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PhaseChange Matters Newsletter Aug 21 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,


Pluss to market PCMs, specialty polymers in the Americas

DestinHaus has partnered with Pluss Advanced Technologies to market the company’s specialized polymers and phase change materials in the Americas.

Pluss, based in Gurgaon, India, develops and manufactures specialty materials for use in the automotive, health care, construction, energy and packaging industries. The company’s MiraCradle, a low-cost passive cooling device for treating newborns suffering from birth asphyxia, has won several awards this year. DestinHaus is a management consulting company based in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

“Our customers will appreciate the availability and support of the DestinHaus network as our products, especially PCMs, require a lot of in-depth discussion to understand the customer requirements during the concept stage,” said Vishnu Sasidharan, business development manager at Pluss.


PureTemp visits

A snapshot of global interest in PCMs and thermal energy storage

By some measures, phase change material is a niche technology. But interest in PCMs and thermal energy storage is global – and growing fast. The global TES market is projected to top $1.3 billion in revenue by 2019. The market for advanced phase change materials, valued at $350 million in 2011, is projected to reach $1.18 billion in revenue by the end of 2018.

The map above illustrates the breadth of interest. Over the past 30 days, people from 94 countries have visited, seeking information about phase change material and thermal energy storage. Each dot represents a city that generated one or more visits, from Auckland, New Zealand, to Zurich, Switzerland.

Most visitors come from the United States (47 percent). Rounding out the top 10 countries:

2. India (8.6%)
3. United Kingdom (4.3%)
4. Thailand (3.5%)
5. China (2.6%)
6. Germany (2.3%)
7. Brazil (2.3%)
8. Canada (2.1%)
9. Belarus (1.8%)
10. Philippines (1.3%)


UCLA team gets $1.6 million grant to build hybrid energy storage system

Dr. Pirouz KavehpourIn partnership with Southern California Edison, a team of UCLA engineers has received a $1.62 million grant from the California Energy Commission to build a hybrid energy storage system that combines compressed air and thermal energy storage technologies. The system will store energy produced by renewable sources such as solar and wind and then transmit the energy to the grid when demand is high.

Dr. Pirouz Kavehpour, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is the lead investigator. The system will be built on the Cal Poly Pomona campus.

$19 million contract awarded for TES, other upgrades at Air Force complex

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. a contract modification worth $19.2 million for an energy conservation program at the Tinker Aerospace Complex in Oklahoma City. The contractor will install a chilled-water thermal energy storage system and updated heating, cooling, lighting and water treatment systems at the complex’s central utility plant.


District cooling industry faces ‘danger of stagnation’

George BerbariGeorge Berbari, CEO at DC Pro Engineering in the United Arab Emirates, warns that district cooling technology is advancing at a much slower rate than competing HVAC applications and faces the “danger of stagnation.”

Berbari, co-chair of the 2015 Middle East District Cooling Summit, said “newer and ultra-efficient HVAC systems pose a threat to district cooling in terms of better efficiency.” He endorsed tri-generation district cooling – the simultaneous generation of electricity, heating and cooling from renewable resources – as a way forward for the industry.

The summit will be held Nov. 10-11 in Doha, Qatar. The theme is “The Future of Renewable in the District Cooling Sector – Feasibility and Cost Implications.” Topics include thermal energy storage and energy efficiency; sustainability and the environment; treated sewage water vs. seawater for cooling; delta T optimization; and, of course, tri-generation systems.


U.S. patent application 20150233115

Thermal barrier with selectable phase change material

Caution: The abstract for U.S. patent application 20150233115 (assignee Kuwait University) might make your head explode:

“A thermal barrier panel with selectable phase change materials includes a thermal panel and a plurality of containers movably positioned within the thermal panel to correspond to a heat load at a corresponding ambient temperature. Each of the plurality of containers includes a plurality of receptacles that include a plurality of different phase change materials. Each of the plurality of different phase change materials absorbs thermal energy produced by heat from the heat load at a corresponding ambient temperature.”

Thermal management systems for energy storage cells

U.S. patent application 20150233115 (applicant IntraMicron Inc., Auburn, Ala.):

“Thermal management systems for high energy density batteries, particularly arrays of such batteries, and methods of making and using thereof are described herein. The system includes one or more thermal conductive microfibrous media with one or more phase change materials dispersed within the microfibrous media and one or more active cooling structures. Energy storage packs or arrays which contain a plurality of energy storage cells and the thermal management system are also described.”


Catlike’s Mixino bicycle helmet features Outlast padding

Catlike Mixino bike helmetCatlike‘s top-of-the-line Mixino bicycle helmet, whose well-perforated shell is familiar to European racers and fans, is available in the United States this year. Outlast padding inside the $300 helmet is infused with phase change material to absorb and release heat as needed to keep the rider comfortable.’s Cory Benson weighs in after testing the helmet for more than six months:

“In the hottest weather (35°C+) the top of my head stayed cool enough (although did need sunscreen) and the pads kept the sweat on my brow mostly in check. I still ended up sweating a good bit on harder efforts, but my head never felt hot.”


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

From Applied Energy:

A novel paraffin/expanded perlite composite phase change material for prevention of PCM leakage in cementitious composites

From Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research:

Preparation, Properties, and Supercooling Prevention of Phase Change Material n-Octadecane Microcapsules with Peppermint Fragrance Scent
Electrospun Polyvinyl Alcohol/Phase Change Material Fibers: Morphology, Heat Properties and Stability

From Renewable Energy:

DSC test error of phase change material (PCM) and its influence on the simulation of the PCM floor

From Polymer Bulletin:

Encapsulation of hydrophobic ingredients in hard resin capsules with ultrahigh efficiency using a superoleophobic material

From SciTech Connect:

Low-Cost Phase Change Material for Building Envelopes

From Energies:

Energy Efficiency Indicators for Assessing Construction Systems Storing Renewable Energy: Application to Phase Change Material-Bearing Façades

From Journal of Heat Transfer:

Cooling Capacity Figure of Merit for Phase Change Materials

From Materials Science and Engineering:

Performance enhancement of hermetic compressor using phase change materials 


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 280 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 Joan Albert Orriols, general manager of Tempack Packaging Solutions, Barcelona, Spain; Grace Hsia, CEO of Warmilu, Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Ying Zheng, R&D engineer at Advanced Cooling Technologies, Lancaster, Penn. 

Fresh topic: A new website touting a PCM product called PhaseMat turned up in a Google search this week: According to the site’s “About” section:

PHASEMAT LLC is the exclusive maker of PhaseMat, a BioPCM product. BioPCM is the revolutionary energy conservation manufactured by Phase Change Energy Soultions Inc.”

The domain name was registered earlier this year, and the site appears to have gone live sometime in July. Much of the content is identical to that found on the PCES website, But the mailing address is listed as 18 E. 50th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10022. PCES is based in Asheboro, N.C.

Does the new site indicate a major rebranding — or a whole new direction for Phase Change Energy Solutions?


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.