Contributions to Science, 3-4

Thermal energy storage with phase change materials in building envelopes

Luisa F. Cabeza, Marc Medrano, Cecilia Castellón, Albert Castell, Cristian Solé, Joan Roca, Miquel Nogués


Phase change materials (PCM) have been viable for thermal
storage in buildings since before 1980. With the advent of gypsum
board, plaster, concrete or other wall covering materials
containing PCM, thermal storage can be part of the building
structure even for lightweight buildings. New microencapsulation
techniques offer many possibilities in building applications.
The work we present here uses an innovative concrete that
contains a commercial microencapsulated PCM with a melting
point of 26ºC and a phase change enthalpy of 110 kJ/kg. First
we introduced the microencapsulated PCM into the concrete,
and then we constructed a small house-sized cubicle from this
new PCM-concrete. A second cubicle with the exact same
characteristics and orientation, but built from standard concrete,
was located next to the first as a reference system. We
tested the behaviour of the cubicles in 2005 and 2006. Later, a
Trombe wall was added to the cubicles to study its effect during
autumn and winter.

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ISSN: 2013-410X (electronic edition); 1575-6343 (print edition)