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PhaseChange Matters Newsletter Jan 15 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,


PackVesl film package added to Vesl line of PCM containment devices

PackVesl 20RTIn partnership with Entropy Solutions, Vesl LLC has added PackVesl to its line of PCM containment devices. The multi-layer film package is hermetically sealed to prevent leakage or intrusion and designed to withstand rigorous and repeated long-term use.

PackVesl 20RT has three chambers totaling 20cm x 38cm and contains 454 grams (1 pound) of PureTemp phase change material, available in more than a dozen temperatures, from -2°C (28°F) to 29°C (84°F). 


Registration open for renewable energy storage conference in Düsseldorf

Registration is open for the 10th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference to be held March 15-17 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The conference will feature sessions on high-temperature thermal energy storage for electricity production, TES for buildings and TES for increased efficiency in industry. Among the presentations:

• “Top-down and Bottom-up Analysis of the Economics of Thermal Energy Storage,” Christoph Rathgeber, ZAE Bayern, Germany

• “Characterisation and Enhancement of Phase Change Slurries,” Sophia Niedermaier, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Germany

• “Quasi‐Stationary Modelling of Melting and Solidification Inside a Latent Heat Storage System,” Felix Eckl, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland

• “Improve Flexibility for Heat Pumps in Smart‐Grids by the Integration of a Thermal Storage System,” Philipp Schütz, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland

• “Operational Results of a Combined Thermal Energy Storage with Electricity Generation System,” Günter Schneider, STORASOL GmbH, Germany

• “Management of Thermal and Electrical Systems in Residential Areas ‐ A Case‐Based Techno-Economical Optimization,” Andreas Bachmaier, Fraunhofer Institut for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Germany

• “Standard Procedure for PCM Characterization via DSC and Online Database for High Quality PCM‐Data,” [presenter not listed]

Reduced rates are available through Jan. 31.

Sunamp CEO says thermal batteries will save up to 50% in heating costs

Sunamp CEO Andrew BissellIn an interview with a Scottish newspaper, Sunamp Ltd. CEO Andrew Bissell talks about the company’s range of “heat batteries,” which use phase change material to store excess energy generated by solar PV systems. The stored energy is released on demand to provide heat and hot water.

“Around 550 Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association tenants are among the first in the UK to benefit from lower fuel costs thanks to our technology,” Bissell told the Herald. “The homes are included in a trial backed by a £3.2m grant from the Local Energy Challenge Fund, running in tandem with a Solar PV programme, which is underway in 650 properties in central Scotland. The project covers a range of property types from sheltered housing complexes to individual homes for social rent and is set to deliver savings for residents estimated at between 19 per cent and 50 per cent, depending on the heating system being replaced. It is due to complete in March.”


Patient interfaces with condensation reducing or compensation arrangements

U.S. patent application 20160008566 (Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd., New Zealand):

“Mask assemblies, breathing circuits and related components include configurations for reducing condensation within the mask and/or inhibiting or preventing condensation from coming into contact with a user of the mask. The mask assemblies can incorporate heating elements (such as heating coils), insulating spaces or barrier layers. … In some configurations, the patient interface further comprises a phase change material in the insulation space.”

Device and method for portable thermal support


U.S. patent application 20160008168 (General Electric Co., Schenectady, N.Y.):

“The present application discloses a transfer device for warming an infant patient during movement of the patient. The transfer device comprises a center section positionable beneath the patient, and the center section comprises a warming device. … In [one] embodiment, the warming device is a phase change material. The phase change material, such as a wax, is one that once melted, slowly releases heat until the liquid has solidified, thus changing phase. To warm an infant patient, for example, a phase change material that changes from liquid to solid near 37° C., or within a few degrees in either direction, is desired.”


MIT researchers have developed a new material that can store solar energy during the day and release it later as heat on demand. The transparent polymer film could be applied to window glass, clothing or other surfaces.

A housing development in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is said to be the first in the world to run on solar-powered hydrogen energy storage.

