Menu Close

Phase Change Matters Newsletter March 6 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,


In buildings across Australia, PCM use is state of the art (and science)

Architecture & Design of Australia offers a wide-ranging look at how architects, designers and engineers are using phase change materials in the land down under. Products made by BASF, DuPont, Phase Change Energy Solutions, Tate Access Floors, GlassX and Phase Change Products can be found in high-tech concrete, wallboard, glass and cooling systems across Australia.

Armstrong says PCM ceiling tiles can help British schools meet new rules

Jeremy SumerayArmstrong Ceilings hosted a seminar in London last month explaining how schools can meet new regulations aimed at improving ventilation and thermal comfort in British classrooms. 

Phase 2 of the Priority School Building Programme will rebuild or refurbish 277 schools across England at a cost of more than $3 billion.

Jeremy Sumeray, Armstrong’s head of sustainability, said the new Priority School Building Programme provides an ideal opportunity to install lightweight thermal mass. According to a report in Specification Online:

“He revealed how the use of such lightweight thermal mass – recyclable ceiling tiles which incorporate phase change material (PCM) – in a classroom at Belvoir High School in Nottingham had resulted in consistently lower peak temperatures with natural ventilation compared to an identical classroom with standard ceiling tiles.”


CALMAC offers building owners, managers free analysis of energy bills

CALMAC, maker of ice-based energy storage systems, is offering to analyze commercial energy bills for free. The new service allows owners and managers of commercial buildings to upload a copy of an electricity bill through CALMAC’s website. A rate specialist will review the bill to identify potential savings that can be achieved by shifting a building’s cooling load to cheaper off-peak hours.

Masdar solar collector - courtesy Masdar Institute

Dow, NEST team up on thermal energy storage project in Abu Dhabi

Dow Chemical is collaborating with NEST AS of Norway on a thermal energy storage pilot project in Abu Dhabi. The project, to be undertaken at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology’s concentrated solar power installation in Masdar City, will study the feasibility of a novel TES system developed by NEST. Dow will supply technical support and 2.6 metric tons of its Dowtherm A heat transfer fluid.


Frigesco flash defrost system wins ACR News Award

Frigesco Ltd.’s low-energy flash defrost system was among the winners at last week’s ACR News Awards in London, earning Refrigeration Product of the Year honors.

The British company’s technology harnesses waste heat to defrost refrigeration systems more efficiently, reducing supermarket cooling costs by up to 20 percent. Phase change material is used to store the waste heat.

Other ACR winners include Toshiba, Cool Designs Ltd. and Sainsbury Triple Zero Stores.


ARPA-E seeks deputy director of commercialization

ARPA-E is accepting applications for a deputy director of commercialization. The deputy director is a member of the agency’s executive leadership team and oversees the agency’s Technology-to-Market program and outreach efforts. For details, see the Job Opportunities section of ARPA-E’s website,


From Journal of Colloid and Interface Science:

  • The dependence of phase change enthalpy on the pore structure and interfacial groups in hydrated salts/silica composites via sol-gel
  • From Energy and Power Engineering:

  • Time-Temperature Charge Function of a High Dynamic Thermal Heat Storage with Phase Change Material
  • From Applied Thermal Engineering:

  • Performance of Suspended Finned Heat Pipes in High-temperature Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage

  • Numerical investigation of hydrodynamics and thermal performance of a specially configured heat pipe for high-temperature thermal energy storage systems
  • From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:

  • Population balance modeling for the charging process of a PCM cold energy storage tank
  • From Energy Conversion and Management:

  • A review on thermophysical properties of nanoparticle-dispersed phase change materials

  • Developments in organic solid–liquid phase change materials and their applications in thermal energy storage
  • From Advances in Thermal Energy Storage Systems:

  • Integrating phase change materials (PCMs) in thermal energy storage systems for buildings
  • From Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews:

  • Unconventional experimental technologies available for phase change materials characterization, Part 1, Thermophysical properties

  • Melting and convection of phase change materials in different shape containers: A review
  • From Energy and Buildings:

  • Phase change materials for building applications: A state-of-the-art review and future research opportunities

  • Mechanical and thermo-physical behaviour of concretes and mortars containing phase change material

  • Development and Optimization of an Innovative HVAC System with Integrated PVT and PCM Thermal Storage for a Net-Zero Energy Retrofitted House
  • From Solar Energy:

  • Improving the efficiency of photovoltaic cells using PCM-infused graphite and aluminum fins

  • Effect of separation distance on the mechanical stability and thermal performance of twin hot-water storage caverns
  • From Renewable Energy:

  • Corrosion properties of a ternary nitrate/nitrite molten salt in concentrated solar technology

  • Performance of indirect through pass natural convective solar crop dryer with phase change thermal energy storage
  • From Fractals:

  • Study on solidification of phase change material in fractal porous metal foam
  • From International Journal of Sustainable Energy:

  • Thermal energy storage properties of the capric acid–stearic acid binary system and 48# paraffin–liquid paraffin binary system


    Dr. Mohammed Farid

    Got a question about PCMs or TES? Ask our expert

    Dr. Mohammed Farid, an Entropy Solutions advisor and professor of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Auckland, has agreed 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.

    Shivangi Sharma, a Ph.D. student at the University of Exeter, asks:

    “How is the phase change material selection dependent on the photovoltaic panel temperature? For instance, for a PV panel with Tmax = 80°C, but most suitable operating temperature of about 25°C, what should be the best targeted phase change temperature range? Should it be around 25°C or about 80°C for maximum cooling benefits?”

    Dr. Farid’s reply:

    “Phase change material cannot work in such an application unless you have an environment where the temperature varies significantly between day and night. You need to select the melting temperature between those two to ensure that the PCM can solidify at night. If the maximum ambient temperature is 25º C and maximum PV temperature is 80º C, then a 30º C PCM may work based on the condition that night temperatures drop to at least 20º C. There is no simple answer to this, but we have built such a system in our laboratory and completed research that will be published soon. I would be happy to direct you to the paper when it becomes available.”


    How are we doing?

    We’re working to make Phase Changes Matters the industry’s most comprehensive source for news and information on phase change materials and thermal energy storage. We’d love to hear from you. Is the academic research roundup useful? How about the links to case studies? Market research? New products? Company news? Job openings? Training opportunities? And just as important: What important topics have we failed to cover?

    Don’t be shy: Drop us a line at and let us know what you think.