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Phase Change Matters newsletter | December 2021

COMPANY NEWS

Sunamp rebrands and expands

It’s been a busy start to the winter for thermal battery maker Sunamp Ltd. The U.K. company unveiled a new logo, introduced a fourth generation of heat batteries, established a foothold in New York and signed a distribution deal in China worth up to $67 million in sales over the next five years.

Sunamp's new logoSunamp says the rebranding, unveiled in November, is a “bold new look … that better reflects our world-leading technology and #thermalstorage ambitions.”

The company introduced the expanded Thermino range of heat batteries at EMEX, the net zero and energy management expo in London. Sunamp says the Thermino batteries contain “a new and improved Plentigrade P58 phase change material with greater energy density to deliver even more hot water from thermal batteries that are up to four times smaller than equivalent hot water cylinders.”

The batteries, designed to replace traditional hot water cylinders, can be charged by air and ground source heat pumps, photovoltaics, grid electricity and boilers. The products have been optimized for use with heat pumps, including significantly reduced pressure drops.

Sunamp's new Thermino heat battery“Despite challenges with global supply chain, due to intensive innovation the Thermino range is the same size and the same price as our third-generation [UniQ] product, with improved performance giving up to 12% more hot water capacity,” said Sunamp CEO Andrew Bissell. “Our analysis based on today’s fuel costs has shown that householders can expect to save as much as 1000kWh per year, equivalent to cutting electricity bills by £250 a year at today’s prices by using a Thermino e instead of traditional direct hot water cylinder.”

Sunamp heat batteries will be installed in residential and commercial buildings in New York State as part of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s NextGen HVAC Innovation Challenges award.

Sunamp received a $668,000 award following a successful bid with Optimized Thermal Systems Inc., LaBella Associates and James D Warren and Son Inc. The project will demonstrate potential ways of reducing carbon emissions, lowering fuel costs, and improving energy resilience associated with heating and cooling.

Thermal batteries will be installed in up to eight buildings and heating systems to evaluate how Sunamp’s technology can be transferred to New York to help the state meet its carbon reduction target and reduce heating and cooling costs for consumers.

William Edrich, head of Sunamp’s global commercial and industrial business, said the project marks Sunamp’s official launch into the U.S. market.

“We are on the lookout for additional project sites and are actively building a talented team on the ground in New York to begin the rollout of Sunamp products across the country,” Edrich said.

Finally, Sunamp signed an agreement to work with distribution company Thumos to grow sales of its batteries in China. Sunamp said the agreement is expected to lead to $67 million in sales for the company over the next five years and to the establishment of a factory to manufacture its products in China.

Sunamp said the partners have already committed to work together to roll out 400 heat batteries into high-end apartments in Shanghai and into a large pipeline of projects across China.

PATENTS

Thermal regulating three-dimensional insulative structures

U.S. patent application 20210348315 (applicant PrimaLoft Inc., Latham, N.Y.):

PrimaLoft patent drawing“Insulation and filling material that includes a plurality of assemblages of a blend of a plurality of fiber are disclosed. The blend of fibers includes 20 to 80 wt % cellulosic fibers including a phase change material having a fiber size less than 6 denier and a specific latent heat of greater than 20 J/g in a temperature range from 15 to 45 degrees Celsius, and 20 to 80 wt % synthetic polymeric fibers having a fiber size less than 6 denier. The assemblages form three-dimensional structures with internal air spaces. The assemblages may be fiberballs or discrete longitudinally elongated floccules with a relatively open enlarged medial portion and relatively condensed twisted tail portions extending from opposing ends of the medial portion. The insulation or filling material has at least 0.8 clo/oz/sqyd.”

Portable smart refrigerator

U.S. patent application 20210364217 (applicant Faizan Ahmed, San Jose, Calif.):

“In one aspect, a portable-smart refrigerator includes a PCM chamber assembly. The portable-smart refrigerator includes a cooling-coil assembly comprising a feeding tube, a top elbow, a bottom tube, a cooling coil. The top elbow is installed between two lengths of tubing/pipe to enable a change of direction and couples the feeding tube with the cooling coil. The cooling coil is coupled with the bottom tube. The phase change material (PCM) chamber assembly that holds the cooling coil. The PCM chamber is placed within an outer cylinder. A bottom portion of the PCM chamber assembly is coupled with the grill assembly. A thermo-electric cooler pump comprising a liquid pump with an integrated chiller and an integrated heater.”

Cooling system with phase indication capability

U.S. patent application 20210389042 (applicant King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:

Cooling system patent drawing“A defrost or thaw measuring device has a dumbbell or hourglass-shaped rotatable compartment with a cavity, the cavity being partly filled with at least two phase change materials having different melting points. The measuring device may determine the time period of thawing at two or more temperature intervals in the refrigeration space. … The first phase change material and the second phase change material may each be a hydrocarbon. The first phase change material may be an organic or inorganic salt, and the second phase change material may be water. The liquid further comprises a third phase change material. All phase change materials in the liquid may be miscible in each other.”