California is home to almost half of all the net-zero buildings in the United States, according to a new survey from the Net-Zero Energy Coalition. Sacramento is first among U.S. cities, with more than 925 zero-energy housing units and 800 more planned.

Coolmark‘s TripleAqua heat pump, which uses phase change material to store hot and cold energy, is one of three finalists in the energy savings category of the 2016 VSK Awards. The awards honor Dutch innovation and initiative in engineering. Winners will be announced Feb. 3 at the VSK trade show in Utrecht.

• California startup Axiom Exergy, maker of a “Refrigeration Battery” designed to reduce supermarket energy costs, has posted an opening for a product engineer. Candidates are invited to answer this question: “Given the choice between pure water and a NaCl-water solution as the thermal energy storage medium in medium temperature (40°F, 4.4°C) refrigeration applications, what are the pros and cons of each material?”

Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new district cooling plant, completed this week, has 18 chillers, two thermal energy storage tanks and a total capacity of 55,000 metric tons of refrigerant.

BoTemp, a Dutch company that produces cold storage systems for the transport and container industry, has added two eutectic systems to its product line: The on-board Cold Battery uses chilled air forced into the cargo area to give a wide controllable temperature range from -18º C to 4º C. The stationary Cold Charger can quickly charge multiple vehicles or containers at the same time.

Restonic is infusing phase change material into the surface of the TempaGel memory foam used in the mattress maker’s new ComfortCare Hybrid Signature line.

The Jemalong Solar Thermal Station, which uses molten salt as a thermal storage medium, has entered the commissioning phase, developer Vast Solar says. The grid-connected pilot plant in New South Wales, Australia, is expected to reach full operation as early as May.

Ice Energy, which makes the Ice Bear thermal energy storage system, is on‘s list of 10 start-ups to watch in 2016. CEO Mike Hopkins is among the speakers at the VerdeXchange green economy conference Jan. 24-26 in Los Angeles.

New from Grand View Research: “Fatty Acid Ester Market Analysis By Product (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Glyceryl Monostearate, Isopropyl Esters), By Application (Personal Care & Cosmetics, Lubricants, Food Processing, Surfactants & Detergents, Pharmaceuticals) and Segment Forecasts To 2022”


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

From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:

Structure and thermal properties of octadecane/expanded graphite composites as shape-stabilized phase change materials

From Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews:

Development of free cooling based ventilation technology for buildings: Thermal energy storage (TES) unit, performance enhancement techniques and design considerations – A review

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

A comparison between CFD simulation and experimental investigation of a packed-bed thermal energy storage system
Analysis of industrial-scale high-temperature combined sensible/latent thermal energy storage
Performance analysis of thermal energy storage systems using phase change material
A molecular dynamics study of nano-encapsulated phase change material slurry
Preparation and hygrothermal properties of composite phase change humidity control materials

From Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries:

Dust Ignition of Pure and Encapsulated Paraffin Phase Change Materials

From Energy:

Simulating the effects of cool roof and PCM (phase change materials) based roof to mitigate UHI (urban heat island) in prominent US cities

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

Development and thermal performance of pumice/organic PCM/gypsum composite plasters for thermal energy storage in buildings

From Energy Conversion and Management:

Design of a novel concentrating photovoltaic–thermoelectric system incorporated with phase change materials

From Reference Module in Food Science:

Examination of the Thermal Properties of Insulation Materials for Cool and Cold Stores


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.

New members this week include Mary Kate Hardy, Global Futures Fellow at Rice UniversityScott Smith, senior R&D lab technician at Henkel Technologies, Irvine, Calif.; Petra van Bohemen, marketing manager at BoTemp, Netherlands; Maciej Żyrkowski, thermodynamics research specialist at EDF Polska S.A., Poland, and Marcel Gouw, director at global-E-systems Europa BV, Netherlands. Gouw writes:

“[I have been] involved in the PCM business for more than 20 years now. At first the most in ice storage systems for industrial projects. Now my company is working in the whole range of PCM applications from building HVAC, domestic, industry, transport to agriculture. We did successful PCM-projects the past last years and have many new projects coming up for this year. Looking forward in meeting some of you in the near future.”


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.