape stability
Graphene oxide modified hydrate salt hydrogels: form-stable phase change materials for smart thermal management


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 900 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 Ankit Verma, graduate research assistant at Texas A&M University; Liene Kancane, structural engineer, Aile Grupa, Latvia; Ivânia Marques, R&D engineer, IPN, Portugal; Linda Walker, cold chain consultant, New York; and Joseph Stalin, graduate student at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.