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PhaseChange Matters Newsletter Jan 8 2016

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,


Entropy Solutions is newest member of RAL Quality Association PCM

RAL quality markEntropy Solutions, maker of PureTemp phase change material, has joined the RAL Quality Association PCM, a European-based organization established in 2004 to develop standards for the phase change material industry.

Stefan Thomann, RAL’s managing director, says the organization has two key objectives: Promote the use of high-quality PCMs and influence the political landscape in the European Union in favor of PCMs.

RAL members include Croda, BASF, Rubitherm, EMCO, va-Q-tec, Salca, global-E-systems, Sasol and Pluss Advanced Technologies. Members and non-members alike can submit their products to the association for independent testing and earn the RAL Quality Mark.

“We are pleased to join RAL and look forward to working with other industry leaders to extend PCM quality and performance standards to North America,” said RoxAnne Best, Entropy Solutions president.


Standalone applications envisioned for CSP thermal storage technology

Two experts in thermal energy storage designed for concentrated solar power projects believe that such storage could work in standalone systems.

Anoop Mathur, founder and CEO of Terrafore Technologies, suggests that a full CSP project with an oversize turbine could be run just to fill thermal storage tanks. Such a system would look like a typical CSP plant but would act like a battery, serving electricity to the grid on demand.

“For example,” Mathur told Renewable Energy World, “a solar field designed for 100 MWe with a 200 MWe turbine and up to three hours of storage, supplying 300 MWhs a day, can have higher revenues to justify the capital costs than a plant designed for day-ahead energy markets.”

Halotechnics founder and CEO Justin Raade suggests another application: Attach a thermal storage unit to an existing steam turbine power block in a combined-cycle natural gas plant.


Warmilu CEO is on Forbes’ ’30 Under 30′ list in manufacturing

Grace HsiaGrace Hsia, co-founder and CEO of Warmilu LLC, has been named to Forbes‘ “30 Under 30 list” of bright young entrepreneurs in manufacturing and industry. Forbes writes:

“At Warmilu, Hsia developed a phase change technology that provides a safe and controlled heat source, without electricity, that is used in infant blankets and heat packs for pain sufferers. She’s also a senior project manager for an advanced manufacturing consortium sponsored by the National Science Foundation and based at the University of Michigan.”


Thermally adaptive ductile concrete with PCM

U.S. patent application 20150376489 (applicant: Regents of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.):

“A thermally adaptive ductile concrete (PCM-ECC) having a tensile ductility ceramic with 5 times the thermal resistance, 2 times the specific heat capacity, and 400 times the tensile strain capacity of regular concrete. …

“A fiber-reinforced cementitious composite comprising: a binder of cement, pozzolanic material, and water; a plurality of uniformly distributed fibers at 1.5% to 3% of the total volume; fine aggregate; and a phase change material that changes a state of matter at a predetermined temperature.”

Respirator with phase change material

U.S. patent application 20160001101 (Scott Technologies Inc., Boca Raton, Fla.):

Respirator patent drawing“A respirator includes a frame, a filter layer, and a face seal member. The frame has an outer side and an inner side. The frame defines an opening therethrough. The filter layer is mounted to the outer side of the frame and covers the opening of the frame. The filter layer is configured to prohibit permeation of aerosol, gas, and/or vapor contaminants therethrough. The face seal member is mounted to the inner side of the frame. The face seal member includes a seal contact area configured to engage a facial surface of a wearer. The face seal member incorporates a phase change material therein. The phase change material is configured to provide localized cooling by absorbing heat emitted by the wearer.”

Battery thermal management for hybrid electric vehicles using PCM cold plate

U.S. patent application 20160006088 (applicant Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Fla.):

“A thermal management system for an energy storage device that includes a liquid-cooled cold plate made of phase-change material changeable from a substantially solid form to a substantially liquid form upon absorbing heat generated by the energy storage device. The system may be useful as a thermal management solution for energy storage systems (ESS) in hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV).”


