EP2645022A2 - Passive thermally regulated shipping container employing phase change material panels containing dual immiscible phase change materials - Google Patents

Passive thermally regulated shipping container employing phase change material panels containing dual immiscible phase change materials Download PDF

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Publication number
EP2645022A2
EP2645022A2 EP13159788.2A EP13159788A EP2645022A2 EP 2645022 A2 EP2645022 A2 EP 2645022A2 EP 13159788 A EP13159788 A EP 13159788A EP 2645022 A2 EP2645022 A2 EP 2645022A2
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
phase change
shipping container
thermally regulated
passive thermally
panels
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
EP13159788.2A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP2645022A3 (en
Inventor
William T. Mayer
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Minnesota Thermal Science LLC
Original Assignee
Minnesota Thermal Science LLC
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US13/430,794 priority Critical patent/US20130255306A1/en
Application filed by Minnesota Thermal Science LLC filed Critical Minnesota Thermal Science LLC
Publication of EP2645022A2 publication Critical patent/EP2645022A2/en
Publication of EP2645022A3 publication Critical patent/EP2645022A3/en
Withdrawn legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D3/00Devices using other cold materials; Devices using cold-storage bodies
    • F25D3/02Devices using other cold materials; Devices using cold-storage bodies using ice, e.g. ice-boxes
    • F25D3/06Movable containers
    • F25D3/08Movable containers portable, i.e. adapted to be carried personally
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D81/00Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents
    • B65D81/38Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents with thermal insulation
    • B65D81/3813Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents with thermal insulation rigid container being in the form of a box, tray or like container
    • B65D81/3823Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents with thermal insulation rigid container being in the form of a box, tray or like container formed of different materials, e.g. laminated or foam filling between walls
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D2303/00Details of devices using other cold materials; Details of devices using cold-storage bodies
    • F25D2303/08Devices using cold storage material, i.e. ice or other freezable liquid
    • F25D2303/082Devices using cold storage material, i.e. ice or other freezable liquid disposed in a cold storage element not forming part of a container for products to be cooled, e.g. ice pack or gel accumulator
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D2303/00Details of devices using other cold materials; Details of devices using cold-storage bodies
    • F25D2303/08Devices using cold storage material, i.e. ice or other freezable liquid
    • F25D2303/084Position of the cold storage material in relationship to a product to be cooled
    • F25D2303/0843Position of the cold storage material in relationship to a product to be cooled on the side of the product
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D2303/00Details of devices using other cold materials; Details of devices using cold-storage bodies
    • F25D2303/08Devices using cold storage material, i.e. ice or other freezable liquid
    • F25D2303/085Compositions of cold storage materials

