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The RAL Quality Association PCM, meeting in Germany last week, welcomed its newest member, Microtek Labs, and said goodbye to one of its founding members, BASF.
Microtek CEO Tim Riazzi introduced his company with a brief overview of its history, research efforts and product line. He said Microtek may seek RAL certification for its phase change materials, including the new Nextek line of microencapsulated PCMs. Microtek, which purchased BASF’s Micronal line of microencapsulated phase change material earlier this year, will officially assume BASF’s RAL membership on Jan. 1, 2018.
Samit Jain, managing director of Pluss Advanced Technologies, was also attending his first RAL meeting. Jain, right, presented an overview of Pluss R&D efforts and its PCM product line, which is focused on addressing four challenges: vaccine waste, food spoilage, neonatal deaths and energy inefficiency in buildings.
Other member organizations attending the meeting in Dusseldorf were Croda, va-Q-tec AG, Rubitherm, ZAE Bayern, Fraunhofer ISE, Sasol Germany GmbH, Sunamp Ltd., EMCO, PCM Technology and Entropy Solutions. Discussion topics included RAL-GZ 896 quality and testing specifications; registration of the new RAL quality mark; efforts to integrate PCM in the German Energy Saving Ordinance; ISSO publication 111 PCM in Netherlands; and the new Phase Change Materials Industry Association of North America.
As the meeting drew to a close, Prof. Bernd Boiting, chairman of the quality association, thanked BASF’s Marco Schmidt for his contributions. As Micronal’s head of business management at BASF, Schmidt played a key role in many RAL initiatives, including the development of a Google map that will showcase PCM building projects around the world.
RAL’s next meeting is scheduled for March 1, 2018, in Dusseldorf.
Sunamp Ltd. is moving its phase change production unit into a 15,000-square-foot factory and warehouse space near the company’s headquarters in East Lothian, Scotland. The new space is three times the size of Sunamp’s current production space and will allow the company to bring in test rigs and a vehicle lift to meet the needs of its automotive division. Sunamp says the move will free up “much needed lab space at headquarters to expand our current chemical material and HVAC product R&D operations.”
Other recent developments at Sunamp:
• The company exhibited its cooling system for refrigerated vans at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle event in Millbank, England, last month. The system, developed with bodybuilder Paneltex, route optimization software maker Route Monkey and the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, integrates low-temperature PCMs in electric delivery vans for supermarket deliveries. It was among the winners in a proof-of-concept competition sponsored by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK.
• Along with other companies involved in the Smart Islands Energy Systems (SMILE) initiative, Sunamp is gearing up for the implementation phase of the Orkney pilot project, starting in November. Sunamp’s heat batteries are among nine smart-grid technologies to be demonstrated in the four-year SMILE project, launched in May 2017 and funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program.
• Sunamp’s PCM heat batteries were featured this week on the UK television show “Grand Designs.”
Heat retaining dish assembly
Patent application 20170303710 (applicant Tempra Technology Inc., Bradenton, Fla.):
“A dish assembly for serving food includes a dish housing that defines a surface, upon which the food can be placed, and an inner compartment, a phase-change material within the inner compartment, and an electrically-conductive element inside the inner compartment and thermally coupled to the phase-change material. In a typical implementation, the phase-change material is adapted to melt in response to the electrically-conductive element being heated by an electromagnetic induction heater. The thus heated dish assembly can facilitate getting hot food to a table while it is still hot, and once at the table, keeping that hot food at least warm for quite some time, while it is consumed.”
U.S. patent application 20170307266 (applicant Carrier Corp., Farmington, Conn.):
“In one aspect, an air conditioning system is provided. The air conditioning system includes a refrigeration circuit having a refrigerant and an economizer circuit, and a subcooling circuit thermally coupled to the refrigeration circuit, the subcooling circuit including a thermal energy storage (TES) unit and a phase change material (PCM) for thermal exchange with the refrigerant.”
