Menu Close

PhaseChange Matters Newsletter Dec 18 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,


PureTemp is now available in high-performance Vesl devices

In partnership with Entropy Solutions, Vesl LLC now offers PureTemp phase change material in encapsulated form. Three new patent-pending containment solutions – BlockVesl, MacroVesl and MicroVesl – feature an enhanced surface-area-to-mass ratio. That means faster energy exchange and superior PureTemp performance.BlockVesl


The stackable BlockVesl is a precisely engineered PCM device with more than 3,200 square centimeters of surface area. It is suited to a wide range of applications, including refrigeration, air conditioning, heat recovery and heat storage. One BlockVesl can store up to 200,000 joules of energy depending on the PCM selected.


The 305mm-diameter MacroVesl is a multi-chambered, high-capacity sphere with more than 24,600 square centimeters of surface area. That’s more than 16 times the surface area of a typical sphere of the same diameter. It is suited to a wide range of applications, including air conditioning, heat recovery and thermal energy storage.



The MicroVesl features a multi-layered polymer structure chosen for its ideal barrier properties. The MicroVesl, now available in a diameter of 18.5 mm, can be made in a range of sizes and is ideal for use in refrigeration, air conditioning, thermal energy storage and many other applications.

To learn more, visit


EnergyNest, Masdar Institute move forward with concrete TES system

EnergyNest says a months-long pilot project has proved the effectiveness of its concrete-based thermal energy storage system in Abu Dhabi. The Norwegian start-up says the system, implemented in cooperation with the Masdar Institute, will be scaled up to store energy produced by the institute’s “beam-down” solar power plant in Masdar City.

“What we have done,” EnergyNest CEO Christian Thiel said in a CNN interview last week, “is to develop a solution that’s modular, freely scalable, environmentally friendly and that is able to be mass produced anywhere.”


Particulate microcapsule composition

U.S. patent application 20150361227 (applicant BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany):

“The present invention relates to particulate microcapsule compositions comprising microcapsules and an emulsion polymer, obtainable via spray drying of an aqueous microcapsule dispersion, where the microcapsules comprise a capsule core and a polymer as capsule wall and the polymer is composed of from 30 to 90% by wt. of one or more monomers (monomers I) from the group consisting of C1-C24-alkyl esters of acrylic and/or methacrylic acid, acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, and maleic acid.”

Systems and methods for managing fuel vapor canister temperature

U.S. patent application 20150345435 (applicant Ford Global Technologies, Dearborn, Mich.):

“A system for an engine, comprising: a fuel vapor canister coupled to a fuel tank; a thermal jacket comprising a phase-change material, the thermal jacket spatially sheathing the fuel vapor canister; and an engine coolant passage positioned to transfer thermal energy between engine coolant and the phase-change material. In this way, the phase-change material may buffer the temperature of the fuel vapor canister by absorbing heat generated during hydrocarbon adsorption, and returning the heat to the vapor canister during hydrocarbon desorption.”

Apparatus for cooling machine components using phase change material

U.S. patent application 20150343588 (applicant Step-Tec AG, Switzerland):

“The invention relates, on the one hand, to a machine element, for example a motor spindle or an electromechanical drive unit, with integrated, internal cooling system and, on the other hand, to a closed cooling circuit (24) with corresponding machine element. According to the invention, the cooling takes place with a special coolant. The coolant is a dispersion containing at least one Phase Change Material (PCM).”


Nassau, N.Y., has pledged to unplug from the grid and get 100 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020.

Sunverge Energy CEO Ken Munson lists five energy storage trends to watch in 2016. No. 1: “Environmental and economic concerns will combine to accelerate the retirement of coal-fired generation and increase the importance of renewables.”

BASF’s Micronal phase change material was used in the meeting room ceilings of a new seven-story office building on the BASF campus in Ludwigshafen, Germany. As room temperatures increase, the microencapsulated PCM absorbs excess heat and releases it as needed to keep room temperatures constant.

The 11th Conference on Advanced Building Skins, set for Oct. 10-11, 2016, in Bern, Switzerland, has issued a call for papers. Among the topics are smart materials for intelligent building envelopes and thermal performance of phase change materials for building skins. Proposals are due Feb. 15.

The physics in “Star Wars” isn’t always correct, but that’s OK, says blogger Rhett Allain, who’s been writing on the topic for “a very long time.”

SNC-Lavalin of Canada and Toledo Arabia Co. have been jointly awarded a contract to provide district cooling services for the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The project includes a thermal storage tank with an output capacity of 5,000 refrigeration tons.

Nominations are open through Jan. 8 for the 2016 C3E Awards, which recognize outstanding midcareer women who are advancing clean energy. Each winner will receive $8,000 and national recognition at the annual C3E Symposium

• The full text of “Phase Change Materials: A primer for Architects and Engineers,” edited by Sarah McCormack and Philip Griffiths, is available for free on ResearchGate.

A 17-year-old high school student in Barcelona spotted renewable energy giant Abengoa‘s financial problems a year ago. “If it does not act soon, there is a strong risk Abengoa will go into bankruptcy,” Pepe Baltá wrote in a research paper, citing accounting flaws apparently overlooked by Deloitte and Standard & Poor’s.

Renewable electricity accounted for more than 50 percent of U.S. electricity capacity additions in 2014, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reports. Solar led the pack, adding 5.5 gigawatts.


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

From Renewable Energy:

Thermal behavior of paraffin-nano-Al2O3 stabilized by sodium stearoyl lactylate as a stable phase change material with high thermal conductivity

From International Journal of Thermal Sciences:

Thermal performance of phase change material/oscillating heat pipe-based battery thermal management system

From Progress in Energy and Combustion Science:

Thermal energy storage: Recent developments and practical aspects

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Experimental investigation of thermoelectric generator (TEG) with PCM module
Experimental research on a double-layer radiant floor system with phase change material under heating mode

From Desalination:

Exergy analysis of solar desalination still combined with heat storage system using phase change material (PCM)

From Solar Energy:

Development of a thermal model for a hybrid photovoltaic module and phase change materials storage integrated in buildings

From Thermal Science:

Melting of a Phase Change Material in a Horizontal Annulus with Discrete Heat Sources [pdf]

From Energy Sources:

Thermal Energy Storage Properties of Xylitol Penta Myristate and Xylitol Penta Laurate as Novel Solid-liquid Phase Change Materials


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 460 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 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 Uma Ramabadran, an associate professor at Kettering University, Michigan; Roger L. Franz, an engineering systems analyst at TE Connectivity, Harrisburg, Penn., and Allyson Beuhler, a scientist/engineer at Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc., Woodridge, Ill. Welcome aboard, folks!


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.