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Enhanced dry-cooling system for increasing power plant efficiency
U.S. patent application 20170248035 (applicant University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio):
“The presently disclosed subject matter relates to enhanced dry-cooling systems and methods. More specifically, the presently disclosed subject matter relates to enhanced dry-cooling systems for increasing power plant efficiency and output. One embodiment of the present disclosure is directed to dry-cooling system for increasing power plant efficiency and output. The dry-cooling system comprises an air-cooled condenser and an air cooling system in fluid communication with the air-cooled condenser. … In certain embodiments, the thermal energy storage material is a liquid to solid phase change thermal storage material.”
For more on power plant cooling technology, see “Considering industrial cooling systems and heat transfer process improvement” [from Water Technology magazine].
Refrigeration, or thermal, energy storage system
U.S. patent application 20170248377 (applicants Upgrading Services SPA and Labor SRL, Italy):
“A refrigeration, or thermal, energy storage system for storing refrigeration, or thermal, energy, comprising a body, closed and insulated, the body being configured to contain two fluids, respectively a Phase Change Material (PCM) type fluid and a secondary fluid, the two fluids being immiscible with each other and having different densities, so as to be stratified within the volume of the body; withdrawal means configured to draw the secondary fluid from the body, and to convey the same inside a heat exchanger configured to exchange frigories, or calories, with the secondary fluid; and distribution means configured to draw the secondary fluid from the heat exchanger, and distribute the secondary fluid into the PCM type fluid, so that the secondary fluid exchanges with the PCM type fluid frigories, or calories, absorbed in the heat exchanger, the secondary fluid having a solidification temperature substantially lower than that of the PCM type fluid.”
Gel comprising PCM and gelling agent
U.S. patent application 20170247593 (Cold Chain Technologies Inc., Franklin, Mass.):
“Gel including a phase-change material and a gelling agent. In one embodiment, the phase-change material may be n-tetradecane, n-hexadecane or mixtures thereof. The gelling agent may be a high molecular weight styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene (SEBS) triblock copolymer with a styrene:rubber ratio of about 30:70 to 33:67% by weight. To form the gel, the phase-change material and the gelling agent may be mixed at an elevated temperature relative to room temperature to partially, but not completely, dissolve the gelling agent. The mixture may then be cooled to room temperature. Alternatively, the phase-change material and the gelling agent may be mixed at room temperature, and the mixture may then be heated to form a viscoelastic liquid, which is then cooled to room temperature. The invention is also directed at a method of preparing the gel, a thermal exchange implement including the gel, and a method of preparing the thermal exchange implement.”
Heat exchanger and storage device
U.S. patent application 20170248375 (assignee BorgWarner Inc., Auburn Hills, Mich.):
“A product with a heat generating system, the product having a heat storage medium constructed and arranged to receive and store heat from the heat generating system wherein the product is constructed and arranged to trigger, extract, and use the stored heat, the heat storage medium receiving heat from the heat generating system during which heat storage in the heat storage medium increases at a first rate to a point where a phase change of the heat storage medium occurs and increases at a second rate during the phase change of the energy storage medium at a phase change temperature, the second rate being substantially higher than the first rate and wherein the extraction and use of heat by the product is triggered by a generator at a temperature that is lower than the phase change temperature.”
Smart pet feeder keeps Fido’s kibble cool with PCM
It’s not much to look at, but an ingenious assembly of off-the-shelf electronic components could be just what a busy (and geeky) pet owner needs. The Mario Feeder allows users to schedule and monitor pet feedings from a smart phone and plays a personalized message alerting Fido when it’s time to chow down. If Fido fails to heed the call, an alert will be sent to the owner’s phone. Other features of the rotating dispenser include:
Proximity detection: The bowl will open only when your RFID-tagged pet is nearby, to stop other animals from stealing food.
Bark detection: The feeder is “constantly listening” and will send an alert if your pet sounds distressed.
Smart scale: Tracks what your pet eats, when it eats and how much it eats.
Phase change material: Keeps perishable food cold.
