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The 2

nd
Joint International Conference on “Sustainable Energy and Environment (SEE 2006)”
E-084 (O) 21-23 November 2006, Bangkok, Thailand

1
1. INTRODUCTION

Scientists all over the world are in search of new and renewable energy sources. One of the options is to develop energy
storage devices, which are as important as developing new sources of energy. Thermal energy storage systems provide the
potential to attain energy savings, which in turn reduce the environment impact related to non- renewable energy use. Infact,
these systems provide a valuable solution for correcting the mismatch that is often found between the supply and demand of
energy. Latent heat storage is a relatively new area of study although it previously received much attention during the energy
crisis of late 1970’s and early 1980’s where it was extensively researched for use in solar heating systems. When the energy
crisis subsided, much less emphasis was put on latent heat storage. Although research into latent heat storage for solar heating
systems continues, recently it is increasingly being considered for waste heat recovery, load leveling for power generation,
building energy conservation and air conditioning applications
As demand for air conditioning increased greatly during the last decade, large demands of electric power and limited
reserves of fossil fuels have led to a surge in interest with regard to energy efficiency. Electrical energy consumption varies
significantly during the day and night according to the demand by industrial, commercial and residential activities. In hot and
cold climate countries, the major part of the load variation is due to air conditioning and domestic space heating respectively.
This variation leads to a differential pricing system for peak and off peak periods of energy use. Better power generation/
distribution management and significant economic benefit can be achieved if some of the peak load could be shifted to the off
peak load period. This can be achieved by thermal energy storage for heating and cooling in residential and commercial
building establishments.
There are several promising developments going on in the field of application of PCMs for heating and cooling of building.
Stritih and Novak [1] designed and tested a latent heat storage system used to provide ventilation of a building. The results of their
work, according to the authors, were very promising. Phase change dry wall or wallboard is an exciting type of building integrated
heat storage material. Several authors investigated the various methods of impregnating gypsum and other PCMs [2- 5] in
wallboards. Lee et al. [6] and Hawes et al. [7] presented the thermal performance of PCM’s in different types of concrete blocks.
They studied and presented covered the effects of concrete alkalinity, temperature, immersion time and PCM dilution on PCM
absorption during the impregnation process. Ismail et al. [8] proposed a different concept for thermally effective windows using a
PCM moving curtain. UniSA (University of South Australia) [9] developed a roof-integrated solar air heating/storage system, which
uses existing corrugated iron roof sheets as a solar collector for heating air. Kunping Lina et al [10] put forward a new kind of under-
floor electric heating system with shape-stabilized phase change material (PCM) plates. Hed [11] investigated PCM integrated
cooling systems for building types where there is an over production of heat during the daytime such as offices, schools and shopping
centers. Free cooling was investigated at the University of Zaragoza / Spain by B. Zalba [12]. The objective of the work was to
design and construct an experimental installation to study PCMs with a melting temperature between 20-25°C.In order to achieve
thermal storage capacity approximately equal to the heat gains within the space during the daily cycle, a new concept for the ceiling
panel was developed by Markus Koschenz and Beat Lehmann [13] to incorporate this system in a light weight building that can be
retrofitted. Velraj et al. [14] presented a detailed study on PCM based Cool Thermal Energy Storage (CTES) integrated with building
air conditioning system in Tidel Park, Chennai, India which is an active system where the storage tank is kept separately away from
the building. Stetiu and Feustel [15] used a thermal building simulation program based on the finite difference approach to
numerically evaluate the latent heat storage performance of PCM wallboard in a building environment. Athienitis et al. [16]
conducted an extensive experimental and one dimensional non-linear numerical simulation study in a full scale outdoor test room
with PCM gypsum board as inside wall lining.
In the present paper, a detailed study on the thermal performance of a phase change material based thermal storage for energy
conservation in building is analyzed and discussed. An experimental set up consisting of two identical test rooms has been
constructed to study the effect of having PCM panel on the roof for thermal management of a residential building. One room is

Corresponding author: velrajr@annauniv.edu

Mathematical Modeling and Experimental Study on Building Ceiling Using Phase Change Material for
Energy Conservation

Avadaiappa P. Pasupathy
1
and Ramalingom Velraj
2,*


1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jayamatha Engineering College, Aralvoimozhy, Kanyakumari – 629301, India
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Anna University, Chennai-600025, India

Abstract: Thermal storage plays a major role in wide variety of industrial, commercial and residential application when there is a
mismatch between the supply and demand. Several promising developments are taking place in the field of thermal storage using
phase change materials (PCMs) in buildings. In the present paper, a detailed study on the thermal performance of a PCM based
thermal storage for energy conservation in building is analyzed and discussed. An experimental set up consisting of two identical test
rooms has been constructed to study the effect of having PCM panel on the roof of the building. One room is constructed without
PCM on the roof to compare the performance of the experimental room that with the PCM on the roof which has melting temperature
in the range of 26 - 28ºC. A mathematical model has been developed and the finite volume method is used for the computational of
thermal behavior of the ceiling incorporating PCM. Several simulation runs are made for a given ambient conditions by varying the
heat transfer co- efficient on both sides of roof. A comparison with the experimental results is also made.