Abstract

A passive thermally regulated shipping container with at least one removable PCM panel containing dual immiscible phase change materials having different freezing points.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • Thermally labile goods are frequently transported or shipped in passive thermally regulated shipping containers to prevent spoilage, decomposition, deactivation, transformation, conversion, breakdown, denaturing, etc.
  • Transportation of thermally labile goods is particularly challenging when the thermally labile goods must be maintained within a narrow temperature range. Numerous insulated shipping containers have been developed over the years, with those deploying a phase change material (PCM) generally providing superior temperature control over extended periods. A nonexhaustive list of United States Patents and Published Patent Applications disclosing insulated shipping containers employing a PCM include United States Patents 4,145,895 ; 4,579,170 ; 4,923,077 ; 4,931,333 ; 5,626,936 ; 5,899,088 ; 6,209,343 and 6,718,776 , and United States Patent Application Publications 2005/0188714 ; 2004/0079794 ; 2004/0079793 and 2002/0050147 .
  • Insulated shipping containers employing a PCM can be deployed for a wide range of thermally labile goods over a wide range of target temperatures by using different PCMs. For example, D2O melts at +4 °C, H2O melts at 0 °C, a 20% ethylene glycol solution melts at -8 °C, castor oil melts at -10 °C, neat ethylene glycol melts at -12.9 °C, mineral oil melts at -30 °C, and a 50% ethylene glycol solution melts at -37 °C. This permits use of insulted shipping containers for a broad range of thermally labile goods. However, in order to accommodate the packaging of a wide variety of thermally labile goods, the shipper needs to purchase and inventory a sufficient number of PCM panels containing each of the different PCMs to meet the highest possible demand for that type of PCM panel. For example, assume that a shipper typically has between about 800 and 1,200 passive thermally regulated shipping containers in transport on any given day, each of which employ six PCM panels and all of which could require one of two different PCM panels containing different PCM. This shipper would need to purchase, inventory, track and maintain 14,400 PCM panels ((1,200 containers)(6 PCM panels/container)(2 PCM panel types)). The need to purchase, track and maintain such a large number of PCM panels can become cost prohibitive.
  • Accordingly, a substantial need exists for a system of packaging thermally labile goods that reduces the total number of PCM panels that need to be purchased, tracked and maintained by a shipper.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention is a passive thermally regulated shipping container. The container has an outer shell, a layer of thermal insulation, and a phase change material panel (PCM panel). The outer shell defines a retention chamber. The layer of thermal insulation lines the retention chamber so as to define an insulated retention chamber. The PCM panel is removably positioned within the insulated retention chamber, and contains dual immiscible phase change materials having different freezing points.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Figure 1 is an exploded isometric view of one embodiment of the invention.
  • Figure 2A is a cross-sectional view of the fully assembled container depicted in FIG. 1 employing phase change panels that have been thermally conditioned in a horizontal position below the freezing point of both phase change materials.
  • Figure 2B is a cross-sectional view of the fully assembled container depicted in FIG. 1 employing phase change panels that have been thermally conditioned in a vertical position below the freezing point of both phase change materials.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Definitions
  • As utilized herein, including the claims, the term " removable " means capable of being inserted and removed without application of violent force and without damage or destruction.
  • As utilized herein, including the claims, the term "immiscible" means insoluble such that the liquids form separate layers, each of which have a separate and independent melting point such that one layer can be frozen into a solid while the other layer remains a liquid.
  • Nomenclature
  • 10
    Passive Thermally Regulated Shipping Container
    19
    Payload Retention Chamber
    20
    Outer Structural Shell
    30
    Thermal Insulation
    40
    Phase Change Material Panels (PCM Panel)
    51
    Higher Density First Phase Change Material
    52
    Lower Density Second Phase Change Material
    Construction
  • Referring generally to FIGs 1, 2A and 2B, the invention is a passive thermally regulated shipping container 10. The container 10 has an outer shell 20, a layer of thermal insulation 30, and at least one phase change material panel (PCM panel) 40.
  • The outer shell 20 defines a retention chamber. The outer shell 20 may be made from any material possessing sufficient structural integrity, including specifically but not exclusively, cellulosic materials such as paperboard and cardboard, engineered wood products such as laminated and unlaminated fiberboard and plywood, wood, plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, nylon polycarbonates and phenolic resins, wood-plastic composites, metals such as aluminum, copper, brass and steel, glass, ceramics, combinations thereof, and the like.
  • The layer of thermal insulation 30 lines the retention chamber 19 so as to define an insulated retention chamber (not separately numbered). The layer of thermal insulation 30 may be formed as a single unitary piece with a removable cover (not shown) or as separate panels such as shown in FIGs 1, 2A and 2B. The thermal insulation may be constructed from any material having good thermal insulating qualities, (i.e., having a high thermal resistance "R"), such as Styrofoam, vacuum insulated panels, or the like.
  • The PCM panel 40 is removably positioned within the insulated retention chamber, and contains dual immiscible phase change materials (51 and 52) having different freezing points.
  • The container 10 includes at least one phase change material panel (PCM panel) 40 and preferably includes a plurality of planar PCM panels 40 configured and arranged for lining the insulated retention chamber.
  • By filling each PCM panel 40 with dual immiscible phase change materials (51 and 52) having different freezing points, a single PCM panel 40 can be used for shipping thermally labile goods at two different target temperatures by thermally conditioning the PCM panels 40 at the desired target temperature. For example, PCM panels containing 50% v/v water (0°C melting point) and 50% v/v castor oil (-10 °C melting point). Such PCM panels 40 thermally conditioned at a temperature below the melting point of the water but above the melting point of the castor oil allows the thermally conditioned PCM panels to regulate the temperature of a insulated retention chamber 19 at a temperature of 0°C, while such PCM panels 40 thermally conditioned at a temperature below the melting point of the castor oil allows the thermally conditioned PCM panels to regulate the temperature of a insulated retention chamber 19 at a temperature of -10°C. This avoids the need to purchase, inventory and track separate PCM panels.
  • The phase change materials (PCMs) need to be immiscible as soluble or miscible PCMs do not retain their individual melting points. For example water and ethylene glycol are miscible and produce a mixture which has a single melting point (e.g., a 20% ethylene glycol solution melts at -8 °C).
  • Exemplary combinations of immiscible PCMs are provided in TABLE ONE.
  • TABLE ONE
  • EXAMPLE HYDROPHILIC PCM HYDROPHOBIC PCM A Water n-Octadecane B Salt Water n-Octadecane C Water n-Tetradecane D Salt Water n-Tetradecane E Water n-Heptadecane F Ethylene Glycol and Water n-Octadecane G Ethylene Glycol and Water n-Tetradecane

