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Phase Change Matters Newsletter Sept 25 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,


Asia Pacific seen as fastest-growing region for microencapsulation 

Asia Pacific will be the fastest-growing microencapsulation market over the next six years, according to a new report from Research and Markets.

The report, which covers the period 2015-2021, says the global market is now experiencing a compound annual growth rate of 9 percent.

The report includes segmentation by applications such as pharmaceuticals, household utilities, agrochemicals, food and feed additives and phase change material (PCM). It identifies leading players in the market as BASF, Dow Corning, Bayer, Ronald T. Dodge Co., Aveka Inc., Appvion, Lipo Technologies and Microtek Laboratories. It predicts companies are likely to adopt a merger and acquisition strategy during the forecast period.


Off-grid passive house packed with high-performance material

Building a passive house off-grid without the use of foam insulation or other potentially harmful materials can be a challenge. Architect Andrew Michler scoured the world for the high-performance material used in MARTaK, Colorado’s first certified International Passive House. Among the components used in Michler’s 1,200-square-foot guest house in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Fort Collins:

Applegate loose-fill cellulose insulation
Roxul mineral wool batt
Air Pohoda heat-recovery ventilator
Eco-Bond nontoxic caulk
Tescon Vana air sealing tape
• ABS pipe to replace PVC

MARTaK passive house interior walls

Above: BioPCmat 51, a phase change material designed to absorb and release heat, is installed on two interior walls to even out temperature spikes.

Harnessing free energy with phase change material

James McGowan, product designer at Monodraught Ltd., offers a quick take on the beauty of peak-load shifting, free cooling and phase change materials:

“In much the same way that elite motorsport technology funnels down to consumer cars, … intelligent strategies are slowly finding their way into our commercial buildings. Beginning with the basic heat recovery concepts of capturing waste heat leaving the building and using it to temper intake air in order to reduce heating bills, the concept of making better use of peak load shifting and free cooling is now readily available for commercial builds in the form of phase change material.” [H&V News]


NIH plans thermal energy storage system for Bethesda campus

The National Institutes of Health is moving ahead with plans to install a thermal energy storage system at its campus in Bethesda, Md. The system will store up to 9 million gallons of chilled water. Components will include a storage tank, at or partly below grade, with a footprint of about 12,000 square feet. The system is among upgrades designed to ensure uninterrupted cooling capability for a 240-bed hospital, three data centers and more than 12 million square feet of biomedical research facilities.


Pelican BioThermal launches Chronos Express single-use shipper

Chronos Express shipperPelican BioThermal has unveiled Chronos Express, a new single-use shipper that uses phase change material.

The shippers are designed to ensure the safe transport of pharmaceuticals, tissue, diagnostics/clinical trials, vaccines and blood samples. They cover temperature ranges +2C to +8C and +15C to +25C and come in five sizes: 6, 12, 28, 56 and 96 liters. They will be available to order in mid-October.

A company press release identifies the PCM as “CoolPhase” but does not provide details. The term is not mentioned on Pelican BioThermal’s website and is not listed in the U.S. trademark database.

“This launch follows our successful introduction of Chronos Advance to the global market,” said David Williams, president of Pelican BioThermal. “Chronos Express offers the same high performance plus the speed and ease with which the product can be assembled, making for a cost-effective option.”


Ceiling tiles and incubators: PCM news from England and Switzerland

Two stories that emerged while I was on vacation earlier this month:

• Two lines of Armstrong ceiling tiles – the PCM-based CoolZone and the light-reflecting Ultima+ – were installed together in a recent renovation at Bristol Royal Infirmary in Bristol, England. Rich Shore, director of subcontractor Pegasus Interiors, said: “The CoolZone tiles were easy to use and install and they give a great effect due to their metal finish. They complemented the Ultima+ tiles very nicely.”

Benjamin Rime, a materials science student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, devoted a semester project and his master’s thesis to developing a PCM-powered thermoregulator for incubators in developing nations. “If the power goes out,” he said, “a small battery-powered fan connected to a simple and rugged electronic regulator takes over and maintains a constant temperature in the incubator.” The GlobalNeonat project is in the hands of the institute’s EssentialTech program and its Swiss and African partners.


Thermal stand-off with tortuous solid-wall thermal conduction path

U.S. patent application 20150271955 (applicant Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc., Sacramento, Calif.):

“A thermal stand-off includes a rigid thermal stand-off section within a spatial region that extends along a distance between a first location and second, opposed location. The rigid thermal stand-off section includes a tortuous solid-wall thermal conduction path that extends from the first location to the second location … wherein the rigid thermal stand-off section includes a phase change material between sections of the tortuous solid-wall thermal conduction path.”

Layering, microencapsulation of thermal sensitive biologically active material

U.S. patent application 20150265662 (inventor Dr. Adel Penhasi, Israel)

“A layered microencapsulation structure and a method of preparation of the layered structure are provided herein. The layered microcapsules comprises different coating layers having a specific arrangement order where each layer is composed of at least one phase change material which is able to absorb heat from surroundings and still to keep constant temperature or an insignificant increase in temperature via a fusion process occurring at a specific temperature (e.g. melting point) and a core substrate that has a heat-sensitive component which is entrapped therein.”


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

From Materials:

Study of Fresh and Hardening Process Properties of Gypsum with Three Different PCM Inclusion Methods

From Applied Energy:

Integration of form-stable paraffin/nanosilica phase change material composites into vacuum insulation panels for thermal energy storage
Modelling and optimization of CHP based district heating system with renewable energy production and energy storage

From Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research:

Heat Storage and Dimensional Stability of Poly(vinyl alcohol) Based Foams Containing Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials

From Advances in Computational Heat Transfer:

Molecular dynamics simulation of the domain size effect on the values of thermal conductivity of long chain n-alkanes
Investigation of Various Options for Numerical Modeling of Fluidized Beds for a Solar Thermal Application
Close-Contact Melting Modeling Combined with the Enthalpy Method

From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:

Study on phase change interface for erythritol with nano-copper in spherical container during heat transport
Nanofluids: An innovative phase change material for cold storage systems?

From Procedia Engineering:

Simulating the Impact of Phase Change Material Embedded Building Envelopes on the Inter-Building Effect in Non-tropical Cities

From Solar Energy:

Experimental studies on the effect of using phase change material in salinity-gradient solar pond

From Journal of Prosthetics & Orthotics:

SmartTemp Prosthetic Liner Significantly Reduces Residual Limb Temperature and Perspiration


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 330 of your peers have joined a 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 Joseph So, executive managing director of Fine CNS Co. Ltd.Klaus Liebisch, solar thermal engineer at Energía Solar Colombia; Adam Tetz, director of global marketing at Pelican BioThermal; and Nidhi Agrawal, assistant manager, R&D, at Pluss Advanced Technologies.


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.