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NETenergy, an energy storage and management services provider, is one of five Chicago startups headed to Qingdao, China, in April to compete for $100,000 in prizes. Reliefwatch, Tovala, RiMO Therapeutics and Audiovert also advanced in the regional competition held at the Chicago Innovation Exchange this week.
About 45 teams from the United States and China will compete in the finals of the annual Sino-US Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition.
NETenergy’s thermal energy storage units use phase change composites to store cold energy, allowing customers to shift A/C production to off-peak hours, when electricity is cheaper. The units are paired with software that manages energy use.
In partnership with Entropy Solutions, Vesl LLC of Melbourne, Fla., has added MatVesl to its line of containment devices for phase change material.
The multi-layer barrier film packages offer MVTR and O2TR protection and are able to withstand rigorous long-term use. They are hermetically sealed to prevent leakage or intrusion. They can be configured up to 46cm (18 inches) wide by nearly endless lengths. A 43cm x 51cm section holds about 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of PureTemp 1, 4, 8 or 18.
New heating and air conditioning systems that combine ground source heat pumps with borehole thermal energy storage are part of plan to achieve “net zero” status at the Marine Corp Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia, sometime next year. The systems transfer the heat or cold from the ground to air conditioning systems with 6-inch piping going down 200 feet. The Albany Herald reports that the systems are designed to reduce the operational cost of heating or cooling by 30 percent.
U.S. patent application 20160045047 (applicant Healy International LLC, Lynnwood, Wash.):
“A container with an insert for rapidly lowering the temperature of a heated liquid to an ideal range suitable for human contact and maintaining the liquid in the ideal range for an extended period of time includes an insulated container for holding heated liquid, a thermal regulating insert and means for attaching or stabilizing the insert to the container. The thermal regulating insert has an outer wall made of thermally conductive material and sufficient surface area to promote heat transfer that creates an enclosed chamber. The chamber  contains a phase change material for absorbing heat from the heated liquid when the liquid’s temperature is higher than the phase change materials melting point. The insert is removably retained in the fluid-reservoir in the container such that the insert is wholly or substantially spaced apart from the walls of the container and stabilized relative to the container.”
U.S. patent application 20160053219 (applicant OpGen Inc., Gaithersburg, Md):
“Systems, methods, and devices are disclosed for improved temperature control, particularly within a predetermined range of temperatures near or above varying ambient temperatures. Previously-unrealized advantages are recognized for maintaining samples, particularly medical and/or biological specimens, at a temperature within a predetermined range of temperatures near or above ambient temperature that selectively promote and/or selectively inhibit organism growth, organism viability, biochemical reactions, and/or chemical reactions. Systems, methods, and devices may include at least phase change material selected and configured to maintain a sample at a predetermined temperature range between about 22º Celsius and about 100º Celsius during a predetermined time period.”
• The Welsh government has award Dulas $80,000 to support development of the company’s solar direct-drive vaccine refrigerators. Phase change material that freezes and thaws at 5º C helps keep vaccines at the proper temperature without power from the grid.
• New research from Future Market Insights: “Temperature Controlled Packaging Solutions Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2015-2025”
• Ares A1, Steelbird‘s new line of helmets for India’s growing motorcycle market, uses phase change material to manage thermal comfort.
• Packaging giant Sonoco has again made Fortune magazine’s list of most-admired companies. Apple tops this list.
• Peli BioThermal officially unveiled its new European Service Center this week in Leighton Buzzard, England. The company’s re-usable thermal protection packaging systems, including the new Credo Cargo, will be reconditioned at the center.
• A new report from Stratistics MRC projects that the global market for thermal interface materials, which stood at $570 million in 2015, will reach $1.2 billion by 2022.
• At the CERAWeek conference in Houston this week, Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said chemical firms must “manage the short term with a maniacal focus on productivity,” while still focusing on long-term strategies. He said the soon-to-merge Dow Chemical and DuPont plastics giants had each grown too large and sprawling.
• University of Michigan researchers have developed a set of 12 principles for green energy storage. No. 10: “Substitute non-toxic and non-hazardous materials.”
• EnergyNest AS has agreed to hire additional staff to provide around-the-clock operation of its thermal energy storage pilot facility at the Masdar Institute‘s beam-down solar power plant in Abu Dhabi. The increased staffing – seven engineers and technicians – is necessary for EnergyNest to demonstrate system performance over many charge/discharge cycles.
• CALMAC founder Calvin D. MacCracken has been posthumously inducted into the ASHRAE Hall of Fame. CALMAC’s IceBank energy storage technology, which shifts cooling production to off-peak hours, is among MacCracken’s 80 patents.
• Monodraught says it’s getting positive feedback on the low-energy cooling and ventilation strategy the company developed for Cambridge University‘s Greenwich House. Monodraught installed its Cool-Phase systems and Windcatcher X-Air in a number of open plan office areas, several meeting rooms and a café area. The system combines a thermal energy store containing phase change material with an intelligently controlled air-handling unit.
• Mattress ticking producer Fine Cotton Factory has doubled its production space in Toronto to 80,000 square feet. The company is planning to introduce several products this year, including copper-infused fabrics and phase change yarns.
• In a piece on coolpack.com, four industry experts offer a new way to measure the performance of passive cold-chain shipping containers. They say a “performance curve” chart could simplify the design process. [pdf]
• SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes solar tower with molten salt thermal storage has successfully generated electricity at its full 110 MW capacity. Over the next 12 months, the concentrated solar project will gradually ramp up to full commercial operation under its 25-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy, supplying electricity to Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada. Related: SolarReserve has submitted a plan to build a 110MW solar tower and thermal storage plant in South Australia.
For our full list of recent academic research, see puretemp.com/academic. Here are highlights from the past week:From Thermochimica Acta:
• Health hazard, cycling and thermal stability as key parameters when selecting a suitable Phase Change Material (PCM)
From Journal of Microencapsulation: Micro and Nano Carriers:
• Thermal energy storage characteristics of micro-nanoencapsulated heneicosane and octacosane with poly(methylmethacrylate) shell
From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:
• The heat transfer mechanism study of three-tank latent heat storage system based on entransy theory
From Journal of Building Engineering:
• Life cycle assessment (LCA) of phase change materials (PCMs) for building applications: A review
From Applied Energy:
• Experimental study on enhancement of thermal energy storage with phase-change material
From Applied Thermal Engineering:
• Thermal performance analysis of a packed bed cold storage unit using composite PCM capsules for high temperature solar cooling application
• An experimental study on performance enhancement of a PCM based solar-assisted air source heat pump system under cooling modes
From Advances in Building Energy Research:
• Solar wall enhanced with phase-change materials: a detailed numerical simulation study
From International Journal of Refrigeration:
• Solidification characteristics of water based graphene nanofluid PCM in a spherical capsule for cool thermal energy storage applications
More than 625 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. This week we welcomed more than a dozen new members: Timothy Pendergast of SunTap Energy, Eagan, Minn.; Martijn Aarts of BoTemp B.V., Netherlands; Pepe Tan, Ph.D. candidate at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; and Luigia Longo, chemistry and regulatory specialist at CETMA, Italy.
Does your company, agency or university have a job opening, new research, new product or other news you’d like to share? We would love to hear from you. Please contact Ben Welter of Entropy Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org.