U.S. patent application 20170268829 (applicant Rini Technologies Inc., Oviedo, Fla.):
“The subject invention pertains to a method and apparatus for storing thermal energy. The subject thermal energy storage apparatus can function as a heat absorber in a cooling system. A cooling system can incorporate a cooling cycle that utilizes thermal energy storage and has two coolant loops. The primary cooling loop acquires the waste heat from a heat source, such as an electronic device, by heat transfer to the primary coolant via, for example, a sensible heat process (where sensible heat is heat absorbed or transmitted by a substance during a change in temperature which is not accompanied by a change of state) or by evaporating the primary coolant through a latent heat phase change process. The waste heat absorbed by the primary coolant is transferred to the host material of the heat absorber. The subject invention uses a high thermal conductivity host material to house a lower thermal conductivity phase change material, in order to achieve a thermal energy absorber that has a high effective thermal conductivity.”
• Thermal energy storage exceeds the capacity of battery storage now in operation, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. Greentech Media reports that a recent resurgence in concentrated solar power development promises to increase that advantage.
• New from QYResearch Group: “Global Thermal Energy Storage Market Size, Status and Forecast 2022“
• New from Persistence Market Research: “Advanced Phase Change Material (PCM) Market – Global Industry Analysis and Forecast to 2020“
• The effectiveness of a PCM-infused prosthetics liner made by Ohio Willow Wood Co. will be put to the test in a two-year clinical trial. The liner is designed to absorb heat and reduce sweating where a prosthesis meets skin. The study, funded by a $140,000 Department of Defense grant, will be conducted by the University of Pittsburgh and Widener University.
• Registration is open for “2-8°C Solutions: Design variables and constraints,” the next webinar in Sonoco ThermoSafe’s temperature assurance packaging series. Frank Butch, director of engineering at Sonoco ThermoSafe, and Lisa Barbieri Moher, North American head of distribution packaging and graphics at Sanofi, will lead the one-hour class, to be held Nov. 14.
• Sonoco ThermoSafe’s development of the LD7 Quarter PMC pallet shipper won first place for Excellence in Collaboration at the Cold Chain GDP & Temperature Management Global Forum in Chicago last month. ThermoSafe’s ChillTech reusable PCM system was runner-up in the Excellence in Technological Innovation category.
• In a recent interview with Innovation in Textiles, CEO Dirk Van Hyning of PCM-maker Alexium International discussed U.S. efforts to curb the use of halogenated flame retardants.
For our full list of recent academic research, see puretemp.com/academic. Here are highlights from the past week:From Energy Procedia:
• Experimental investigation of latent thermal energy storage in high-rise residential buildings in Toronto
From Solar Energy:
• Experimental analysis of solar photovoltaic unit integrated with free cool thermal energy storage system
• Development of thermal energy storage cementitious composites (TESC) containing a novel paraffin/hydrophobic expanded perlite composite phase change material
• Natural convection characterization during melting of phase change materials: Development of a simplified front tracking method
From Energy and Buildings:
• Study on the Performance of Heat Storage and Heat Release of Water Storage Tank with PCMs
• Thermal performance analysis of residential attics containing high performance aerogel-based radiant barriers
• Experimental Investigation of the Daily Thermal Performance of a mPCM Honeycomb Wallboard
From Applied Energy:
• Design of effective fins for fast PCM melting and solidification in shell-and-tube latent heat thermal energy storage through topology optimization
From Sustainable Cities and Society:
• Integrating photovoltaic thermal collectors and thermal energy storage systems using phase change materials with rotary desiccant cooling systems
From Case Studies in Thermal Engineering:
• Thermal behavior of latent thermal energy storage unit using two phase change materials: Effects of HTF inlet temperature
From New Journal of Chemistry:
• Microstructure regulation of microencapsulated bio-based n-dodecanol as phase change materials via in-situ polymerization
From Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology:
• Improved performance of a newly prepared nano-enhanced phase change material for solar energy storage
From Electrochimica Acta:
• Experimental Investigation of a New Passive Thermal Management System for a Li-Ion Battery Pack Using Phase Change Composite Material
From Applied Thermal Engineering:
• Investigation on thermal reliability and corrosion characteristics of Glutaric acid as an organic phase change material for solar thermal energy storage applications
From Journal of Building Engineering:
• Numerical analysis of a micro-encapsulated PCM wallboard: Fluxmeter applications
More than 1,150 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. New members this week include Domenico Feo, president, Ahhm LLC, Carmel, Calif., and Ashutosh Pandeym, Ph.D. candidate at the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.