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Phase Change Matters Newsletter Sept 9 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,


Sonoco ThermoSafe acquires PharmaPort 360 assets

Sonoco ThermoSafe is acquiring PharmaPort 360 assets, licenses, trademarks and manufacturing rights from AAR Cold Chain Solutions. The move marks Sonoco ThermoSafe’s entry into the active temperature-controlled cargo containers market.

PharmaPort 360 active shipperThe PharmaPort 360 container uses regenerative phase change heat exchangers to maintain tight temperature control for high-value cargo. The Federal Aviation Administration-approved containers are designed to safely ship temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, blood plasma and other biological cargo via air or ground.

Sonoco ThermoSafe has signed a multi-year agreement with AAR to manufacture, repair and maintain the containers, which Sonoco will own or lease. Terms of the overall deal were not disclosed.

“This acquisition is in line with our strategy to provide the best temperature-controlled shipping solution irrespective of technology platform (passive or active) to meet our customers’ critical needs for shipping high-value pharmaceuticals and biologics globally,” said Vicki Arthur, vice president of Sonoco Protective Solutions. “Sonoco is committed to investing in passive and active technologies, like that of PharmaPort 360, and expanding its presence globally in the temperature-controlled packaging industry.”


Axiom to install $5 million worth of refrigerator battery systems in NYC

Axiom Exergy is set to install $5 million worth of refrigerator battery systems in supermarkets and other cold storage facilities in Brooklyn and Queens.

Axiom’s refrigeration battery system is designed to reduce a supermarket’s peak power use by up to 40 percent and provide backup cooling during power outages. It uses the excess capacity of a customer’s existing refrigeration system to “store cooling” at night by freezing a tank of salt water. The frozen tanks supply refrigeration to the building during peak afternoon hours, eliminating the need to run energy-intensive compressors and condensers.

The businesses are eligible for incentives under Consolidated Edison‘s Neighborhood Program.

“We’re thrilled to see that Con Edison is taking an innovative approach to help address surging power demand on its grid by working with grocery store and cold storage facility owners to reduce their energy bills and enhance their razor-thin profit margins,” said Amrit Robbins, Axiom president. “By deploying refrigeration battery systems, these locations can convert power-hungry refrigeration systems into intelligent ‘batteries’ that can respond dynamically to the needs of the facility and the grid operator, taking into account energy prices, weather patterns, and grid programs like demand response.”


Improving reliability in a high-temperature environment

Halliburton patent drawingU.S. patent application 20160258272 (applicants William George Dillon and Halliburton Energy Services, Houston, Texas):

“An apparatus comprising: a housing containing an internal volume; a heat-sensitive device contained by the housing and consuming a device percentage of the internal volume, wherein the device percentage equals the percentage of the internal volume of the housing consumed by the heat-sensitive device; and a phase-change material positioned within the housing to conduct heat from the heat-sensitive device, wherein the phase-change material consumes a percentage of the internal volume equal to 100 percent minus the device percentage minus an expansion percentage, wherein the phase-change material expands in volume by an amount more than 75 percent of the expansion percentage upon occurrence of a phase-change event.”

Food additive, food packaging additives and uses thereof 

U.S. patent application 20160255872 (applicant Empire Technology Development LLC, Wilmington, Del.)

“A food item comprising a food additive, wherein the food additive comprises two or more phase change materials selected from a gallic acid ester, a tannic acid ester, a fulvic acid ester, a hemicellulose derived ester, or any combination thereof, wherein at least one hydroxyl group and at least one carboxyl group of a gallic acid, tannic acid, fulvic acid, hemicellulose, or any combination thereof, is esterified.”

Real time adaptable body support system and method of operation

U.S. patent application 20160255966 (applicant Sealy Technology LLC, Trinity, N.C.):

“A system for adjusting a body support during use includes a body support having an adjustable layer and a plurality of sensors, and a processing system in communication with the plurality of sensors and the adjustable layer. The processing system receives information from the plurality of sensors and then transmits instructions to the adjustable layer to adjust the layer. One or more cameras can also be used to gather data for receipt by the processing system in order to determine whether and how to adjust the layer. … Also, phase change material may be injected, embedded, infused, or otherwise included with the one or more types of foam. The phase change material may be encapsulated phase change material or unencapsulated phase change material. Phase change material generally provides latent heat storage through a change in phase of the material (such as a solid-liquid phase change material).”


Ohio-based CSafe Global is expanding its European presence with the acquisition of Kalibox, a French company that manufactures temperature-controlled shippers and refrigerants. The deal adds 5,000 square meters of manufacturing capacity, at two locations in France, to CSafe’s 20,000 square meters of capacity at six locations in North America.

Ember mugEmber Technologies, which raised more than $350,000 on IndieGoGo last fall to develop a temperature-adjustable mug, sent backers a long-awaited update this week: “We are excited to inform you that we plan to start shipping Ember mugs in the second half of October.” Delivery was initially set for April 2016. The $149 mug uses phase change material and a microprocessor-controlled heating system to maintain hot beverages at temperatures set by the user.

Va-q-tec AG is preparing for an initial public offering on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company, based in Würzburg, Germany, hopes to raise 45 million euros ($50.6 million USD) to expand its “serviced rental” business and production capacity. Va-q-tec develops, manufactures and sells vacuum insulation panels and phase change materials.

Ice Energy CEO Mike Hopkins and CALMAC‘s director of energy services, Evan Berger, will be among the speakers at the Energy Storage North America conference in San Diego, Calif., Oct. 4-6.

• An Italian couple on a yearlong bicycle trek from Italy to Singapore are using Pelican BioThermal‘s Credo ProMed pack to keep insulin at the right temperature. Chiara Ricciardi and Riccardo Rocchi embarked on the 18,000-kilometer ride, dubbed “Piece of Cake,” in June to raise awareness about diabetes. Ricciardi has type 1 diabetes and requires a daily dose of insulin. The pair have pedaled 4,400 kilometers so far, averaging 50 km per day. They arrived in Tabriz, Iran, this week.     

• The Dutch PCM maker BoTemp BV has launched a redesign of its website,


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

From Applied Energy:

Experiment study on the thermal properties of paraffin/kaolin thermal energy storage form-stable phase change materials

From Indoor and Built Environment:

Thermal analysis on charging and discharging behaviour of a phase change material-based evacuated tube solar air collector

From Conference on Concentrator Photovoltaic Systems:

Thermal regulation of building-integrated concentrating photovoltaic system using phase change material

From Polymer:

Versatile synthesis of high performance, crosslinked polymer microcapsules with encapsulated n-hexadecane as heat storage materials by utilizing microsuspension controlled/living radical polymerization (ms CLRP) of ethylene glycol dimethacrylate with the SaPSeP method

From Renewable Energy:

Thermophysical properties of low cost lithium nitrate salts produced in northern Chile for thermal energy storage

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Thermocline characteristics of molten-salt thermal energy storage in porous packed-bed tank

From Scientific Reports:

Pore structure modified diatomite-supported PEG composites for thermal energy storage

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

Thermal characterisation of binary sodium/lithium nitrate salts for latent heat storage at medium temperatures


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 875 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 Scott Bullard, director of business development at Coldchain Technology Services, Spring Branch, Texas; Marianne Hoonakker-Kelly, global marketing manager at Sonoco ThermoSafe, Portland, Ore.; Esther Wubbeling, operations director at Gerco Brandpreventie BV, Netherlands; and Mushtaq Hasan, profess of engineering at Thi-Qar University, Iraq.