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PhaseChange Matters Newsletter Dec 25 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,


New efficiency standards ahead for commercial furnaces, rooftop AC

The U.S. Department of Energy announced an agreement last week on new efficiency requirements for commercial air conditioners and furnaces.

Starting in 2018, rooftop AC will have to be about 13 percent more efficient than current models, and 25 to 30 percent more efficient by 2023. The thermal efficiency of commercial gas furnaces will have to be at least 81 percent by 2023; the efficiency standard for commercial oil furnaces will be 82 percent.

The new standards are expected to be in place by late next year.


PCM-silicone curtain could be used to slow spread of fires

PCM-based cooling vests can protect firefighters from the extreme heat of wildfires. But phase change material could also be used to slow the spread of fires. In an interview with Advanced Textiles Source, Dr. Barbara Pause describes a warehouse fire curtain with a silicone matrix containing PCM.

“When you have two warehouses next to each other and you have an opening in between, some companies will install a fire curtain in this opening so that the fire cannot spread from one warehouse to the next,” said Pause, CEO of Textile Testing and Innovation in Longmont, Colo. “With phase change material, you can keep the temperature constant for maybe 30 minutes or an hour or so, and it’s very effective.”


Five reasons why building efficiency matters

Richard GerbeWriting in Energy Manager Today, Highmark NY co-founder Richard Gerbe lists five reasons why building efficiency matters. Reason No. 2: “Building Efficiency Supports Renewable Energy.”

“Building efficiency is renewable energy’s biggest supporter since technologies exist right now that can stockpile renewable energy as it’s produced via battery, ice and thermal storage,” Gerbe writes. “This energy can then be used at any time, especially during peak demand, no matter the weather. This ensures renewable energy is available when needed and also lowers costs since off-peak production is maximized.”

Highmark introduced its Building Load Deferment energy storage system earlier this year in the northeastern United States. The BLD system, a form of thermal energy storage and ice storage, enables energy production to be deferred to off-peak hours by storing it for later use. The New York-based company says the system can reduce energy costs by up to 50 percent.


• Registration is open for the 3rd Swiss Symposium Thermal Energy Storage to be held Jan. 22, 2016, in Lucerne. Topics include PCM systems for high-temperature heat storage; seasonal storage with subcooling PCM; and cooling buildings, processes or batteries with phase change slurries. Cost is $300.

• In a paper presented at the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, Michael Friend and Shannon Stone of Intellectual Ventures describe the development of the Arktek DF passive storage device” for the Ebola vaccine in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

• New from Decision Databases: “Global Microencapsulation Market Research Report – Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 – 2021

• New from MarketsandMarkets: “Advanced Energy Storage Systems Market – Global Forecast to 2020”

• A team from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, one of four finalists in ESA Education’s Fly Your Thesis! competition, intends to verify a model of phase change material performance in a microgravity environment. The team’s goal is to lay groundwork for more effective temperature control in future space applications.

The San Diego City Council has approved a legally binding climate action plan that commits the eighth-largest U.S. city to 100 percent renewables and a 50 reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.

• New from Decision Databases: “Global Organic Phase Change Material Market Research Report – Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 – 2021.

• New from Infiniti Research Ltd.: “Global Advanced Energy Storage Systems Market 2016-2020.” 

• Renewable resources generated 99 percent of the electricity used in Costa Rica this year, the state utility reports. Hydroelectric plants generated three-quarters of the electricity. Geothermal, wind, biomass and solar sources accounted for the rest.

Dr. Issam Mudawar, whose research focuses on phase change mechanisms and applications in energy, has been named the Betty Ruth and Milton B. Hollander Family Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University.


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

From Energy Procedia:

Model Development and Validation for a Tank in Tank Water Thermal Storage for Domestic Application
Dynamic Thermal-energy Performance Analysis of a Prototype Building with Integrated Phase Change Materials
Multiple Bi-phase Interfaces in a PCM Layer Subject to Periodic Boundary Conditions Characteristic of Building External Walls
Experimental Analysis of Heat Transfer in Passive Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Systems for CSP Plants

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Techno-economic heat transfer optimization of large scale latent heat energy storage systems in solar thermal power plants

From Renewable Energy:

Validation of a CFD model for the simulation of heat transfer in a tubes-in-tank PCM storage unit

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

Graphite nanoparticles-dispersed paraffin/water emulsion with enhanced thermal-physical property and photo-thermal performance

From Applied Thermal Energy:

Parametric study of ice thermal storage system with thin layer ring by taguchi method


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 465 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 Reza Benisi Ghadim, postgraduate researcher at the University of Auckland; Joaquín Capablo, R&D engineer at Whirlpool; and Mark McGlothlin, president of Apex Medical Technologies Inc. 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.