Claims (8)

  1. A passive thermally regulated shipping container, comprising:
    a. an outer shell defining a retention chamber,
    b. a layer of thermal insulation lining the retention chamber so as to define an insulated retention chamber, and
    c. a removable phase change material panel positioned within the insulated retention chamber, wherein the phase change material panel contains dual immiscible phase change materials having different freezing points.
  2. The passive thermally regulated shipping container of claim 1, wherein the thermal insulation is vacuum insulated panels.
  3. The passive thermally regulated shipping container of claim 1 or 2, comprising a plurality of the removable phase change material panels lining the insulated retention chamber.
  4. The passive thermally regulated shipping container of any of claims 1 to 3, wherein one of the immiscible phase change materials is water.
  5. The passive thermally regulated shipping container of any of claims 1 to 4, wherein one of the immiscible phase change materials is ethylene glycol.
  6. A passive thermally regulated shipping container of any of claims 1 to 5, wherein one of the immiscible phase change materials is a paraffin which is liquid at room temperature.
  7. A passive thermally regulated shipping container of any of claims 1 to 5, wherein one of the immiscible phase change materials is a paraffin which is solid at room temperature.
  8. The passive thermally regulated shipping container of any of claims 1 to 7, wherein one of the immiscible phase change materials is salt water.
EP13159788.2A 2012-03-27 2013-03-18 Passive thermally regulated shipping container employing phase change material panels containing dual immiscible phase change materials Withdrawn EP2645022A3 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US13/430,794 US20130255306A1 (en) 2012-03-27 2012-03-27 Passive thermally regulated shipping container employing phase change material panels containing dual immiscible phase change materials

Publications (2)

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EP2645022A2 true EP2645022A2 (en) 2013-10-02
EP2645022A3 EP2645022A3 (en) 2015-11-11

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Cited By (1)

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GB2551115A (en) * 2016-05-31 2017-12-13 Laminar Medica Ltd A thermally insulated container

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EP2200904B1 (en) 2007-09-11 2013-06-26 Cold Chain Technologies, Inc. Insulated pallet shipper
KR101697113B1 (en) * 2010-09-06 2017-01-18 삼성전자주식회사 Refrigerator
GB2534910A (en) * 2015-02-05 2016-08-10 Laminar Medica Ltd A thermally insulated container and method for making same
US10661969B2 (en) 2015-10-06 2020-05-26 Cold Chain Technologies, Llc Thermally insulated shipping system for pallet-sized payload, methods of making and using the same, and kit for use therein
CA3001048A1 (en) 2015-10-06 2017-04-13 Cold Chain Technologies, Inc. Pallet cover comprising one or more temperature-control members and kit for use in making the pallet cover
US10583978B2 (en) 2015-10-06 2020-03-10 Cold Chain Technologies, Llc Pallet cover compromising one or more temperature-control members and kit for use in making the pallet cover
US9890988B2 (en) * 2016-04-27 2018-02-13 Bae Systems Plc High temperature resistant shipping container
US20170350635A1 (en) * 2016-06-06 2017-12-07 Google Inc. Container with passive temperature controls
GB201611050D0 (en) * 2016-06-24 2016-08-10 Softbox Systems Ltd A passive temperature control system for transport and storage containers
GB201611031D0 (en) * 2016-06-24 2016-08-10 Softbox Systems Ltd A passive temperature control system for transport and storage containers
AU201717676S (en) 2017-12-14 2018-01-16 Dometic Sweden Ab Zip Puller

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US4579170A (en) 1983-04-18 1986-04-01 The Dow Chemical Company Container for thermal energy storage materials
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GB2551115A (en) * 2016-05-31 2017-12-13 Laminar Medica Ltd A thermally insulated container

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Publication number Publication date
US20130255306A1 (en) 2013-10-03
EP2645022A3 (en) 2015-11-11

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