Developers have launched an Indiegogo campaign in hopes of raising $46,500 to help bring the product to market. They’ve also produced a video that might be the cutest ad you’ll see on the Internet today:
• ScienceDirect, the full-text research database from Elsevier, now offers a “personalized recommendations” feature. Registered users of the site are automatically enrolled in the service, which uses an adaptive algorithm to analyze a user’s searches and then sends a list of three to five recommended articles to the user by e-mail each week.
• Ember Technologies’ temperature-control coffee mug won a Silver IDEA Award in the kitchen and accessories category at the 2017 International Design Excellence Awards in August.
• German camper manufacturer Dethleffs has unveiled a concept vehicle that runs on a 107-horsepower electric motor. The “e.home” features 334 square feet of thin solar panels and a heating system that uses phase change materials to absorb heat when the outside temperature rises above 79° F. Fully equipped, its driving range on a full charge is just over 100 miles. But of course its batteries recharge when the sun shines.
• Gary Owens has been named president and chief executive officer at Mesa Laboratories Inc., succeeding John Sullivan, who has held the positions since 2009.
• Dulas Ltd., maker of solar-powered vaccine refrigerators, has completed a supply and training program in Myanmar under the auspices of the World Health Organization. Dulas delivered refrigeration units that feature phase change material, a 400W photovoltaic array and 132-liter vaccine storage capacity.
• Pluss Advanced Technologies’ MiraCradle infant cooling device, which uses phase change material to treat birth asphyxia, is featured in an article in The Guardian this week. The device was launched commercially in 2014 and is now being used in more than 125 hospitals across India and three in South Africa.
• Dow Chemical and DuPont have completed their planned $130 billion merger to form DowDuPont. Shares of the merged company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “DWDP.”
For our full list of recent academic research, see puretemp.com/academic. Here are highlights from the past week:From Energy Conversion and Management:
• Thermal sensitive flexible phase change materials with high thermal conductivity for thermal energy storage
From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:
• Experimental Phase Diagram Study of the Binary Polyols System Erythritol-Xylitol
From Chinese Journal of Materials Research:
• Structure and Thermal Performances of Paraffin/Diatomite Form-stable Phase Change Materials
From Building and Environment:
• Heat transfer analysis of an integrated double skin façade and phase change material blind system
From Renewable Energy:
• Form-stable phase change material based on Na2CO3·10H2O-Na2HPO4·12H2O eutectic hydrated salt/expanded graphite oxide composite: The influence of chemical structures of expanded graphite oxide
From Energy and Buildings:
• Maximizing the energy output of a photovoltaic–thermal solar collector incorporating phase change materials
• Form stable composite phase change materials from palmitic-lauric acid eutectic mixture and carbonized abandoned rice: preparation, characterization, and thermal conductivity enhancement
From Solar Energy:
• Heat transfer characteristics of a hybrid thermal energy storage tank with Phase Change Materials (PCMs) during indirect charging using isothermal coil heat exchanger
From Journal of Sports Sciences:
• The efficacy of cooling with phase change material for the treatment of exercise-induced muscle damage: pilot study
From International Journal of Scientific Research in Science and Technology:
• Study of Various Aspects of Phase Change Material During Solidification and Melting: A Review [pdf]
Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn
More than 1,100 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 include Rupamaathavan Perumal, energy engineer, Mumbai, India; Daniel Blanco, solar leader, Tractebel-Engie, Saudi Arabia; Steven Banko, director of health care at Inhance Technology, Philadelphia; and Şengül Teke, manager, Bursa Textile and Confection R&D center (BUTEKOM), Bursa, Turkey.
Michael Corridan, co-founder of SolarThermiX Inc. in Phoenix, Ariz., posted an update on his company:
SolarThermiX, a distributor for Insolcorp‘s InfiniteR brand of PCM, has finished a six-month heating energy use analysis at Northern Arizona University. By storing daytime thermal gain, overall energy reduction exceeds 33% over first six months of year. Additionally, the building, constructed in 1920, went from the source of most occupant comfort complaints to ZERO. SolarThermiX is a finalist for the prestigious 2017 Crescordia Award for Energy and Technology Innovation in the State of Arizona. For more detail, drop a note to SolarThermiX or scan website at www.solarthermix.net.