More U.S. patent applications:

Instant hot water delivery system (Rheem Manufacturing Co., Atlanta, Georgia) | Stable salt-hydrate based thermal energy storage materials (UT-Battelle LLC, Oak Ridge, Tenn.) | Latent heat storage composition (OCI Company Ltd., Seoul, South Korea) | Composite coatings containing PCMs (Matthew Aguayo, et al, Chandler, Ariz.) | Crockery filled with PCM (Promeco NV, Kortrijk, Belgium) | High energy density heat transfer (Innovator Energy LLC, Princeton, N.J.) | Liquid subcooling utilizing phase change composite thermal energy storage module (NetEnergy / Naim Energy Technologies LLC), Chicago, Ill.) | Buffer storage arrangement filled with PCM (HeatVentors Kft, Mezotur, Hungary) | Temperature regulating nylon fiber (Taiwan Textile Research Institute, New Taipei City, Taiwan) | Even carbon number paraffin composition (REG Synthetic Fuels LLC, Ames, Iowa) | Salt-hydrate based PCM (Alliance for Sustainable Energy LLC, Golden, Colo.) | Metal nitrate based composition (Sunamp Ltd., East Lothian, Great Britain)

IN BRIEF

S.Lab's Greenie Medi cold chain shipperS.Lab Asia Inc., a cold chain packaging company based in Seoul, South Korea, has joined the RAL Quality Association PCM. Greenie MEDI, the company’s flagship product, has been adapted for safe transportation of temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic. S.Lab Asia’s research institute, Greenie LAB, is developing PCMs with “better usability” and plans to commercialize new PCM products in 2022. The lab is ISTA 7D and 7E certified.

CSafe Global of Moraine, Ohio, has acquired U.K.-based Softbox Systems, a provider of passive temperature-controlled packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical, life science and cold chain logistics industries. The combined company, which will operate globally under the CSafe brand, “will provide the most comprehensive suite of thermal shipping solutions and become a one-stop-shop for all pharmaceutical cold chain shipping needs,” the companies said in a joint news release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

• The 9th Swiss Symposium Thermal Energy Storage, set for Jan. 28, 2022, has shifted to an online-only event. Dr. Luisa Cabeza of the University of Lleida, Spain, will present the keynote address, “Social acceptance of TES.” Presentation topics include “Advances in ice slurry supercooling,” “Phase change dispersions for temperature stabilisation applications” and “Compact thermal energy storage – European developments in general and CREATE in particular.” The fee is 150 Swiss francs.

• The second edition of the School on Latent Thermal Energy Storage, originally scheduled to be held at the Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture in Switzerland in January, has been postponed until September 2022. The organizers will post details in January.

• Up for a pop quiz? BYJU’s, an online learning technology company based in Bangalore, India, offers a primer on thermal energy storage. Designed for high school students, the primer looks solid. But the brief test that follows left me scratching my head.

Sonoco ThermoSafe of Arlington Heights, Ill., and Singapore Airlines have announced a global partnership agreement for leasing the ThermoSafe’s new Pegasus ULD temperature-controlled bulk shipping container. The agreement gives pharmaceutical freight forwarders access to Pegasus ULD containers directly from Singapore Airlines.

Alexium International of Greer, S.C., says its new Eclipsysperpetual cooling technology,” designed for use in textile and foam bedding systems, can enhance a sleeper’s cooling experience by up to 200 percent compared to other products on the market. The company says the technology also has applications in consumer and military apparel and gear.

• Researchers at Texas A&M University used machine-learning techniques to enhance the reliability, efficacy and thermal storage capacity of PCM-based cooling systems.

• A cooling technology under development at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology uses “a combination of sunlight and salt water – but no electricity – to produce a cooling effect,” reports New Atlas. “The experimental setup takes advantage of a natural ‘phase-change’ phenomenon in which energy is absorbed as salt crystals dissolve within water. This means that if salt is added to warm water, that water rapidly cools as the salt dissolves.” The researchers have identified ammonium nitrate as the most effective salt for use in such a system.

HeatVentors HeatTank• Hungarian startup HeatVentors, which has developed a space-saving thermal storage technology using phase changing material, is profiled this month in Innovation Origins. The company says its HeatTank, shown here, works with both heating and cooling systems in homes, commercial buildings and data centers. Its patented design enables it to be 90 percent smaller than storage technologies that use water. “The use of phase changing materials allows us to store heat in a more concentrated form,” said Rita Andrássyné Farkas, co-founder and CEO. “Our innovation is not due to the material itself, as we have different suppliers for phase changing materials, but is due [to] the storage system’s structure. HeatTank increases the surface area of the heat exchanger, thereby improving its performance.”

