On very hot days, the power grids in the USA are under considerable strain to maintain power to all the country’s air conditioners. A new start-up in Chicago, NETenergy, works on the premise “why store electricity to generate cold air when you could store cold instead” (see http://midwestenergynews.com/2017/03/22/chicago-startups-thermal-battery-is-adaptive-solution-to-spikes-in-electricity-demand/). A chemical engineering professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, Said Al-Hallaj, has founded this company which uses a wax PCM/graphite composite (called Black Ice) instead of the more traditional ice/water storage system. Apparently, their system can charge and discharge in under two hours rather than the six to eight hours required for an ice-based system. It’s estimated that building owners can save 30% or more of their energy usage and reduce their carbon emissions by 50%.