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Phase Change Matters Newsletter May 8 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,


Why CSP’s future hinges on thermal energy storage

Nur Energie‘s plan to generate concentrating solar power in the Tunisian desert and export the electricity to the United Kingdom illustrates the importance of storage to CSP’s future, writes Jason Deign at Greentech Media.

“[T]he sole reason for relying on CSP is that the plant will use molten salt thermal energy storage to provide baseload power,” Deign writes. “That would allow it to compete with new nuclear plants, the development of which [is] still uncertain in the U.K.”


Papers sought on building design for Gulf, Mediterranean climates

Papers are being sought for a 2016 conference focused on building design and system technologies.

Nesreen GhaddarThe second International Conference on Efficient Building Design: Materials and HVAC Equipment Technologies will take place Sept. 22–23, 2016, in Beirut, Lebanon. The conference objective is to present advanced research on better building design, adapted to the hot, humid Gulf climate and the moderate, humid Mediterranean climate, according to conference chair Nesreen Ghaddar.

“This conference will serve as a platform for presenting advanced research in these topics with the intent to highlight emerging new HVAC technologies with renewables integration, optimal ventilation and indoor air quality and adapting alternative refrigerants to warmer climates,” said Ghaddar, a professor of mechanical engineering at the American University of Beirut, one of the sponsors. “Specifically, direction is sought on which HVAC technologies best utilize solar PV power, what techniques to use for separate sensible and latent heat management, and how to develop hybrid systems that combine mechanical and mixed ventilation methods.”

Abstracts are due Sept. 15, 2015.


Mmmm, now that’s some fine-tasting PCM

Sunamp's chocolate fountainSunamp Ltd., a British company that makes heat storage batteries, hardly mentions phase change materials on its website, Which is strange, since it’s no secret that PCMs power the batteries, which store heat for domestic hot water and space heating.

And yet PCMs of a sort were the centerpiece of the company’s networking event Wednesday at the All-Energy 2015 Exhibition and Conference in Glasgow. Visitors were encouraged to sample “some of the tastiest phase change materials around” — chocolate in liquid form cascading from a fountain.

Nearby, SmartestEnergy held a “Best of British” drinks reception, with regional craft beers and wine.

Beer, wine and food-grade PCMs? Sign us up for the 2016 conference.

Lineup set for Australian Energy Storage Conference

Next month’s Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition includes sessions on molten salt storage, district chilled water systems, ground thermal storage and ice-based, load-shifting systems. Bruce Smith, managing director of Flow-Ice, will be among the speakers. The conference will take place in Sydney June 3-4.


EU seeks proposals for next-gen district energy pilot project

The European Commission‘s Directorate-General for Energy is seeking proposals for a pilot project to develop next-generation district heating and cooling technology.

“The pilot should contribute to developing the next generation district heating and cooling by integrating the intelligent use and control of distributed energy storage systems in the network; improving design and control of substations in the building; integrating multiple thermal generation inputs (renewable solar thermal, geothermal, waste heat) and storage, and to providing solutions for intelligent control of the overall network, in particular the thermal energy demand of the connected buildings, and both distributed and collective thermal energy storage systems.”

The two-year contract is worth 1.75 million euros (1.9 million USD). The deadline for receipt of tenders is June 19, 2015.


In pilot study, radiators store heat, cut use of peak load boilers

Johan Kensby, Ph.D. studentJohan Kensby, a Ph.D. student at Chalmers University in Sweden, is investigating how district energy systems can reduce the use of peak load boilers by storing heat in buildings connected to the network.

“Buildings have large thermal mass. Heat can be stored in the floor, walls, ceiling, and in the water in the radiator system,” he noted in a piece posted this week on the university’s website.

In a pilot study, he found it is possible to store as much as 0.1 kilowatt hours of heat per square meter of a building without the indoor temperature varying by more than 0.5 degrees Celsius.

“The residents do not notice it,” he said. “Temperature variations of this size are already present, for example when cooking.”


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

From International Journal of Hydrogen Energy:

• Preparation and thermal characterization of composite “Paraffin/Red Brick” as a novel form-stable of phase change material for thermal energy storage

From Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews:

Phase change materials for solar thermal energy storage in residential buildings in cold climate

From Journal of Food Engineering:

Development of Polystyrene-based Films with Temperature Buffering Capacity for Smart Food Packaging

From Applied Thermal Energy:

Melting of phase change material assisted by expanded metal mesh
Lattice Boltzmann simulation of convection melting in complex heat storage systems filled with phase change materials
Study of a Thermoelectric Space Cooling System Integrated with Phase Change Material

From Energy and Buildings:

Preparation and thermal properties of form-stable phase change materials composed of palmitic acid/polypyrrole/graphene nanoplatelets
Experimental and Numerical Evaluation of Longitudinally Finned Latent Heat Thermal Storage Systems

From International Journal of Refrigeration:

Improving Performance of Household Refrigerators by Incorporating Phase Change Materials

From Energy:

Facile synthesis and thermal performances of stearic acid/titania core/shell nanocapsules by sol–gel method


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 165 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 an interactive complement to the 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 Faiçal Aitlahbib of Morocco, author of “Numerical study of heat transfer inside a Keeping Warm System (KWS) incorporating phase change material” [Applied Thermal Energy, January 2015]. He writes:

“Thanks for the idea! Actually it will help for the networking in PCM science and applications. I’m a Ph.D. working on another way of use of PCM through a Keeping Warm System.”


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.