News & Articles From Tetramer Technologies

Phase Change Materials program to begin with DOE Phase I Award

Tetramer is proud to announce the receipt of a Department of Energy Phase I award to develop improved and more cost-effective Phase Change Materials.

Phase Change Materials (PCMs) are a green alternative for energy storage and supply in buildings. PCMs absorb thermal energy as they melt and then release that energy when ambient temperatures fall below the PCMs’ melt point. By accumulating free solar energy during the day to help reduce building cooling costs and releasing energy overnight to reduce heating costs, PCMs improve energy efficiency.

Currently available PCMs are lacking in performance, durability, and affordability. During Phase I, Tetramer will develop new Phase Change Materials with enhanced volumetric energy capacity, improved durability due to improved encapsulation, and lower cost.

In addition to being a green alternative for energy storage and supply, Phase Change Materials can potentially save 10-30% in energy consumption compared to existing cooling. Materials developed also have applications in a diverse range of other energy saving technologies such as building & construction, heating, ventilation & air-conditioning, thermal energy storage, cold chain & packaging, refrigeration & equipment, textiles, and electronics.

The Phase Change Materials developed by Tetramer as part of this DOE award will deliver an improved and more cost-effective solution for future energy saving technologies.

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PROJECT SUMMARY
Phase Change Materials for Building Applications
Tetramer Technologies, LLC

Statement of Problem
To improve the energy efficiency and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, Phase Change Materials have been shown to be a greener alternative for energy storage and supply in buildings. However, currently available commercial Phase Change Materials are limited in their properties and performance with low volumetric densities, combustibility, cost and compatibility issues. Overcoming these technical challenges will deliver great value for future energy saving technologies.

Technical Approach
Upon completion of this research program, Tetramer will have developed Phase Change Materials with enhanced volumetric energy capacity, improved durability due to improved encapsulation and lower cost. These materials will be useful in future applications for thermal energy storage in buildings.

Phase I Work Plan
During Phase I, new Phase Change Materials will be developed through three objectives. The work plan will concentrate on material energy density, improved durability, and the development of a robust encapsulation mechanism. The first two objectives will focus on the generation of data to build structure-properties maps for the new Phase Change Materials, carried out in two iterative loops using a Design-of-Experiments software. This will generate a data catalog of available property combinations for the new materials. Based on the results of this fundamental research, final materials will be selected and optimized for building applications. The third objective will emphasize the development of a robust and reliable encapsulating process. 

Commercial Applications and Benefits
Phase Change Materials are a greener alternative for energy storage and supply in buildings and can potentially save 10-30% in energy consumption compared to existing cooling. In addition to the thermal energy storage in buildings, the materials developed will  have applications in a diverse range of other energy saving technologies such as: building & construction, heating, ventilation & air-conditioning,  thermal energy storage, cold chain & packaging, refrigeration & equipment, textiles, and electronics.

Key Words
Phase change materials, buildings, energy savings, encapsulation

Summary for Members of Congress
To improve the energy efficiency and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, Phase Change Materials have proven to be a greener alternative for energy storage and supply in buildings. Current materials are still not as durable and cost efficient. This research program will deliver an improved, and more cost-effective solution.

 

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