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PhaseChange Matters Newsletter Jan 22 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,


Drawing of proposed Dutch Windwheel

Plans for Dutch Windwheel apartment/hotel complex roll forward

A consortium behind plans to build the Dutch Windwheel, a 570-foot-high apartment and hotel complex in Rotterdam, has agreed to begin development and testing of a self-supporting energy system and other innovative technologies.

Underground thermal energy storage is among the components being studied for the “next-generation” windmill.

“Phase change materials, aquifer thermal energy storage and surface water thermal energy are a few of multiple options for managing the smart HVAC system in a sustainable way,” said Gerard Blom, freshwater systems manager at the research institute Deltares, a member of the consortium. “Possibilities will be researched for local energy production (including the electrostatic wind energy convertor technology, solar and residual heat, and heat exchange), the water system, the development of a smart grid, the use of materials as well as technologies to enhance the experience and attraction value of the Dutch Windwheel and its environment.”

Open Energi to tap ‘thermal inertia’ of hot asphalt tanks for U.K. grid

London-based startup Open Energi is working with partner Tarmac to harness the thermal energy of hot asphalt. Open Energi plans to install its demand response system at 70 Tarmac plants in the United Kingdom, using 200-some asphalt tanks as fast-acting batteries for the electric grid. Thanks to “thermal inertia,” the tanks stay close to the optimum 150° Celsius for long periods without electricity. Greentech Media‘s Jeff St. John explains:

“Each [tank] can be turned on and off, based on Open Energi’s moment-by-moment analysis of what grid operator National Grid needs to keep its system at a stable frequency of 50 hertz.

“This service, known as frequency regulation in the United States, is technically challenging, requiring large-scale resources to ramp up and down within seconds. This is a much more challenging set of tasks, compared to those required from traditional demand response programs in the U.S., or the U.K.’s Short-Term Operating Reserve (STOR) program, or its new capacity markets.”


PureTemp among top materials added to Material ConneXion library

Material ConneXion library in NYCPureTemp phase change material, selected in October for display at Material ConneXion‘s flagship library in New York City, has now been chosen as one of the top 15 materials added to the library and online database in the past three months.

As part of the quarterly program, samples of PureTemp will be included in the library’s Active Matter innovation box, which will be distributed to 100 corporate decision-makers around the world in the interior design, architecture, industrial design, product design, fashion, retail and electronics industries.

Material ConneXion is the world’s largest membership-based library, with more than 7,500 “unique, innovative and sustainable materials” and seven locations worldwide. Each month, an independent jury selects 42 new materials and processes for inclusion in the library.


Sonoco ThermoSafe has introduced the new Quarter PMC pallet shipper, designed to optimize bulk air shipments of temperature-sensitive biologics and pharmaceutical products for durations exceeding five days. The shipper is offered in 2-8° C, 15-25° C and frozen temperature ranges.

Serta has launched a revamped iComfort bedding line that features the company’s new Ever Feel Triple Effects Gel Memory Foam, with phase change material incorporated in the gel.

Giovanni Damato has joined the Electric Power Research Institute as technical leader for energy storage, distributed generation and microgrids.

• U.S. chemical industry officials praised the Trans-Pacific Partnership at a hearing last week in Washington. Greg Skelton of the American Chemistry Council noted that it could bring a $1.2 billion increase in U.S. chemical exports, Bloomberg BNA reported [subscription required].

Thomas Mielke, editor-in-chief of Oil World, expects that, with exception of soybeans, world supplies of oilseeds will be tight this year. He’ll present his global outlook at the second annual Oilseed Congress Europe/MENA Feb. 9-10 in Barcelona, Spain.  

CALMAC CEO Mark MacCracken will help lead a course on thermal energy storage at the 2016 ASHRAE Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday.

Monodraught Ltd.’s Colin Haworth will be among the presenters at a one-day conference at Arup headquarters in London on Feb. 10. The topic: energy reduction solutions.


Methods of forming a thermal storage unit

U.S. patent application 20160016246 (applicant Orbital ATK Inc., Dulles, Va.):

“A two-phase heat transfer system includes an evaporator unit configured to receive heat from a source, a liquid line fluidly connected to the evaporator unit, a vapor line fluidly connected to the evaporator unit, and a condenser. The condensing unit includes a thermal capacitance device and a condenser integrated with the thermal capacitance device. Methods of forming a thermal storage unit include preparing a honeycomb core to receive a phase change material, metallurgically bonding end pieces to the core, to thermally link the end pieces to the core, and bonding the end pieces together to form a seal for holding the phase change material within the core.”


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

From Materials:

Development of Hollow Steel Ball Macro-Encapsulated PCM for Thermal Energy Storage Concrete

From Advances in Thermal Energy Storage Systems:

Thermal energy storage (TES) systems for cooling in residential buildings

From Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews:

Nano-enhanced phase change materials for improved building performance
Development of free cooling based ventilation technology for buildings: Thermal energy storage (TES) unit, performance enhancement techniques and design considerations – A review

From Energy and Buildings:

Synthesis and characterization of lauric acid/expanded vermiculite as form-stabilized thermal energy storage materials
Experimental evaluation of a concrete core slab with phase change materials for cooling purposes
Development of PCM cool roof system to control urban heat island considering temperate climatic conditions

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

Sodium nitrate thermal behavior in latent heat thermal energy storage: A study of the impact of sodium nitrite on melting temperature and enthalpy
Metal foam embedded in SEBS/paraffin/HDPE form-stable PCMs for thermal energy storage
Performance enhancement of a Building-Integrated Concentrating Photovoltaic system using phase change material

From International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology:

Uncertainty of Thermal Characterization of Phase Change Material by Differential Scanning Calorimetry Analysis

From Energy:

Microencapsulation of n-dodecane into zirconia shell doped with rare earth: Design and synthesis of bifunctional microcapsules for photoluminescence enhancement and thermal energy storage


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 550 of your peers are members of a 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 Jean-Luc Battaglia, professor of thermal materials at the University of Bordeaux, France; Michael Corridan, co-founder of SolarThermiX Inc., Phoenix, Arizona; and Richard Sohn, vice president at Korea Energy Works Inc. Another new member writes:

“Hi, I am Cecilia Wolluschek, Physics PhD with thermal engineering and fluid mechanics specialization (heat transfer through two immiscibles fluids). Some years ago, I collaborated in different scientific project related with the PCM. Nowadays, I am Thermodynamics Professor in the Public University of Navarre, Spain and CEO at CW Consulting, a scientific and technical team of industrial consultants. I really interested in explore industrial applications of the PCM and in knowing the results of the recent research about them.”


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.