Keywords: Building Energy Conservation, Encapsulation, Latent Heat, Thermal Energy Storage, Phase Change Material

The 2
nd
Joint International Conference on “Sustainable Energy and Environment (SEE 2006)”
E-084 (O) 21-23 November 2006, Bangkok, Thailand

2
constructed without PCM on the roof to compare the thermal performance of an in-organic eutectic PCM (48% CaCl
2
+ 4.3 % NaCl
+ 0.4%KCl + 47.3% H
2
O), which has melting temperature in the range of 26 - 28ºC. A mathematical model has been developed and
the finite volume method is employed for the computation of thermal behavior of the roof incorporating PCMs. A comparison with
the experimental results is made and several simulation runs are conducted for the average ambient conditions for all the months in a
year and for the various other parameters of interest.

2. MODELING OF PCM INTEGRATED BUILDING ROOF SYSTEM

2.1 Statement of the problem
The physical system considered is a stainless steel panel filled with PCM placed in between the roof top slab and the bottom
concrete slab, which form the roof of the PCM room. In each cycle, during the charging process (sunshine hours), the PCM in the
roof change its phase from solid to liquid. As melting requires a large quantity of heat at its phase change temperature, the
temperature of the concrete slab normally will not exceed the PCM temperature. During the discharging process (night hours), the
PCM changes its phase from liquid to solid (solidification) by rejecting its heat to the ambient and to the air inside the room. This
cycle continues every day.
The composite wall described in Fig. 1 is initially maintained at a uniform temperature “T
i
”. The boundary condition on the
outer surface of roof is considered due to the combine effect of radiation and convection. In order to consider the radiation effect, the
average monthly solar radiation heat flux available in the Handbook by Tiwari [17] for every one-hour in Chennai city, India is used.
For convection, the heat transfer coefficient (h) value on the outer surface is calculated based on the prevailing velocity of the wind
using the Nusselt correlation. The boundary condition on the inner surface of the concrete slab is considered to be natural convection.
As the temperature difference between the room and the wall is very less, most of the earlier researchers have approximated the
bottom wall as insulated. However, when the temperature difference becomes appreciable, the effect of heat flow is considerable and
hence this convection effect is also taken into account in the present research work.




Fig. 1 Sketch of the building roof


2.2 Mathematical formulation
For the mathematical formulation of the above- mentioned problem shown in Fig. 2, the following assumptions are made:
(1) The heat conduction in the composite wall is one-dimensional and the end effects are neglected.
(2) The thermal conductivity of the concrete slab and the roof top slab are considered constant and not varying with respect to
temperature
(3) The PCM is homogeneous and isotropic.
(4) The convection effect in the molten PCM is neglected.
(5) The interfacial resistances are negligible.
(6) The ‘c
p
’ value of the PCM in the panel is considered as follows.
T< T
m
-φ c
p =
c
ps

T>T
m
+φ c
p =
c
pl


T
m
-φ < T < T
m
+φ c
p =
λ/2∈
where ‘c
p
’ is the specific heat capacity, λ is the latent heat capacity, φ is half of the temperature range over which the phase change
occurs and T
m
is the temperature about which phase change occurs.
(7) The latent heat value of the PCM is modeled in the above equation as high sensible heat value during the phase change process.
Normally all the PCMs change its phase over a range of temperature. In the present model, uniform c
p
value is considered during
Roof top slab
(Brick mixture + mortar)
PCM panel

Concrete slab
L
1
= 10 cm

L
2
= 2.5 cm

L
3
= 12 cm

Edges
insulated
Q radiation
Q convection
Light breeze

The 2
nd
Joint International Conference on “Sustainable Energy and Environment (SEE 2006)”
E-084 (O) 21-23 November 2006, Bangkok, Thailand

3
Interfacial resistance = 0
i= 11
i= 6
i= 11
phase change process, though in actual practice, there is variation in c
p
value within this small temperature range. In accordance
with the above-mentioned assumption, the governing equation and the boundary condition are developed as below.

Governing Equation

3 , 2 , 1 ; ] 0 [
2
2
= < <


=


m L x
t
T
c
x
T
k
m
P m
m
m
m
ρ
(1)
where m = 1 for roof top slab: m = 2 for PCM panel: m = 3 for bottom concrete slab.

The same equation holds good for all the three material regions by incorporating suitable k, ρ, c
p
value. In the exterior boundary
(x=0) where the floor is exposed to solar radiation, the boundary condition is,
k
1
∂T
1
/∂x|
x=0
=q
rad
+ h
o
(T

-T
x=0
) (2)

The radiation effect is considered during sunshine hours. In the bottom layer of the concrete slab x =L, the boundary condition is
) (
3
3 room L x i
L X
T T h
x
T
k − =


+
=
=
(3)
The instantaneous continuity of heat flux and temperature at the interfaces x = L
1
and L
2
are preserved



k
1
∂T
1
/∂x|
x=0
=q
rad
+ h
o
(T

-T
x=0
)




x








+ k
3
∂T
3
/∂x|
x = L
= h
i
(T
x=L
–T
room
)

Fig. 2 Finite volume grid for the analysis

2.2.1 Exterior Node
The equation for the top volume cell is written as below

2
1
1
1 o
1
1 1 1 1
T
x
fk
T f h
x
fk
t
x c
δ

|
|
.
|

\
|
+
δ
+

∆ ρ

− −
δ

− + =
∞ ∞
) T T ( h
x
) T T ( k
) f 1 ( fT h
1 o
1
1 2 1
o


| |
4
s
4
sky s 1
0
1 1 1
T T q x
t
T c
∈ − α σ + α + ∆

ρ
+
(4)

