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Phase Change Matters Newsletter May 1 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,


LAX central utilities plant

New utilities plant at LAX has 1.5-million-gallon thermal energy storage tank

Los Angeles International Airport has opened its new 75,000-square-foot central utilities plant. The $438 million facility includes a 1.5-million-gallon thermal energy storage tank and an 8.4 MW cogeneration plant consisting of gas-turbine-driven generators. The “waste” heat will be reused for heating and to power steam-driven chillers.

ARUP and Gruen Associates collaborated as subconsultants to contractors Clark/McCarthy on the project. The tank was built by Chicago Bridge & Iron.

Modernization of system in Italy earns Global District Energy Climate Award

The modernization of the district heating system in Lodi, Italy, was among the projects honored at the annual Global District Energy Climate Awards in Estonia this week. Improvements to the 11-year-old system include the addition of thermal energy storage tanks designed to store up to 10 MWh, with a peak charge/discharge of 5 MW.

Also honored were:

• A CHP system based on renewable biomass in Braunschweig, Germany. The new Hungerkamp system replaces 34 oil- and coal-fired boilers and is projected to eliminate 8,000 tons of CO₂ a year.

• A combined heating and cooling system in Helsinki, Finland. An overall 80 percent energy saving is projected for the system, which relies on seawater for both heating and cooling.

• A deep geothermal system in Kirchweidach, Germany. The system supplies residents with renewable heat and electricity and heats a 30-acre greenhouse that grows peppers and tomatoes that would otherwise be imported.


Insect-repelling thermal paint with phase change material

U.S. patent application 20150111984 (inventor Alberto Vargas San Jose): “This remarkable invention provides a vinyl-acrylic water base paint that contains encapsulated phase change materials of oleoresin from capsaicin or capsicum, derived directly from the placenta of the chili pepper. … [The paint] includes storers with repellent characteristics … for insects.”

Temperature-regulating apparel with phase change material

Drawing from U.S. patent application 20150106992U.S. patent application 20150106992 (applicant Under Armour Inc.): “The present invention is directed toward an article of apparel effective to regulate the temperature of the wearer. In an embodiment, the article of apparel includes a base textile with a thermal regulation membrane. The thermal regulation membrane contains a plurality of system-reactive components selectively engaged heat and/or moisture. In an embodiment, the printed coating includes a cooling agent, a phase change material, and a heat dissipation material. In operation, the article of apparel is effective to delay/diminish the rise in skin temperature (compared to a garment lacking the membrane), increasing wearer comfort.”

Heat storage member for canister using PCM in sealed container

U.S. patent application 20150107561 (assignee Aisan Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha): “A heat storage member housed in a canister together with an adsorbent capable of adsorbing fuel vapor has a sealed container and a phase-change material housed in the sealed container. The phase-change material becomes semisolid gel state at the melting point of the phase-change material.”


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

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

RT100/expand graphite composite phase change material with excellent structure stability, photo-thermal performance and good thermal reliability

From Energy and Buildings:

Thermal Cycle Test of Binary Mixtures of Some Fatty Acids as Phase Change Materials For Building Applications

From Applied Energy:

Development of structural–functional integrated concrete with macro-encapsulated PCM for thermal energy storage

From Energy Research:

Characterization and real-time testing of phase-change materials for solar thermal energy storage

From Energy Sustainability Through Green Energy:

Phase Change Materials — A Sustainable Way of Solar Thermal Energy Storage [pdf]
Latent Heat Thermal Storage (LHTS) for Energy Sustainability 


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 160 of your colleagues have joined a new LinkedIn group devoted to the discussion of phase change material and thermal energy storage. The Phase Change Matters group is intended to be a highly interactive complement to the blog and newsletter of the same name.

CALMAC VP Paul ValentaYou are invited to join the group and connect with PCM and TES experts from around the world. New members this week include Paul Valenta, VP of sales and marketing at CALMAC. He writes:

“I have been in the TES, specifically ice storage business, for over 24 years. The TES industry has seen its share of obstacles to implement TES on a wide scale and we have removed many but some still remain. I think the industry has some pretty good solutions moving forward. I’m very excited about energy storage of all technologies and hope I can contribute to moving the industry forward.”


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.