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• The Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability in Darmstadt, Germany, has developed a traction battery that can use thermal energy as a heat source in electric vehicles. A new type of fiber-reinforced composite sandwich housing protects the battery from temperature fluctuations. The phase change material composite system is designed to precondition the battery at low outside temperatures and reduce heat generation during rapid charging. The system was developed as part of the European Union‘s Optimized Energy Management and Use project. “We’ve developed material, structural and process technologies that can guarantee drivers a more reliable and uniform range for their battery-powered vehicles,” said Felix Weidmann, project manager at Fraunhofer LBF.
• Airec AB of Sweden has joined the EU Horizon 2020 project SWS-Heating. The project’s goal is to develop seasonal thermal storage of solar energy. The energy will be stored in phase change materials. Airec will develop heat exchangers for the project.
• A process for extracting a biodegradable polymer from crustaceans is among the winners of this year’s Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The awards were formerly known as the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute has collaborated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to manage the awards since their inception in 1995. The EPA dropped out this year, citing long-term certainty about the program’s financial situation.
• Ember Technologies’ temperature-control mugs are now available in Apple stores and on apple.com. The travel version, right, uses phase change material to bring hot beverages down to a drinkable temperature. Earlier this year, Nordstrom began selling the mugs online and in Nordstrom popup stores.
• Capstone Turbine Corp. and Argonne National Laboratory have received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to refine Argonne’s high-efficiency, fast-charging and fast-discharging thermal energy storage system for use in combined heat and power systems. The system, originally developed for use in concentrated solar power applications, will use phase change material to capture waste heat from industrial manufacturing processes. The goal is to integrate Argonne’s technology into a Capstone C200 CHP system.
• New from Persistence Market Research: “Global Market Study on Salt Hydrate: Pharmaceutical Industry to Remain Dominant Consumer Through 2026”
• New from Maia Research: “Inorganic PCMs Market Analysis, Market Size, Application, Analysis, Regional Outlook, Competitive Strategies And Forecasts, 2018 -2025“
• At the World Energy Engineering Congress in Charlotte, N.C., this week, Mark Richards of Phase Change Energy Solutions reports that the company demonstrated “a mini PhaseStor tank in action with 1/2 ton chiller and small heater (system hand made by Scott Queen) to charge and discharge the tank and includes on board DAQ system to show tank thermal performance.” Richards presented at a panel discussion Friday, “Justifying HVAC Energy Savings in Buildings Using Phase Change Materials – A Debate with a Skeptical Engineer.” Also presenting were Guy Frankenfield, energy division manager at DN Tanks Inc. (“Thermal Energy Storage – Uncovering the Value of Ice and Chilled Water TES Systems“) and Ice Energy CEO Mike Hopkins (“Thermal Energy Storage in Package Units? Yes, it is Here“).
Flexible phase change material composite for thermal management systems
U.S. patent application 20180298261 (applicant All Cell Technologies LLC, Chicago, Ill.):
“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.”
Enhanced thermally conductive cushioning foams
U.S. patent application 20180298264 (applicant Peterson Chemical Technology LLC, Austin, Texas):
“Methods and combinations for making and using one or more thermally conductive cellular foam layers and other structures comprising flexible cellular foam and metallic material particulates, and said thermally-conductive cellular foam layers may be located on, under, or in cushioning foams and mattresses or placed between on, under, within, or between other layering substrates, columns, and other structures to increase the overall cooling capability of the composite. The thermally conductive foam may be used in mattresses, pillows, bedding products, seat cushions, medical cushioning foams, pet beds, and similar materials used in bedding and comfort products.”
For our full list of recent academic research, see puretemp.com/academic. Here are highlights from the past week:From Applied Thermal Engineering:
• Experiments on comparative performance of water thermocline storage tank with and without encapsulated paraffin wax packed bed
• Experimental study and performance prediction of the PCM-antifreeze solar thermal system under cold weather conditions
• Improving System Performance of a Personal Conditioning System integrated with Thermal Storage
• A methodological concept for phase change material selection based on multi-criteria decision making (MCDM): A case study
From Journal of Energy Storage:
• Experimental analysis of solar fish dryer using phase change material
From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:
• Experimental investigation on thermal performance of phase change material coupled with three-dimensional oscillating heat pipe (PCM/3D-OHP) for thermal management application
From Sustainable Cities and Society:
• Experimental investigation on melting and solidification behaviour of erythritol in a vertical double spiral coil thermal energy storage system
From Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry:
• Investigation of energy and exergy performance on a small-scale refrigeration system with PCMs inserted between coil and wall of the evaporator cabin
From Journal of Applied Physics:
• Optimizing the design of composite phase change materials for high thermal power density
From Energy Procedia:
• The technical and economic feasibility of utilizing phase change materials for thermal storage in district heating networks
Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn
More than 1,350 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 Mickaël Rousset, energy efficiency research engineer at EDF Lab Les Renardières, Lyon, France; Shivam Shukla, business development associate at Pluss Advanced Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Gurgaon, India; Francesco Valentini, energy efficiency and power plants expert, Gestore Servizi Energetici, Rome, Italy; Bill Mayer, director of research and development at Pelican BioThermal, Plymouth, Minn.; and Martin Camirand, project engineer, Quebec, Canada.