2.2.2 Inner Node
The equation for any volume cell that is located in between the top and bottom volume cells of a particular material is written as
below

i
m
m
i
m
m
m
m m m m
1 i
m
m
T
x
fk
T
x
fk
x
fk
t
x c
T
x
fk


+

+

∆ ρ
+


+


t
x T c
x
) T T (
k
x
) T T ( k
) f 1 (
m
0
i m m
m
1 i i
m
m
1 i 1 i m

∆ ρ
+

δ


δ

− =
− − − +
(5)
The above-mentioned discretized equations are applicable for volume cells (2), (3), (4), (7), (8), (9) and for (12), (13), (14) for
roof top slab, PCM panel and concrete slab respectively.
m = 1, i = 2, 3, 4; m = 2, i = 7, 8, 9; m = 3, i = 12, 13, 1 4.


x= 0
i= 1
i= 6
i= 15
x=L
The 2
nd
Joint International Conference on “Sustainable Energy and Environment (SEE 2006)”
E-084 (O) 21-23 November 2006, Bangkok, Thailand

4
2.2.3 Interface Node
The equation for the interface volume cell 5 is written as below

5
1
1
2 2 1 1
1 1 1
4
1
1
T
x
fk
k 2 / x k 2 / x
f
t
x c
T
x
fk

δ
+
δ + δ
+

∆ ρ
+
δ


4
2 2 1 1
T
k 2 / x k 2 / x
f

∆ + ∆



1
0
5 1 1
1
4 5 1
2
5 6 1
x
t
T c
x
) T T ( k
x
) T T ( k
) f 1 ( ∆

ρ
+

δ


δ

− =
(6)
where ∆x
1
and ∆x
2
are the cell thickness of the roof top slab and PCM panel respectively. Similarly the equation can be written for
volume cell (6). The same procedure is extended for control volumes (10) and (11) which involves cell thickness ∆x
2

and ∆x
3
that
corresponds to PCM panel and bottom concrete slab respectively.

2.2.4 Interior Node
The equation for the bottom volume cell 15 is written as below

+ − =

δ
+

∆ ρ
+
δ

)] 2 ( h [ f T
x
fk
t
x c
T
x
fk
i 15
3
3 3 3 3
14
3
3
3
0
15 3 3
3
14 15
i
x
t
T c
x
) T T (
k h 2 ) f 1 ( ∆

ρ
+

δ

− −
(7)

3. COMPUTATIONAL PROCEDURE

The governing equations along with the boundary conditions are discretized using semi- implicit control volume formulation. The
region of analysis is divided into five control volumes for each material. A time step of 2 second is used within the simulation. The
system of equations is solved using tridiagonal matrix algorithm (TDMA). The initial temperature values are obtained by executing
the program, continuously for few days till the routine daily variation attain the same value.

4. EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION

An experimental set up consisting of two identical test rooms (1.22 m × 1.22 m × 2.44 m) has been constructed to study the effect
of having PCM panel on the roof of the building. One room is without PCM on the roof and the another one has PCM panel in
between the bottom concrete slab and the roof top slab. Thus it is possible to study the thermal performance of the PCM embedded
ceiling over the conventional one. The inner walls except ceiling of the rooms are insulated by plywood of thickness 6mm on all the
sides to study the sole effect of PCM panel on the roof. The PCM panel is made up of stainless steel of 2m by 2m and thickness of
2.54 cm which accommodates inorganic salt hydrate (48% CaCl
2
+ 4.3 % NaCl + 0.4%KCl + 47.3% H
2
O)

as PCM. The properties of
the salt hydrate used as PCM in the experiment are given in Table. 1. This PCM salt-hydrate mixture is stored in a closed stainless
steel metallic container of capacity 0.1 m
3
.

Table 1 Technical Specifications of used PCM
PCM material (48% CaCl
2
+ 4.3 % NaCl + 0.4%KCl + 47.3% H
2
O)
Appearance (color) Grey
Phase change temp. (ºC) 26 - 28
Density (kg/m
3
) 1640
Latent Heat (kJ/kg) 188
Thermal conductivity (W/mk)
Solid
Liquid

1.09 [0 to 27ºC]
0.54 [28 to 60ºC]
Specific heat J/ kg. K
1440 [0 to 26.5ºC]
125000 [26.5 to 28ºC]
1440 [28 to 60 ºC]

The PCM salt hydrate mixture is prepared by mixing all the inorganic salts in the appropriate proportion of 48% CaCl
2,
4.3 %
NaCl and 0.4%KCl with the correct quantity of 47.3% of distilled water. The mixture is then agitated properly until the complete
dispersion of all the salts in distilled water. The salts KCL and NaCl help in initiating nucleation prevent incongruent melting and
sub-cooling. The total mass of the PCM mixture used is 164 kg and the PCM panel after carefully installing the heat exchanger is
filled with the mixture in its liquid state and sealed properly. The RTD (PT 100) are placed in different depths in the PCM panel with
perfect sealing. The PCM temperature variation is recorded for every one hour using the digital indicator. Several experiments
are conducted in the PCM room during the months of January and February. Experiments are also conducted for the room without
PCM panel and results are validated with the theoretical analysis.





