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Phase Change Matters Newsletter Nov 11 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,


Cold Chain Technologies faced many hurdles in development of gelled PCMs

Jamie Chasteen, senior product manager at Cold Chain Technologies Inc., spoke with Cold Chain IQ recently about the challenges his company faced in developing gelled phase change material. CCT’s Koolit Advanced PCM gel shared first place with Sonoco ThermoSafe‘s Certis shipper platform as the “Most Innovative New Cold Chain Technology of the Year” at the 2016 Cold Chain Global Excellence Awards last month. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Jamie Chasteen of Cold Chain Technologies“The engineering challenges of solidifying non-water organic based PCMs while maintaining the thermal characteristics required by our industry are vast. Many companies have attempted (and failed) to gel PCMs for use in the life science packaging market. Gelling agents are often accompanied by two undesirable effects: a dramatic lowering of the available latent heat and a freeze point depression of the phase change temperature. Both of these properties are crucial to thermal packaging design.

“Two other undesirable characteristics that often accompany the addition of gelling agents are hysteresis, or changing thermal characteristics with each freeze/thaw cycle, and syneresis, or the expulsion of liquid from the gel over time or after multiple freeze/thaw cycles. We are the first company to create a shape-stable PCM without mal-effect to the final product for use in thermal packaging for life science.

“Not to be overlooked is the process put in place to manufacture these material. Previous industry attempts to mass-commercialize shape stable PCMs have not been successful given the complexity, repeatability, quality and ultimately cost associated with processing. We have been able to create an efficient and robust manufacturing process that provides repeatability and high quality while keeping the costs in check. Both the creation of the patent pending Koolit Advanced PCM Gel material itself and the manufacturing process to commercialize it have been clear breakthroughs for our industry.”


Phase change systems and methods for their preparation and use

U.S. patent application 20160324171 (applicant Empire Technology Development LLC, Wilmington, Del.):

“A phase change system and methods of making a phase change system are disclosed. A multiple phase change system is also disclosed. The system may include at least one phase change material and at least one chemical reactant encapsulated within the phase change material. The chemical reactant may react with another chemical reactant or the surrounding environment.”

Sorption-based adhesive contact cooling apparatus and method

Sorption-based adhesive patent drawing

U.S. patent application 20160324683 (Medivance Inc., Louisville, Colo.): 

“A sorption-based, adhesive contact apparatus and method for contact cooling a patient via conductive thermal exchange are described. The apparatus includes a pad, having a fluid containing layer and adhesive contact surface, and a sorption-based device, fluidly interconnectable to the fluid containing layer, for vaporizing fluid contained in the fluid containing layer and for sorping the vaporized fluid. The fluid vaporization and the vapor sorption cools the adhesive contact surface of the pad. … The sorption-based device also may be provided to include a phase-change material (e.g., a hydrated salt or paraffin-based material) for extracting thermal energy attendant to sorption of vaporized fluid by the sorptive material.”

Synergistic pairing convective and conductive cooling system

U.S. patent application 20160327347 (Eric D. Stanley, Yarmouth, Maine, and Michelle Mariani, Grand Island, Neb.): 

“A synergistic pairing convective and conductive thermal regulating system comprising: a conductive thermal regulating device including a phase change material configured to increase the heat capacity of the conductive thermal regulating device; and a convective thermal regulating device configured induce a temperature change in the conductive thermal regulating device.”


Dulas Ltd. has won a contract to supply 345 VC200 refrigerators to agencies working in Yemen, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The solar-powered refrigerators are lined with paraffin phase change material to help keep vaccines at optimal temperature. The British company says the agreement marks a significant expansion of its partnerships with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria. Energy Storage Report‘s Jason Deign takes a look at the technology: “The thermal storage medium can go through around 10,000 cycles with minimal degradation. This equates to a lifespan at least twice as long as that possible with batteries.”

• Chicago startup NETenergy, maker of a thermal energy storage system that reduces peak consumption, is one of eight companies selected for CLT Joules‘ business catalyst program. Joules, a North Carolina business accelerator, advises high-potential energy startups and connects them with corporate partners. 

• Ohio-based CSafe Global is introducing the Kalibox passive pallet shipper to U.S. customers. CSafe acquired Kalibox, a French company that manufactures temperature-controlled shippers and refrigerants, earlier this year.

Gate Precast of Florida is producing 400,000 square feet of hollow-core planks to function as “smart” floors for five schools in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The concrete planks will act as thermal batteries, storing the thermal energy of heated or cooled air. Three of each plank’s five cores will be used as HVAC ducting.

• New from QYResearch: “Global Molten Salt Solar Energy Thermal Storage and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Sales Market Report 2016.”

• Researchers at New Mexico State University and the Florida Institute of Technology have developed a novel technology that improves heat transfer in thermal energy storage systems without compromising heat storage capacity. Dr. Sarada Kuravi, who is working to secure patent approval and licensees, talked about the technology in a recent video podcast.

• The 4th Swiss Symposium Thermal Energy Storage will be held at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts on Jan. 20, 2017. The symposium, aimed at researchers and representatives from the industrial, energy and building technology sectors, will focus on “the potential and advancements of thermal energy storage in Switzerland and Europe.” Contact Franziska Rosenberg,, for details.

• The “Micro and Nanoscale Phase Change Heat Transfer” research conference will be held in Galveston, Texas, Jan. 8-13. The conference will focus on understanding the fundamental mechanisms for heat transfer enhancement during phase change processes. Potential applications include electronics cooling, water desalination, energy harvesting/conversion and anti-icing processes. The application deadline is Dec. 11.


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

From Energy:

Role of PCM addition on stratification behaviour in a thermal storage tank – An experimental study

From Applied Energy:

Development of structural-functional integrated energy storage concrete with innovative macro-encapsulated PCM by hollow steel ball
Experimental investigation of the effect of dynamic melting in a cylindrical shell-and-tube heat exchanger using water as PCM
Worldwide trends on encapsulation of phase change materials: A bibliometric analysis
Effects of sodium chloride on the thermal behavior of oxalic acid dihydrate for thermal energy storage

From Energy Conversion and Management:

Comparative analyses on dynamic performances of photovoltaic–thermal solar collectors integrated with phase change materials

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Development of microencapsulated phase change material for solar thermal energy storage

From International Journal of Thermal Sciences:

Solid-liquid phase change around a tube with periodic heating and cooling: Scale analysis, numerical simulations and correlations

From Energy Reports:

Ternary mixture of fatty acids as phase change materials for thermal energy storage applications


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 950 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 Maryam Parsa, doctoral researcher at VEDECOM Institute and Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis, France; Dr. Ferreira Germán, area director of the Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption, Spain; Hagar Elarga, doctoral researcher at the
University of Padova, Italy; and Daniel Orejon, assistant professor at the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research, Kyushu University, Japan.


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