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Phase Change Matters Newsletter Nov 13 2015

The award-winning 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,


Tips on how to protect your intellectual property rights

Writing in Advanced Textiles Source, two patent attorneys share some basic advice on intellectual property rights. Mareesa Frederick and Mark Sweet of Finnegan LLP in Washington, D.C., note that a well-kept trade secret can offer far more protection than a patent:

“That protection, however, is not without risk as a savvy competitor could potentially reverse engineer and copy the trade secret. The scientist would then be left with no legal recourse. Whether or not to assume that risk depends on a number of factors: the ease of reverse engineering, the accessibility of the trade secret (is it part of the manufacturing process or apparent from the product itself), the likelihood of obtaining a patent, and the usefulness of the product after the patent has expired. The inquiry is highly fact-specific and one best addressed with an attorney.”

U.S. patent: Thermal receptacle with phase change material

U.S. patent 9,181,015U.S. patent 9181015 (applicant Raymond Booska, West Melbourne, Fla.):

“A liquid receptacle has an inner vessel for holding a liquid, an insulated outer shell spaced from the Miler vessel, and a chamber defined between the inner vessel and the outer shell. A phase change material is disposed in the chamber for absorbing thermal energy from the liquid and then releasing the thermal energy back to the liquid to maintain the temperature of the liquid. … 

“The present invention relates generally to liquid receptacles, containers, and accessories for such receptacles that rapidly cool a hot liquid to a warm range and then maintain the liquid in the warm range for an extended period.”


Influential physicist Leo Kadanoff dies; known for work on phase transitions

Leo P. Kadanoff, a leading theoretical physicist best known for developing the concepts of “scale invariance” and “universality” as they apply to phase transitions, died Oct. 26 in Chicago. He was 78.

Dr. Leo KadanoffDr. Kadanoff, a professor at the University of Chicago from 1978 until his retirement in 2003, won the Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society in 1977, the Wolf Foundation Prize in 1980, the 1989 Boltzmann Medal of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, and the 1999 National Medal of Science.

From the Boston Globe obituary:

“Phase transitions, such as those between steam and water and between water and ice, in which a single substance takes many forms, have intrigued scientists for centuries. Some have been well explained, but creating detailed explanations for some of the more complex transitions continued to challenge physicists until the last half of the 20th century.

“Throughout the world of modern physics, Dr. Kadanoff was lauded as one of the foremost in delineating how even the most subtle and complex phase transitions occur. He was also credited with showing how the large-scale changes that are easily observable stem from microscopic changes beyond the reach of the senses.”


Entropy Solutions blog, newsletter win PR News awards

Entropy Solutions, maker of PureTemp phase change material, won first place in two categories – blog and e-mail newsletter – in the 2015 Digital PR Awards.

Other finalists in the two categories included Coca-Cola, MasterCard, Polycom, Global Hotel Alliance and Adobe Systems.

The national competition, sponsored by PR News, recognizes the year’s most outstanding digital communicators and campaigns. Winners were announced Monday at the annual Digital PR Awards luncheon at the Yale Club in New York City.

BUILDING | CONSTRUCTIONArchiBlox prefab home

Carbon Positive House can be assembled in less than a day

ArchiBlox, an Australian design-build firm that specializes in prefab buildings, has designed a sustainable house that can be assembled in just six hours.

“We call the house Carbon Positive, because we’re positively putting energy back into the grid,” Bill McCorkell, owner and director of the Victoria-based company, said in an interview with The Fifth Estate. “This is due to the five solar panels mounted on the roof that produce electricity, and the fact that the house requires no mechanical cooling or heating.”

The 5-kilowatt-hour solar panels produce more than enough electricity to power the hot water system, LED lights and appliances. Excess electricity can be exported to the grid.

The home features double-glazed windows and slideable living walls and roof to reduce sun penetration as needed. Phase change material in the ceiling absorbs daytime heat and releases it when the temperature falls below 18° Celsius. The price for the one-bedroom, one-bathroom standard model: $286,000 AUD.


PCM at the heart of Italy’s new national soccer jersey

Italy’s national soccer team will be sporting phase change material at the 2016 European Championships.

The team’s new home jersey, which will make its debut Friday in a friendly against Belgium, features Puma’s ACTV Thermo-R technology. Strategically placed tape infused with microencapsulated phase change material absorbs excess heat and releases it back to the body when needed. The tape is designed to provide a snug fit, “micro-massaging the skin in specific areas to provide a faster, more effective energy supply to the active muscles.”


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

From Applied Energy:

Shape stabilised phase change materials based on a high melt viscosity HDPE and paraffin waxes
Influence of intumescent flame retardant on thermal and flame retardancy of eutectic mixed paraffin/polypropylene form-stable phase change materials
Exergoeconomic and environmental analyses of an air conditioning system using thermal energy storage

From Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews:

Sensible heat thermal storage energy and exergy performance evaluations
Recent developments in integrated collector storage (ICS) solar water heaters: A review

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Development of thermal storage material using vermiculite and calcium hydroxide

From Renewable Energy:

Development of a novel phase change material emulsion for cooling systems

From Construction and Building Materials:

Utilization of paraffin/expanded perlite materials to improve mechanical and thermal properties of cement mortar

From Energy:

Experimental investigations on using phase change material for performance improvement of storage-enhanced heat recovery room air-conditioner

From Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials:

Smart macroencapsulated resin/wax composite for energy conservation in the built environment

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

Solidification behavior and thermal conductivity of bulk sodium acetate trihydrate composites with thickening agents and graphite


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 430 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 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 Sajad Naghavi, Ph.D. candidate in energy engineering at the University of Malaya; Barry Kriha, marketing director at Plastilite Corp.; Marek Rebow, head of research of the College of Engineering & Built Environment at Dublin Institute of Technology; and Shamil Habib, CEO at FicusPax International.


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.