The 2
nd
Joint International Conference on “Sustainable Energy and Environment (SEE 2006)”
E-084 (O) 21-23 November 2006, Bangkok, Thailand

5
5. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

5. 1. Experimental validation
The model presented in the theoretical study is validated using the experimental results obtained during the trials conducted in
the month of January and February. During the experimentation, the measured room temperatures vary approximately 27±3
o
C. In the
theoretical analysis, the room temperature is maintained constant with convective boundary condition on the inner surface of the
concrete slab during a particular trial. Hence, while comparing the theoretical model with the experiment the room temperature is
maintained at a constant temperature of 27ºC as input in the theoretical analysis. The other parameters involved in the analysis are
the ambient temperature variation during a day, inside and outside heat transfer coefficients, sky temperature variation, radiation
properties of the surface, geometrical parameters and physical properties of the roof material (Roof top slab, PCM and concrete slab).
The convective heat transfer coefficient in the outside and inside surface of the roof is calculated using appropriate Nusselt
correlation. The measured values/property values obtained from the handbook by Tiwari (17) are provided as input in the theoretical
analysis. The temperature variations across the roof material for fifteen control volumes are obtained from the theoretical analysis.
The temperature variations in the bottom surface of the concrete slab (ceiling) with PCM and without PCM rooms are shown in Fig.
3 to compare the theoretical model results with the experiment.
It is seen from the graph that the ceiling temperature of the PCM room in the numerical analysis is maintained at a constant
value of 27ºC throughout the day. This shows that the environment has little effect on the inner surface of the ceiling as all the heat
energy is absorbed by the PCM kept in the roof. On the other hand, a large fluctuation is observed in the ceiling of the non-PCM
room as the outside environment immediately influences the ceiling of the non-PCM room. From the experimental results, it is
observed that the temperature difference of the ceiling in the PCM and non-PCM rooms is not very appreciable as in the theoretical
results. This is due to the fact that the ceiling of the roof is highly influenced by the inside room condition which is governed by the
ventilation and wall conditions of the room. However, in the experimental trial, a small decrease in ceiling temperature during the
day time and small increase in ceiling temperature during the night time is observed in the PCM room which reduces the fluctuation
of temperature inside the PCM room. This is due to the large heat storage capacity of the PCM.

20
24
28
32
36
0 4 8 12 16 20 24
Time (Hours)
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
(
o
C
)
Ambient.Temp,Measu
red
Expt. PCM room
ceiling temp
Expt. non PCM room
ceiling temp
Simu.PCM room
ceiling Temp
Simu. Non PCM room
Ceiling Temp.


Fig. 3: Experimental and simulated temperature of the ceiling in the PCM and non-PCM room

The differences in temperature value between the theoretical and experimental results are due to the following reasons.
• The effective thermal conductivity of the PCM in the experiment is higher due to the presence of uniformly distributed
high conductivity heat exchanger material in the PCM panel.
• The actual phase change may not occur during the phase change temperature prescribed in the theoretical analysis
Considering the above facts, the trend in the theoretical results is in reasonable agreement with the experimental results.
Hence this theoretical analysis is further extended to study the effects during all the seasons in a year and to analyze the effects of
other parameters.

6. CONCLUSION

Several promising developments are taking place in the field of thermal storage using PCM’s in buildings. In the present study the
thermal performance of an inorganic eutectic phase change material based thermal storage for thermal management in residential and
commercial establishment has been carried out. It is quite evident from the preceding modeling and experimentation that the thermal
improvements in a building due to the inclusion of PCMs depend on the melting temperature of the PCM, the type of PCM, the
percentage of PCM mixed with conventional material, the climate, design and orientation of the construction of the building. The
optimization of these parameters is fundamental to demonstrate the possibilities of success of the PCMs in building materials.
Therefore, the information like operational range and limitations evolved in a project with PCMs as heat transport medium and
T∝ = 27
o
C
h
i
= 1 W/m
2
K
h
0
= 5 W/m
2
K
L
1
= 10 cm
L
2
= 2.5 cm
L
3
= 12 cm
The 2
nd
Joint International Conference on “Sustainable Energy and Environment (SEE 2006)”
E-084 (O) 21-23 November 2006, Bangkok, Thailand

6
elaborate calculation for analysis supported by a simulation program would definitely be a remarkable and reckonable guidance for
deciding and designing PCMs in building application. Being site specific, a detailed study is required for the selection of material

7. NOMENCLATURE

c
1
, c
2
, c
3
- Specific heat of Roof top slab, PCM panel, concrete slab (kJ/kgK)
c
ps
- Specific heat of solid (kJ/kgK)
c
pl
- Specific heat of liquid (kJ/kgK)
f - Fraction
h
i
- Inside heat transfer coefficient (W/m
2
K)
h
o
- Outside heat transfer coefficient W/m
2
K
k
1
, k
2
, k
3
- Thermal conductivity of roof top slab, PCM panel, concrete slab (W/m K)
q - Heat flux (W/ m
2
)
T - Temperature (
o
C)
T
room
- Room temperature (
o
C)
T
s
- Surface temperature (
o
C)
T
sky
- Sky temperature (
o
C)
T
in
- Initial temperature (
o
C)
T
i
o
- Previous time step temperature at i
th
volume cell (
o
C)
T
i
- Current time step temperature at i
th
volume cell (
o
C)
T

- Ambient temperature (
0
C)
λ - Latent heat of PCM (kJ/kg)
∈ - Emissivity
α - Absorptivity
σ - Stefan Boltzman Constant

t
- Time step
∆x
1
, ∆x
2
, ∆x
3
- Control volume length of roof top slab, PCM panel, concrete slab (m)
δx
1
, δx
2
, δx
3
- Nodal distances (m)
ρ
1
, ρ
2
, ρ
3
- Density of floor tiles, PCM, concrete (kg/m3)