RESEARCH ROUNDUP

From Energies:

An Experimental Study of a Thermally Activated Ceiling Containing Phase Change Material for Different Cooling Load Profiles

From Applied Energy Materials:

Long-Term Autonomic Thermoregulating Fabrics Based on Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials

From Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments:

Low temperature phase change materials for thermal energy storage: Current status and computational perspectives

From Journal of Cleaner Production:

Optimization of shell and tube thermal energy storage unit based on the effects of adding fins, nanoparticles and rotational mechanism

Innovative thermal management and thermal runaway suppression for battery module with flame retardant flexible composite phase change material

From Energy Storage:

Simulation study of compound parabolic collector based solar water heating system with thermal energy storage

From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:

Performance of nano encapsulated phase change material slurry heat transfer in a microchannel heat sink with dual-circular synthetic jets

Analytical modeling of conjugate heat transfer between a bed of phase change material and laminar convective flow

Natural convection characteristics of phase-change material emulsions in a rectangular vessel with vertical heating/cooling walls

From Journal of Energy Storage:

A novel method to investigate the influence of phase change material orientation in reduction of car cabin temperature

Performance investigation on a new solar air heater using phase change material/expanded metal mesh composite as heat storage unit: An experimental study

Studies on performance enhancement of heat storage system with multiple phase change materials

Preparation and performance analysis of phase change microcapsule/epoxy resin composite phase change material

From Solar Energy:

Preparation of polyurethane solid-solid low temperature PCMs granular asphalt mixes and study of phase change temperature control behavior

Strategies to reduce the flammability of organic phase change Materials: A review

From ECS Transactions:

A Critical Review of Recent Development in Li-Ion Battery Cooling Using Advance Phase Change Materials

From Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry:

High-throughput experiment for the rapid screening of organic phase change materials

Study on the preparation of high adsorption activated carbon material and its application as phase change energy storage carrier material

From Journal of Applied Polymer Science:

Process and performance of palmitic acid @silica phase-change microcapsules using chemical precipitation method

From Thermochimica Acta:

Metrology based on transient heat transfer theory for evaluating phase change materials with differential scanning calorimetry

From Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments:

Role of phase change materials thickness for photovoltaic thermal management

From Thermal Science and Engineering Progress:

Comparative study of cooling performance for portable cold storage box using phase change medium

From Materials Today: Proceedings:

Analyzing an evacuated tube solar water heating system using twin-nano/paraffin as phase change material

Battery Thermal Management System for electric vehicles using Phase Change Materials

From Energy and Buildings:

Heat transfer performance in a concrete block containing a phase change material for thermal comfort in buildings

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Energy assessment of a roof-integrated phase change materials, long-term numerical analysis with experimental validation

From Applied Physics A:

Thermo-physical properties of paraffin/TiO2 and sorbitol/TiO2 nanocomposites for enhanced phase change materials: a study on the stability issue

From Royal Society of Chemistry Advances:

Moisture affinity of HDPE/phase-change material composites for thermal energy storage applications

From Clothing and Textiles Research Journal:

Evaluation of Phase Change Materials for Personal Cooling Applications

NETWORKING

Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

LinkedIn logoMore than 1,700 people have joined a LinkedIn group devoted to the discussion of phase change material and thermal energy storage. You are invited to join the Phase Change Matters group and connect with PCM and TES experts from around the world.

This month we welcome Elias Bock, engineer for energy and building technology, Halle, Germany; Utku Orçun Gezici, Ph.D. candidate and research assistant, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey; Dr. Kerstin Müller, va-Q-tec, Würzburg, Germany; Dr. Olaf Mühling, R&D team manager at Quarzwerke GmbH, Frechen, Germany; Raj Bhaladhare, product manager, Pluss Advanced Technologies, Gurugram, India; José Miguel Carrasco Campillo, energy manager, Evoque Energy SpA, Santiago, Chile; and Sebastián Fillol, commercial technical representative at Delplant SAS, Córdoba, Argentina.

NEWS TIPS

Does your company, agency or university have a job opening, new research, new product or other news you’d like to share? I would love to hear from you. Please contact newsletter editor Ben Welter at benedict.welter@gmail.com. I am eager to hear from you after missing a few weeks – and one issue of the newsletter – with an illness that was very much like COVID-19 but produced four negative COVID-19 tests.

A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR

RAL Quality MarkThis newsletter is made possible through the generous support of the RAL Quality Association PCM and the members listed below. To learn more about the association, including membership benefits, please contact Stefan Thomann, executive director, at info@pcm-ral.de.

Axiotherm GmbH | Croda Europe Ltd. | ISU Chemical Co. Ltd. | RuhrTech | Microtek Laboratories | PCM Technology | PLUSS Advanced Technologies | PureTemp LLC | Rubitherm Technologies GmbH | Sasol Germany GmbH | S.Lab Asia Inc. | Sunamp Ltd. | va-Q-tec AG

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Microtek Laboratories | Dayton, Ohio
Microtek logo
Microtek manufactures thermal management solutions to enhance the customer experience and ensure products are protected from critical temperatures. Whether there is a need to minimize thermal peaks or maintain temperature requirements, we manufacture a number of standardized products that can easily be implemented into your manufacturing process. We work alongside our customers to develop customized solutions that streamline the thermal management process and give you confidence that your product is protected. Contact our thermal management specialists today to discuss options that meet your temperature management needs.