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Phase Change Matters Newsletter Oct 30 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,


Huf Haus show house, Surrey, England

Viessmann ice store system is used to heat, cool UK show house

A heat pump system that uses an ice store to both heat and cool buildings has been installed at a show house in England.

Huf Haus‘ post-and-beam show home in Surrey is equipped with the ice store system, developed by Viessmann, a German company that manufactures heating systems. The system is one of the sustainable elements showcased in Huf Haus’ first UK show home.

The heat pump extracts energy from stored water. As this energy is used, especially during the heating season, the temperature of the water in the ice store falls. If the temperature in the store falls to the freezing point, additional energy is obtained from the freezing of the water. The system is also used to heat water for domestic use.

Ice Energy CEO: ‘We need to ramp up quite dramatically’

Forbes contributor Peter Kelly-Detwiler checks in with Ice Energy CEO Mike Hopkins and concludes that the company, which makes the Ice Bear thermal energy storage system, has begun to hit its stride:

In recent years, the 12-year old privately held company has sold its Ice Bear products to utilities and made steady progress. However, last November, Ice Energy was awarded a contract for almost 26 megawatts (MW) of storage by Southern California Edison. And that, indicates CEO Hopkins, changes everything. The contract will require the installation of 1,800 Ice Bear units (connected to 3,600 rooftop air conditioning units) in the Orange County area. Such a commitment elevates the company to an entirely new economy of scale.

If all goes as planned (and final approval of the Public Utility Commission is granted), Hopkins indicates units will come online by mid 2016 and provide the utility with 20 years of dispatchable capacity. Given the tight timeframe for deployment, and anticipating a regulatory green light, Ice Energy has already moved into deployment mode. The company is increasing production at a Hammondsport, NY manufacturing facility operated by a third party, as Hopkins notes “we need to ramp up quite dramatically.”

APPARELMinistry of Supply chinos

High-tech clothier sees profitability on horizon

Ministry of Supply, the Boston startup known for integrating phase change material in its high-tech menswear, plans to become profitable as soon as next year, the Boston Business Journal reports.

The five-year-old company recently landed $1.5 million in additional funding from undisclosed investors, co-founder Kit Hickey said. Funding to date for the company now stands at more than $6 million.

Among the company’s new products this fall: No-iron chinos ($138) and a lightweight warp-knit dress jacket ($348). 


Energy storage control system and method

U.S. patent application 20150298572 (applicant Johnson Controls Technology Co., Holland, Mich.):

“A system for providing power to a power network includes an energy storage device connected to the power network, a sensor connected with the energy storage device for measuring a state of the energy storage device during a rest period, which corresponds to a time span during which a current through the energy storage device is reduced to a level that enables an estimation of a state of the energy storage device. The system further includes a controller connected to the sensor for measuring a state of the energy storage device. The controller selectively establishes rest periods for the energy storage device.”

Composition of microwavable phase change material

U.S. patent application 20150274928 (inventors Samit Jain, et al, India): 

“The present invention provides a microwavable Phase Change Material and product thereof, particularly, the present invention relates to the field of microwave heating and use of microwave susceptor for providing heat to Phase Change Material. The invention provides a new process for preparing improved Phase Change Material which can be heated in a domestic microwave oven.”

Heat storage material and transport container

U.S. patent application 20150299549 (applicants Kaneka Corp. and Tamaikasei Co. Ltd., Japan):

“A heat storage material composition having a melting temperature utilized for control of an optional management temperature, providing no variation in melting behavior and solidification behavior, and having a constant melting temperature. The heat storage material composition consists primarily of a mixture of a higher alkane having carbon number of 9 to 24 and a higher alcohol having carbon number of 6 to 20, and the mixture has a substantially single melting peak in DSC curve measured by a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC).”

Devices and methods for therapeutic heat treatment

U.S. patent application 20150297763 (applicant Boston Scientific, Maple Grove, Minn.):

“A microparticle includes a plurality of magnetic nanoparticles having a Curie temperature between 40° and 100° C. The microparticle further includes a biocompatible polymer and/or biocompatible ceramic and a plurality of radiopaque nanoparticles. … In some embodiments, the inner portion is coated with a biodegradable phase change material, used in conjunction with a therapeutic drug and Curie nanoparticles, in order to trigger drug release at a specified temperature.”