8. REFERENCES

[1] Stritih, U and Novak, P. (2002) Thermal storage of solar energy in the wall for building ventilation, Second workshop, IEA,
Annex 17, Advanced thermal storage techniques, Feasibility studies and demonstration projects, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 3 - 5.
[2] Peippo, K, Kauranen, P. and Lund P.D. (1991) A multicomponent PCM wall optimized for passive solar heating, Energy and
Buildings, 17, pp. 259 - 270.
[3] Feustel, H.E. and Stetiu, C. (1997) Thermal performance of phase change wallboard for residential cooling application,
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Report LBL – 38320.
[4] Shapiro, M. (1989) Development of the enthalpy storage materials, Mixture of methyl stearate and methyl palmitate,
Subcontract report to Florida solar energy center.
[5] Kissock, J.K, Hannig, J.M, Whitney, T.I. and Drake, M.L. (1998) Testing and Simulation of Phase Change Wallboard for
Thermal Storage in Buildings, Proceedings of 1998 International Solar Energy Conference, New York, USA, pp. 45 - 52.
[6] Lee, T, Hawes, D.W, Banu, D, Feldman, D. (2000) Control aspects of latent heat storage and recovery in concrete, Solar Energy
Material Solar Cells 62, pp. 217- 37.
[7] Hawes, D. W, Banu, D, Feldman, D. (1990). Latent heat storage in concrete, Solar Energy Material, 21, pp. 61– 80.
[8] Ismail K.A.R. and Henriquez, J. R. (2001). Thermally effective windows with moving phase change material curtains, Applied
Thermal Engineering, 21, pp.1909-1923.
[9] Saman, W.Y. and Belusko M.(1997). Roof integrated unglazed transpired solar air heater, Proceedings of the 1997 Australian
and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, Lee T. (Ed), Paper 66, Canberra, Australia.
[10] Kunping Lin, Yinping Zhang, Xu Xu, Hongfa Di, Rui Yang. and Penghua Qin.(2005). Experimental study of under-floor
electric heating system with shape-stabilized PCM plates, Energy and Buildings, 37, pp 215-220.
[11] Hed, G.(2004). Use of phase change material for change of thermal inertia, Annex 17, Advanced Thermal Energy Storage
through Phase Change Materials and Chemical Reactions – Feasibility Studies and Demonstration Projects in Arvika, Sweden.
[12] Zalba, B, Marín, J. M, Sánchez-Valverde, B. and Cabeza, L.F, (2002), Free-cooling, An application of PCMs in TES,
proceedings of the 3rd workshop of IEA ECES IA Annex 17, Tokyo .
[13] Markus Koschenz. and Beat Lehmann.(2004). Development of a Thermally Activated Ceiling Panel with PCM for Application
in Lightweight and Retrofitted Buildings, Energy and Buildings, 36, pp. 567 – 578
[14] Velraj R, Anbudurai K, Nallusamy N. and Cheralathan M. (2002). PCM based thermal storage system for building air
conditioning, Tidel Park, Chennai, WREC Cologne 2002, Proceedings.
[15] Stetiu, C. and Feustel, H.E, (1998), Phase Change Wallboard and Mechanical Night Ventilation in Commercial Buildings,
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
[16] Athienitis, A.K, Liu, C, Hawes, D, Banu, D. and Feldman. D. (1997) Investigation of the Thermal Performance of a Passive
Solar Test-Room with Wall Latent Heat Storage, Building Environment, 32, 405 - 10.
[17] Tiwari, G. N. (2005). Solar energy of fundamentals, design, modeling and applications. Handbook of Narosapublishing house,
New Delhi.

Normally all the PCMs change its phase over a range of temperature. during the charging process (sunshine hours). A comparison with the experimental results is made and several simulation runs are conducted for the average ambient conditions for all the months in a year and for the various other parameters of interest. the following assumptions are made: (1) The heat conduction in the composite wall is one-dimensional and the end effects are neglected.3 % NaCl + 0. Bangkok. T< Tm-φ cp = cps cp = cpl T>Tm+φ Tm-φ < T < Tm+φ cp = λ/2∈ where ‘cp’ is the specific heat capacity.3% H2O). φ is half of the temperature range over which the phase change occurs and Tm is the temperature about which phase change occurs. A mathematical model has been developed and the finite volume method is employed for the computation of thermal behavior of the roof incorporating PCMs. (7) The latent heat value of the PCM is modeled in the above equation as high sensible heat value during the phase change process.E-084 (O) The 2nd Joint International Conference on “Sustainable Energy and Environment (SEE 2006)” 21-23 November 2006. which form the roof of the PCM room. the heat transfer coefficient (h) value on the outer surface is calculated based on the prevailing velocity of the wind using the Nusselt correlation.2 Mathematical formulation For the mathematical formulation of the above. the PCM changes its phase from liquid to solid (solidification) by rejecting its heat to the ambient and to the air inside the room. As the temperature difference between the room and the wall is very less. the temperature of the concrete slab normally will not exceed the PCM temperature.mentioned problem shown in Fig. 1 Sketch of the building roof 2. Q radiation Q convection Light breeze L1 = 10 cm L2 = 2. the average monthly solar radiation heat flux available in the Handbook by Tiwari [17] for every one-hour in Chennai city. The boundary condition on the inner surface of the concrete slab is considered to be natural convection. (2) The thermal conductivity of the concrete slab and the roof top slab are considered constant and not varying with respect to temperature (3) The PCM is homogeneous and isotropic. 1 is initially maintained at a uniform temperature “Ti”. During the discharging process (night hours). The composite wall described in Fig. However. uniform cp value is considered during 2 . (5) The interfacial resistances are negligible.1 Statement of the problem The physical system considered is a stainless steel panel filled with PCM placed in between the roof top slab and the bottom concrete slab.4%KCl + 47. (4) The convection effect in the molten PCM is neglected. the PCM in the roof change its phase from solid to liquid. Thailand constructed without PCM on the roof to compare the thermal performance of an in-organic eutectic PCM (48% CaCl2 + 4. In order to consider the radiation effect. most of the earlier researchers have approximated the bottom wall as insulated. (6) The ‘cp’ value of the PCM in the panel is considered as follows. when the temperature difference becomes appreciable. India is used.28ºC. In the present model. which has melting temperature in the range of 26 . For convection. the effect of heat flow is considerable and hence this convection effect is also taken into account in the present research work. λ is the latent heat capacity. 2. As melting requires a large quantity of heat at its phase change temperature. MODELING OF PCM INTEGRATED BUILDING ROOF SYSTEM 2. In each cycle. The boundary condition on the outer surface of roof is considered due to the combine effect of radiation and convection. This cycle continues every day. 2.5 cm L3 = 12 cm Roof top slab (Brick mixture + mortar) PCM panel Concrete slab Edges insulated Fig.

