Menu Close

PhaseChange Matters Newsletter Aug 14 2015

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,


U.N. agency urges accelerated deployment of district energy around the world

A survey of low-carbon cities worldwide identifies district energy systems as an essential tool for local governments seeking to reduce greenhouse gases and improve energy efficiency.

U.N. Environment Program logoThe U.N. Environment Program’s report, “District Energy in Cities – Unlocking the Potential of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,” calls for the accelerated deployment of district energy systems worldwide. From the report’s executive summary:

“The development of modern (i.e., energy-efficient and climate-resilient) and affordable district energy systems in cities is one of the least-cost and most-efficient solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy demand. A transition to such systems, combined with energy efficiency measures, could contribute as much as 58 per cent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions required in the energy sector by 2050 to keep global temperature rise to within 2-3 degrees Celsius.”

Paris, one of the 45 “champion” cities surveyed, developed Europe’s first cooling network, part of which uses the Seine River. The Paris Urban Heating Co., which now serves the equivalent of 500,000 households, aims to use 60 percent renewable or recovered energy by 2020. Other cities in the report include Tokyo, Munich, Hong Kong, Guelph (Canada), Warsaw (Poland) and Christchurch (New Zealand).

University of Guelph TES system features 22-million-liter tank

Guelph initiative logoToronto-based MCW Custom Energy Solutions is installing an $11.5 million thermal energy storage system at the University of Guelph in Ontario. At the center of the system is a tank that holds 22 million liters of water. In warmer months, the water will be chilled at night, when energy costs are lower. The chilled water will be stored in the tank and then circulated through the university’s existing cooling system during the day.

The system, part of the university’s Green Gryphon Initiative, is expected to save the campus about $2 million a year in utility costs. The project is funded by student fees and financial incentives from the province. Work is scheduled to be completed in October.


Kaeser refrigeration air dryer has more compact design, thanks to PCM

Kaeser refrigeration air dryerHPC Kaeser‘s updated Secotec TF refrigeration air dryers feature an aluminum heat exchanger system filled with phase change material. The PCM has twice the thermal storage capacity of conventional storage media, allowing for a more compact design. According to the manufacturer:

“Thanks to the energy-saving control, reserve cooling performance can be temporarily accumulated in the thermal storage medium during partial load operation and can subsequently be used for drying purposes without the need for additional energy consumption. The rapid reaction Secopack LS heat exchanger system [the lighter-colored component shown at right] ensures stable pressure dew points at all times.”

Refrigeration air dryers, which remove water vapor from compressed air, are used in a variety of industries, including textile manufacturing and pneumatic control systems.

Malouf’s new mattress protector incorporates phase change technology

Bedding manufacturer Malouf has introduced the Encase Omniphase, a mattress protector featuring moisture-wicking Tencel fabric with Omniphase phase change technology. Malouf rolled out the Encase Omniphase and two other Sleep Tite mattress protectors at the Summer Las Vegas Market this month. The new Encase model retails for $224.99 (queen size).


India seeks proposals for energy storage demonstration projects

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is inviting proposals for energy storage demonstration projects. The storage medium can be electrical, thermal or a combination of the two. However, thermal storage for solar thermal MW-scale projects are not eligible. Proposals are due by Sept. 15, 2015.


Behind-the-meter storage will be topic at Energy Storage Summit

The U.S. Energy Storage Summit‘s 2015 agenda is taking shape. The first day includes a morning session on the future of behind-the-meter storage in California:

“California has emerged as the largest behind-the-meter storage market due to renewable energy growth, high electricity prices, state mandate, and the Self Generation Incentive Program. Southern California Edison‘s procurement decision of 150 megawatts behind-the-meter storage for its Local Capacity Requirement has been the first on at that scale by a utility.”

An afternoon session will focus on deferral and capacity benefits. Greg Miller, Ice Energy‘s executive vice president of sales and market development, is on the panel.

The conference will be held Dec. 8-9 in San Francisco. Registration is open.


Heater module including thermal energy storage material

Dow heater patent application drawingU.S. patent application 20150224850 (applicant Dow Global Technologies):

“Improved thermal energy storage materials, devices and systems employing the same and related methods. The thermal energy storage material may be employed in a heater module capable of generating and storing heat. The thermal energy storage materials may include a phase change material that includes a metal-containing compound. The thermal energy storage materials may be encapsulated. Preferably the heater module includes an electric heater and/or a fan.”

Shipping system and method for passive thermal control shipping containers

U.S. patent application 20150227886 (applicant Minnesota Thermal Science):

“A reverse logistics shipping system for passive thermal control shipping containers that require thermal conditioning at a management facility prior to each use of the container to deliver a thermally labile payload 30 from a distribution facility to a customer facility. … [T]he passive thermal control shipping containers include a phase change material panel capable of controlling the temperature within the container for a limited time period when thermally conditioned.”


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

From Composite Structures:

A new experimental device and inverse method to characterize thermal properties of composite phase change materials

From Thermochimica Acta:

Performance comparison of three models for thermal property determination from experimental phase change data

From Scientific Reports:

Enhanced thermal properties of novel shape-stabilized PEG composite phase change materials with radial mesoporous silica sphere for thermal energy storage

From Energy Procedia:

Experimental Investigation of the Concentration Dependent Maximum Storage Capacity of Two Inorganic Phase Change Materials
High Temperature Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Integration in a Co-gen Plant

From Energy Conversion and Management:

Experimental study on the performance of a liquid cooling garment with the application of MEPCMS
Experimental analysis, modeling and simulation of a solar energy accumulator with paraffin wax as PCM
Three-dimensional simulation of high temperature latent heat thermal energy storage system assisted by finned heat pipes

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Investigation on the dynamic characteristics of a direct contact thermal energy storage charging process for use in conventional air-conditioning systems
The form-stable phase change materials based on polyethylene glycol and functionalized carbon nanotubes for heat storage

From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:

Molecular-dynamics calculation of the thermal conduction in phase change materials of graphene paraffin nanocomposites

From Applied Clay Science:

Kaolinite stabilized paraffin composite phase change materials for thermal energy storage

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

Energy efficient bio-based PCM with silica fume composites to apply in concrete for energy saving in buildings


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 265 of your peers have joined a new 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 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 Daniel Kearney, senior research scientist at ABB; Ian Fisher, business development manager at Airmaster Air Conditioning Ltd.; and Sean McLoughlin, founder and president of Carbon Zero Home Inc. 


Got a question about PCMs or TES? Ask our experts

Two Entropy Solutions advisors, Dr. Mohammed Farid of the University of Auckland and Lucas B. Hyman of Goss Engineering, are ready to answer your questions about phase change material and thermal energy storage. We’ll select the best questions sent to and post the answers here each Friday.