Experimental and Numerical Analysis of a PCM-Integrated Roof for Higher Thermal Performance of Buildings

Title

Experimental and Numerical Analysis of a PCM-Integrated Roof for Higher Thermal Performance of Buildings

AuthorFrançois Simon, Letzai Ruíz, Aymeric Girar & Hector Galleguillos
Line(s)Entorno Construido
Year of Publication2023
Journal TitleJournal of Thermal Science
Keywords
Phase change materials; thermal energy storage; building; space heating and cooling; energy efficiency; designbuilder
AbstractPhase change materials (PCMs) designate materials able to store latent heat. PCMs change state from solid to liquid over a defined temperature range. This process is reversible and can be used for thermo-technical purposes. The present paper aims to study the thermal performance of an inorganic eutectic PCM integrated into the rooftop slab of a test room and analyze its potential for building thermal management. The experiment is conducted in two test rooms in Antofagasta (Chile) during summer, fall, and winter. The PCM is integrated into the rooftop of the first test room, while the roof panel of the second room is a sealed air cavity. The work introduces a numerical model, which is built using the finite difference method and used to simulate the rooms’ thermal behavior. Several thermal simulations of the PCM room are performed for other Chilean locations to evaluate and compare the capability of the PCM panel to store latent heat thermal energy in different climates. Results show that the indoor temperature of the PCM room in Antofagasta varies only 21.1°C±10.6°C, while the one of the air-panel room varies 28.3°C±18.5°C. Under the experiment’s conditions, the PCM room’s indoor temperature observes smoother diurnal fluctuations, with lower maximum and higher minimum indoor temperatures than that of the air-panel room. Thermal simulations in other cities show that the PCM panel has a better thermal performance during winter, as it helps to maintain or increase the room temperature by some degrees to reach comfort temperatures. This demonstrates that the implementation of such PCM in the building envelope can effectively reduce space heating and cooling needs, and improve indoor thermal comfort in different climates of Chile.
Doihttps://doi.org/10.1007/s11630-023-1909-5
Corresponding AuthorFrançois Simon, francois.simon@uc.cl