3 . m = 1. 8.1 Exterior Node The equation for the top volume cell is written as below i= 15  ρ1c1 ∆x 1  fk fk  + 1 + h o f  T1 − 1 T2  ∆t  δx 1 δx 1    k (T − T1 )  − h o (T1 − T∞ ) = h o fT∞ + (1 − f )  1 2 δx 1   + ρ1c1T1 ∆t 0 4 ∆x 1 + αq s + σ α Tsky − ∈ Ts4 [ ] (4) 2. In the exterior boundary (x=0) where the floor is exposed to solar radiation. the governing equation and the boundary condition are developed as below. 3 (1) k1 ∂T1/∂x| x=0 =qrad + ho (T∞-Tx=0) (2) The radiation effect is considered during sunshine hours. 3. (13). The same equation holds good for all the three material regions by incorporating suitable k. (8). though in actual practice. m = 1.E-084 (O) The 2nd Joint International Conference on “Sustainable Energy and Environment (SEE 2006)” 21-23 November 2006. (9) and for (12). Thailand phase change process. 2 Finite volume grid for the analysis 2. i = 2.2. (4). PCM panel and concrete slab respectively. ρ. ∂ 2Tm ∂x 2 = ρ m c Pm ∂Tm ∂t [0 < x < L] . i = 7.2. cp value. 1 4. the boundary condition is. there is variation in cp value within this small temperature range. 2. (7). (3). In accordance with the above-mentioned assumption.2 Inner Node The equation for any volume cell that is located in between the top and bottom volume cells of a particular material is written as below ρ c ∆x fk fk fk  − fkm Ti+1 +  m m m + m + m  Ti − m Ti ∆t ∆xm ∆x m  ∆x m ∆x m  km(T+1 −Ti−1) (T −T−1) ρmcmT0 ∆xm i − i =(1−f)  − km i i  + δxm δxm  ∆t  (5) The above-mentioned discretized equations are applicable for volume cells (2). i = 12. m = 3. 4. m = 2. 13. Bangkok. 9. the boundary condition is + k3 ∂ T3 ∂x = hi (T x = L − Troom ) X =L (3) The instantaneous continuity of heat flux and temperature at the interfaces x = L1 and L2 are preserved Interfacial resistance = 0 x= 0 x i= 11 k1 ∂T1/∂x| x=0 =qrad + ho (T∞-Tx=0) i= 1 i= 6 i= 11 x=L + k3∂T3/∂x|x = L = hi (Tx=L –Troom) Fig. (14) for roof top slab. In the bottom layer of the concrete slab x =L. Governing Equation km where m = 1 for roof top slab: m = 2 for PCM panel: m = 3 for bottom concrete slab.