Multi-phase mixed material therapy pack

U.S. patent application 20150272775 (applicants Eric Fayez Chebab, et al, Mountain View, Calif.):

“Thermal packs adapted for use in a muscle stimulation system, comprising an external housing with a first material therein and at least one phase change element therein. … In preferable embodiments, the thermal packs also contain small packets or pods of a second material (which in this disclosure may be referred to as a phase change material). In preferable embodiments this phase change material will be a liquid at room temperature and have a freezing point warmer than that of the gel material used.”

Heat storage material composition and heat storage material

U.S. patent application 20150299548 (applicant Kitagawa Industries, Aichi, Japan):

“A heat storage material composition contains a styrene-ethylene-ethylene-propylene-styrene copolymer and a paraffin-based wax. The heat storage material composition preferably further contains a paraffin-based process oil that softens the styrene-ethylene-ethylene-propylene-styrene copolymer. Also, the heat storage material composition preferably contains not less than 300 parts by mass and not more than 1000 parts by mass of the wax with respect to 100 parts by mass of the styrene-ethylene-ethylene-propylene-styrene copolymer.”


• A borehole thermal energy storage system has been installed at the U.S. Marine Corps logistics base in Albany, Ga.

Xcel Energy Inc. expects long-term contracts for wind energy to beat the cost of natural gas. The Minnesota-based utility is receiving bids for 20-year power-purchase agreements at about $25 a megawatt-hour for wind energy. It expects prices for electricity from natural gas to be closer to $32 a megawatt-hour over the same period.

• You might have to fly to Zurich to buy the new KJUS Hublot winter jacket featuring Schoeller-PCM phase change material. It’s a limited-edition product, “inspired by the Big Bang Unico Carbon watch,” and only 200 are available.

OVG Real Estate, and its Amsterdam office building, The Edge, have won CoreNet Global’s H. Bruce Russell Global Innovator’s Award.

Puma‘s latest TitanTour golf shoe features Ignite foam and Outlast phase change technology.

Alumina Energy of Santa Monica, Calif., whose packed bed thermal energy storage technology uses specially sized alumina ceramic storage material, is one of eight finalists in the 2015 NOVA Innovation Competition.

PureTemp biobased phase change material, made by Entropy Solutions, is among seven innovative products featured in the October issue of Interior Design magazine.


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

From Advanced Materials Research:

Diatomite/Palm Wax Composite as a Phase Change Material for Latent Heat Storage

From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:

Effect of porosity of conducting matrix on a phase change energy storage device

From Applied Energy:

Computational efficiency in numerical modeling of high temperature latent heat storage: Comparison of selected software tools based on experimental data
Numerical study of the improvement of an indirect contact mobilized thermal energy storage container
Robust scheduling of building energy system under uncertainty

From European Polymer Journal:

Phase change behaviors of PEG on modified graphene oxide mediated by surface functional groups

From Energy and Buildings:

Research on the preparation and properties of lauric acid/expanded perlite phase change materials

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Experimental characterisation of sub-cooling in hydrated salt phase change materials
Cyclic behaviors of the molten-salt packed-bed thermal storage system filled with cascaded phase change material capsules
Influence of void ratio on thermal stress of PCM canister for heat pipe receiver

From International Journal of Refrigeration:

Ice thermal energy storage (ITES) for air-conditioning application in full and partial load operating modes
Reproducibility of solidification and melting processes in a latent heat thermal storage tank

From Applied Mathematical Modelling:

Numerical simulation of multiscale heat and moisture transfer in the thermal smart clothing system


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 400 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 Grant Anderson, president and CEO at Paragon Space Development Corp., Tucson, Ariz.; Kevin E. Howard, principal research scientist at Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich.; Ashley Willsey, validation engineer at American Aerogel, Rochester, N.Y.; David Portillo Rico, physicist at Sopra Group, Madrid; and Abhinav Bhaskar, research associate at The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi. Abhinav writes:

“I am working in the capacity of a research associate at the Center of Excellence in thermal energy storage systems at the TERI university in New Delhi, India. It is in the starting phases. Our objective is to make people aware of TES and make prototypes which can be used commercially. I would be happy to collaborate with you guys. I look forward to informative interactions.”


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.