Danke, grazie, obrigados: draws visitors from 157 countries

Interest in phase change material and thermal energy storage spans the globe. Visitors from 157 countries – from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe – visited in 2015. Most visitors came from the United States, followed by India, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, China, Brazil, Australia, France and Italy. The site drew visitors from more than 5,000 cities, as shown in the map below:


Ice Energy, maker of the Ice Bear thermal energy storage system, has hired Charles Costenbader as its new chief financial officer. Costenbader most recently served as chief operating officer of Synthesis Energy Systems, Shanghai, China.

Ember Technologies’ temperature-adjustable mug, powered in part by phase change material, is among the gadgets on display at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Appliance maker Glen Dimplex is about to begin recruiting 1,250 households in Germany, Latvia and Ireland to test its Quantum electric thermal storage system later this year.

The UK Green Building Council has launched a program to ensure that commercial buildings across the country meet the performance standards promised by developers.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is accepting applications for a year-round student internship to help foster clean energy development on tribal lands. 

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy is seeking technology-to-market experts to guide ARPA-E awardees in the development and execution of technology commercialization strategies. 

ARPA-E has posted the agenda for the Energy Innovation Summit, Feb. 29-March 2 in suburban Washington, D.C. Advanced Cooling Technologies and the Electric Power Research Institute, which are developing PCM-based dry-cooling technologies for thermoelectric power plants, are listed among the 267 showcase participants. 

In a new technical paper on, Dr. Mohammed Farid of the University of Auckland explains the complementary aspects of two methods of measuring the melting and freezing ranges of PCMs: differential scanning calorimetry and the T-history method.

The Rocky Mountain Institute’s new 15,600-square-foot Innovation Center in Basalt, Colo., features “space-agey” phase change thermal mats behind the drywall. The BioPCM mats are made by Phase Change Energy Solutions of Asheboro, N.C.

Four elements have been added to the periodic table, finally completing the table’s seventh row. The new synthetic elements – 113, 115, 117 and 118 – will be officially named by the teams that discovered them in the coming months.

Schoeller Textil AG‘s new Cosmopolitan textile collection includes warming and cooling fabrics that incorporate phase change materials.


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

From Energy and Buildings:

Experimental evaluation of the heat transfer through small PCM-based thermal energy storage units for building applications
Using phase change materials for residential air conditioning peak demand reduction and energy conservation in coastal and transitional climates in the State of California

From Applied Energy:

A review of the composite phase change materials: Fabrication, characterization, mathematical modeling and application to performance enhancement
Experimental investigation of the energy performance of a novel Micro-encapsulated Phase Change Material (MPCM) slurry based PV/T system

From Applied Mechanics and Materials:

Study on Characteristics of Ricinoleic Acid as a Phase Change Material

From Energy Procedia:

Method for Estimating the Temperature Distribution in a Phase Change Material with a Broad Phase-change-temperature Range
Modelling of an Active PCM Thermal Energy Storage for Control Applications
Applications of Active Hollow Core Slabs and Insulated Concrete Foam Walls as Thermal Storage in Cold Climate Residential Buildings

From International Journal of Thermal Sciences:

PCM cooling vest for improving thermal comfort in hot environment

From Building and Environment:

Improved performance in tube-encapsulated phase change thermal energy stores for HVAC applications

From Journal of Energy Storage:

Experimental investigation of latent heat storage in a coil in PCM storage unit

From European Journal of Engineering and Natural Sciences:

Thermal Change for Heat Exchanger Cooling System of PCM


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 500 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. Among the dozens of people who joined this week: Covadonga Loredo, Ph.D. candidate at Universidad de Oviedo, Spain; Nikhil Dhiman, mechanical engineer at Baxter International Inc., Chicago; Menno van der Hoff, HVAC R&D manager at Uniechemie, Netherlands; and Phil Myers, research assistant at the University of South Florida. Dr. Myers writes:

“Thanks for hosting this important group. I’ve primarily worked with phase change materials in the context of thermal energy storage—various means of encapsulation, heat transfer enhancement, thermophysical properties characterization, and systems modeling—for solar power and other applications. I was introduced to this topic during my graduate work under the advisement of Dr. Yogi Goswami at the University of South Florida Clean Energy Research Center. Glad to be a part of the group!”


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.