Experiments are also conducted for the room without PCM panel and results are validated with the theoretical analysis.4%KCl + 47. 4 .44 m) has been constructed to study the effect of having PCM panel on the roof of the building. The properties of the salt hydrate used as PCM in the experiment are given in Table. The salts KCL and NaCl help in initiating nucleation prevent incongruent melting and sub-cooling. 4. Table 1 Technical Specifications of used PCM PCM material Appearance (color) Phase change temp. One room is without PCM on the roof and the another one has PCM panel in between the bottom concrete slab and the roof top slab. This PCM salt-hydrate mixture is stored in a closed stainless steel metallic container of capacity 0.implicit control volume formulation.3 Interface Node The equation for the interface volume cell 5 is written as below ρ c ∆x fk  − fk1 f T4 +  1 1 1 + + 1  T5 δx1 δx1 / 2k1 + δx2 / 2k2 δx1   ∆t   f −   T4  ∆x 1 / 2 k 1 + ∆ x 2 / 2 k 2  (6)  k (T − T ) k (T − T )  ρ c T0 = (1 − f )  1 6 5 − 1 5 4  + 1 1 5 ∆x1 δx1 ∆t  δx 2  where ∆x1 and ∆x2 are the cell thickness of the roof top slab and PCM panel respectively.2.E-084 (O) The 2nd Joint International Conference on “Sustainable Energy and Environment (SEE 2006)” 21-23 November 2006. The region of analysis is divided into five control volumes for each material. A time step of 2 second is used within the simulation.22 m × 1.3 % NaCl and 0. Bangkok. 4. Thus it is possible to study the thermal performance of the PCM embedded ceiling over the conventional one. The mixture is then agitated properly until the complete dispersion of all the salts in distilled water. Several experiments are conducted in the PCM room during the months of January and February. Thailand 2.09 [0 to 27ºC] 0.22 m × 2. The PCM temperature variation is recorded for every one hour using the digital indicator. The initial temperature values are obtained by executing the program. Similarly the equation can be written for volume cell (6). EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION An experimental set up consisting of two identical test rooms (1. continuously for few days till the routine daily variation attain the same value.3% H2O) Grey 26 . The PCM panel is made up of stainless steel of 2m by 2m and thickness of 2.3% H2O) as PCM.4 Interior Node The equation for the bottom volume cell 15 is written as below  (T − T )  ρ c T 0  ρ c ∆x fk  − fk 3 T14 +  3 3 3 + 3  T15 = f [h i (−2)] + (1 − f ) 2h i − k 15 14  + 3 3 15 ∆x 3 δx 3  ∆t δx 3 δx 3    ∆t (7) 3.3% of distilled water.5 to 28ºC] 1440 [28 to 60 ºC] The PCM salt hydrate mixture is prepared by mixing all the inorganic salts in the appropriate proportion of 48% CaCl2.1 m3. The inner walls except ceiling of the rooms are insulated by plywood of thickness 6mm on all the sides to study the sole effect of PCM panel on the roof.54 cm which accommodates inorganic salt hydrate (48% CaCl2 + 4. 2.28 1640 188 1. The RTD (PT 100) are placed in different depths in the PCM panel with perfect sealing.5ºC] 125000 [26.4%KCl with the correct quantity of 47. 1.54 [28 to 60ºC] 1440 [0 to 26. COMPUTATIONAL PROCEDURE The governing equations along with the boundary conditions are discretized using semi. The system of equations is solved using tridiagonal matrix algorithm (TDMA). (ºC) Density (kg/m ) Latent Heat (kJ/kg) Thermal conductivity (W/mk) Solid Liquid Specific heat J/ kg.2. The total mass of the PCM mixture used is 164 kg and the PCM panel after carefully installing the heat exchanger is filled with the mixture in its liquid state and sealed properly.3 % NaCl + 0. The same procedure is extended for control volumes (10) and (11) which involves cell thickness ∆x2 and ∆x3 that corresponds to PCM panel and bottom concrete slab respectively.4%KCl + 47.3 % NaCl + 0. K 3 (48% CaCl2 + 4.

36 32 Temperature( C) o 28 Ambient. design and orientation of the construction of the building. Hence. PCM and concrete slab). T∝ hi h0 L1 L2 L3 = 27oC = 1 W/m2 K = 5 W/m2 K = 10 cm = 2. In the present study the thermal performance of an inorganic eutectic phase change material based thermal storage for thermal management in residential and commercial establishment has been carried out. Experimental validation The model presented in the theoretical study is validated using the experimental results obtained during the trials conducted in the month of January and February. The temperature variations in the bottom surface of the concrete slab (ceiling) with PCM and without PCM rooms are shown in Fig. The optimization of these parameters is fundamental to demonstrate the possibilities of success of the PCMs in building materials. The other parameters involved in the analysis are the ambient temperature variation during a day. 3 to compare the theoretical model results with the experiment. the climate. sky temperature variation. The measured values/property values obtained from the handbook by Tiwari (17) are provided as input in the theoretical analysis. Therefore. it is observed that the temperature difference of the ceiling in the PCM and non-PCM rooms is not very appreciable as in the theoretical results. inside and outside heat transfer coefficients. During the experimentation. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 5. CONCLUSION Several promising developments are taking place in the field of thermal storage using PCM’s in buildings. • The effective thermal conductivity of the PCM in the experiment is higher due to the presence of uniformly distributed high conductivity heat exchanger material in the PCM panel.E-084 (O) The 2nd Joint International Conference on “Sustainable Energy and Environment (SEE 2006)” 21-23 November 2006. The convective heat transfer coefficient in the outside and inside surface of the roof is calculated using appropriate Nusselt correlation. • The actual phase change may not occur during the phase change temperature prescribed in the theoretical analysis Considering the above facts. It is seen from the graph that the ceiling temperature of the PCM room in the numerical analysis is maintained at a constant value of 27ºC throughout the day. This is due to the fact that the ceiling of the roof is highly influenced by the inside room condition which is governed by the ventilation and wall conditions of the room. This is due to the large heat storage capacity of the PCM. Thailand 5. Bangkok.Temp. 1. non PCM room ceiling temp Simu. 3: Experimental and simulated temperature of the ceiling in the PCM and non-PCM room The differences in temperature value between the theoretical and experimental results are due to the following reasons. 6. On the other hand. In the theoretical analysis. the percentage of PCM mixed with conventional material. in the experimental trial. PCM room ceiling temp Expt. The temperature variations across the roof material for fifteen control volumes are obtained from the theoretical analysis. the information like operational range and limitations evolved in a project with PCMs as heat transport medium and 5 . the measured room temperatures vary approximately 27±3oC.Measu red Expt. a large fluctuation is observed in the ceiling of the non-PCM room as the outside environment immediately influences the ceiling of the non-PCM room. From the experimental results.5 cm = 12 cm 24 20 0 4 8 12 Time (Hours) 16 20 24 Fig. Non PCM room Ceiling Temp. the type of PCM. radiation properties of the surface.PCM room ceiling Temp Simu. while comparing the theoretical model with the experiment the room temperature is maintained at a constant temperature of 27ºC as input in the theoretical analysis. However. the room temperature is maintained constant with convective boundary condition on the inner surface of the concrete slab during a particular trial. geometrical parameters and physical properties of the roof material (Roof top slab. It is quite evident from the preceding modeling and experimentation that the thermal improvements in a building due to the inclusion of PCMs depend on the melting temperature of the PCM. This shows that the environment has little effect on the inner surface of the ceiling as all the heat energy is absorbed by the PCM kept in the roof. the trend in the theoretical results is in reasonable agreement with the experimental results. a small decrease in ceiling temperature during the day time and small increase in ceiling temperature during the night time is observed in the PCM room which reduces the fluctuation of temperature inside the PCM room. Hence this theoretical analysis is further extended to study the effects during all the seasons in a year and to analyze the effects of other parameters.

Report LBL – 38320. (2000) Control aspects of latent heat storage and recovery in concrete. 36. PCM panel. C. and Cabeza. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Nallusamy N. Chennai. a detailed study is required for the selection of material 7.K. H. Experimental study of under-floor electric heating system with shape-stabilized PCM plates.R. G. and Beat Lehmann. C. Banu. Annex 17. [15] Stetiu. [8] Ismail K. and Henriquez. (2002).M. (2002) Thermal storage of solar energy in the wall for building ventilation. B. pp. Solar Energy Material. 259 . D. pp.D. (1989) Development of the enthalpy storage materials. [16] Athienitis. 61– 80. PCM. Use of phase change material for change of thermal inertia. k2. Liu. 32.270.E. USA. Feasibility studies and demonstration projects. (2001). (1998) Testing and Simulation of Phase Change Wallboard for Thermal Storage in Buildings. concrete slab (kJ/kgK) Specific heat of solid (kJ/kgK) Specific heat of liquid (kJ/kgK) Fraction Inside heat transfer coefficient (W/m2K) Outside heat transfer coefficient W/m2K Thermal conductivity of roof top slab. Feldman. c3 cps cpl f hi ho k1.10. D.W. Energy and Buildings. W. NOMENCLATURE c1. 6 . Subcontract report to Florida solar energy center.(2004). Sánchez-Valverde. ∆x3 δx1. pp. concrete slab (m) Nodal distances (m) Density of floor tiles.(2004). D. [4] Shapiro. L. WREC Cologne 2002.I. Anbudurai K. (1991) A multicomponent PCM wall optimized for passive solar heating. [13] Markus Koschenz. δx2. (1990). 21. Kauranen. and Drake. C. and Cheralathan M. Sweden. PCM panel. Being site specific. Thailand elaborate calculation for analysis supported by a simulation program would definitely be a remarkable and reckonable guidance for deciding and designing PCMs in building application. Banu. and Stetiu. pp 215-220. IEA.Y. D. An application of PCMs in TES. Second workshop. 405 . Phase Change Wallboard and Mechanical Night Ventilation in Commercial Buildings. Paper 66. M. [6] Lee. concrete (kg/m3) λ ∈ α σ ∆t ∆x1. W. 37. Proceedings of 1998 International Solar Energy Conference. Hannig. Handbook of Narosapublishing house. P. Australia. ρ3 - 8. k3 q T Troom Ts Tsky Tin T io Ti T∞ Specific heat of Roof top slab. G. PCM based thermal storage system for building air conditioning. D. Thermally effective windows with moving phase change material curtains. Development of a Thermally Activated Ceiling Panel with PCM for Application in Lightweight and Retrofitted Buildings. 17. Solar energy of fundamentals. J. and Penghua Qin. J. J. Whitney. design. concrete slab (W/m K) Heat flux (W/ m2) Temperature (oC) Room temperature ( oC) Surface temperature (oC) Sky temperature (oC) Initial temperature ( oC) Previous time step temperature at ithvolume cell (oC) Current time step temperature at ithvolume cell (oC) Ambient temperature (0C) Latent heat of PCM (kJ/kg) Emissivity Absorptivity Stefan Boltzman Constant Time step Control volume length of roof top slab. modeling and applications. ∆x2. [5] Kissock. Feldman.E-084 (O) The 2nd Joint International Conference on “Sustainable Energy and Environment (SEE 2006)” 21-23 November 2006. Energy and Buildings. Mixture of methyl stearate and methyl palmitate. Bangkok. D.E. Banu. (1998). and Feldman. REFERENCES [1] Stritih. and Feustel. D. pp. Lee T. D. [9] Saman.37. Latent heat storage in concrete. Free-cooling. Annex 17.52. Applied Thermal Engineering. and Lund P. New Delhi. Tidel Park. proceedings of the 3rd workshop of IEA ECES IA Annex 17. (2002). H. P. T. Proceedings of the 1997 Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society. 45 . [17] Tiwari. Xu Xu. Rui Yang.(2005).(1997).L. Tokyo . Solar Energy Material Solar Cells 62. N. (2005). M. Ljubljana. pp. and Belusko M. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Hongfa Di. (1997) Thermal performance of phase change wallboard for residential cooling application. Advanced Thermal Energy Storage through Phase Change Materials and Chemical Reactions – Feasibility Studies and Demonstration Projects in Arvika. pp. [3] Feustel. D. (1997) Investigation of the Thermal Performance of a Passive Solar Test-Room with Wall Latent Heat Storage. (Ed). Slovenia. Energy and Buildings. U and Novak. c2.F. Roof integrated unglazed transpired solar air heater. B. δx3 ρ1. Advanced thermal storage techniques. 217. Building Environment. Marín. Hawes. [12] Zalba. [2] Peippo.1909-1923. New York. 567 – 578 [14] Velraj R. [7] Hawes. Canberra. Proceedings. K. Hawes. T. A. 3 . M. PCM panel.K.A. [10] Kunping Lin. Yinping Zhang. [11] Hed. R. 21. J.5. ρ2.

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