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Architectural Science Review ISSN: 0003-8628 (Print) 1758-9622 (Online) Journal homepage: <a href=http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tasr20 Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings Using Phase Change Materials in Building Components: Simulation Modelling for PCM Plasterboard Christopher Kendrick & Nicholas Walliman To cite this article: Christopher Kendrick & Nicholas Walliman (2007) Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings Using Phase Change Materials in Building Components: Simulation Modelling for PCM Plasterboard, Architectural Science Review, 50:3, 265-273 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.3763/asre.2007.5032 Published online: 09 Jun 2011. Submit your article to this journal Article views: 110 View related articles Citing articles: 7 View citing articles Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=tasr20 Download by: [University of Manitoba Libraries] Date: 16 September 2017, At: 01:06 " id="pdf-obj-0-2" src="pdf-obj-0-2.jpg">

Architectural Science Review

Architectural Science Review ISSN: 0003-8628 (Print) 1758-9622 (Online) Journal homepage: <a href=http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tasr20 Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings Using Phase Change Materials in Building Components: Simulation Modelling for PCM Plasterboard Christopher Kendrick & Nicholas Walliman To cite this article: Christopher Kendrick & Nicholas Walliman (2007) Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings Using Phase Change Materials in Building Components: Simulation Modelling for PCM Plasterboard, Architectural Science Review, 50:3, 265-273 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.3763/asre.2007.5032 Published online: 09 Jun 2011. Submit your article to this journal Article views: 110 View related articles Citing articles: 7 View citing articles Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=tasr20 Download by: [University of Manitoba Libraries] Date: 16 September 2017, At: 01:06 " id="pdf-obj-0-6" src="pdf-obj-0-6.jpg">

ISSN: 0003-8628 (Print) 1758-9622 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tasr20

Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings Using Phase Change Materials in Building Components: Simulation Modelling for PCM Plasterboard

Christopher Kendrick & Nicholas Walliman

To cite this article: Christopher Kendrick & Nicholas Walliman (2007) Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings Using Phase Change Materials in Building Components: Simulation Modelling for PCM Plasterboard, Architectural Science Review, 50:3, 265-273

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.3763/asre.2007.5032

  • Published online: 09 Jun 2011.

Architectural Science Review ISSN: 0003-8628 (Print) 1758-9622 (Online) Journal homepage: <a href=http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tasr20 Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings Using Phase Change Materials in Building Components: Simulation Modelling for PCM Plasterboard Christopher Kendrick & Nicholas Walliman To cite this article: Christopher Kendrick & Nicholas Walliman (2007) Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings Using Phase Change Materials in Building Components: Simulation Modelling for PCM Plasterboard, Architectural Science Review, 50:3, 265-273 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.3763/asre.2007.5032 Published online: 09 Jun 2011. Submit your article to this journal Article views: 110 View related articles Citing articles: 7 View citing articles Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=tasr20 Download by: [University of Manitoba Libraries] Date: 16 September 2017, At: 01:06 " id="pdf-obj-0-30" src="pdf-obj-0-30.jpg">
  • Article views: 110

Architectural Science Review ISSN: 0003-8628 (Print) 1758-9622 (Online) Journal homepage: <a href=http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tasr20 Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings Using Phase Change Materials in Building Components: Simulation Modelling for PCM Plasterboard Christopher Kendrick & Nicholas Walliman To cite this article: Christopher Kendrick & Nicholas Walliman (2007) Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings Using Phase Change Materials in Building Components: Simulation Modelling for PCM Plasterboard, Architectural Science Review, 50:3, 265-273 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.3763/asre.2007.5032 Published online: 09 Jun 2011. Submit your article to this journal Article views: 110 View related articles Citing articles: 7 View citing articles Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=tasr20 Download by: [University of Manitoba Libraries] Date: 16 September 2017, At: 01:06 " id="pdf-obj-0-41" src="pdf-obj-0-41.jpg">
Architectural Science Review ISSN: 0003-8628 (Print) 1758-9622 (Online) Journal homepage: <a href=http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tasr20 Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings Using Phase Change Materials in Building Components: Simulation Modelling for PCM Plasterboard Christopher Kendrick & Nicholas Walliman To cite this article: Christopher Kendrick & Nicholas Walliman (2007) Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings Using Phase Change Materials in Building Components: Simulation Modelling for PCM Plasterboard, Architectural Science Review, 50:3, 265-273 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.3763/asre.2007.5032 Published online: 09 Jun 2011. Submit your article to this journal Article views: 110 View related articles Citing articles: 7 View citing articles Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=tasr20 Download by: [University of Manitoba Libraries] Date: 16 September 2017, At: 01:06 " id="pdf-obj-0-48" src="pdf-obj-0-48.jpg">

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Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings Using Phase Change Materials in Building Components: Simulation Modelling for PCM Plasterboard

Christopher Kendrick and Nicholas Walliman

Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development-Technology Group, School of the Built Environment, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, Headington, Oxford OX3 0PB, England †Corresponding author: Tel: 44 (0)1865 483 644; Fax: 44 (0)1865 483 298; Email: nwalliman@brookes.ac.uk

Received 9 June 2006; accepted 14 May 2007

Abstract: Phase change materials (PCMs) can store much larger amounts of thermal energy per unit mass than conventional building materials and can be used to add thermal stability to lightweight construction without adding physical mass. This paper reviews how PCMs could be incorporated in building materials, particularly in passive applications. A simulation study using IES Virtual Environment package ‘Apache’ was carried out on PCM impregnated plasterboard, investigating various fusion temperatures of the PCM during night, day, and week-long test durations in hot weather conditions. Different ventilation rates and alternative conductivity values of the gypsum in the plasterboard were tested. It was shown that use of PCMs has significant advantages for both commercial and residential building applications, provided sufficient night ventilation is allowed.

Keywords: Building components, Building materials, Fusion temperature, Lightweight construction, PCM impregnated plasterboard, Phase change materials (PCM), Plasterboard, Simulation, Thermal comfort, Thermal energy, Thermal insulation, Thermal simulation, Ventilation, Virtual environments

Introduction

The UK government is actively encouraging higher speeds and standards of construction using off-site construction techniques (Prescott, 2005). In addition, the Part L Building Regulation requirements on energy efficiency and carbon, demand increasingly stringent energy performance for new construction (Building Regulations, 2006). These factors have led to a significant shift away from conventional brick and block building techniques towards lightweight timber and steel frame construction, because it is a competitive solution for new pre-fabricated building elements and tends to be more cost effective to achieve compliance with thermal performance demands. However, a move to lightweight construction raises concerns over internal comfort conditions due to lack of thermal storage properties, resulting in rapid swings of internal temperature. This concern is exacerbated by projected climate change because of global warming. Recent studies have indicated that hotter, drier summers are likely. Without optimised design of new buildings, many of the benefits accruing from reduced heating consumption may be lost as air conditioning units are fitted to reduce internal

temperatures. There is a tension between the drive to construct more efficient structures with minimum environmental impact and the tendency to add more mass (in practice concrete) for thermal storage. Phase change materials (PCMs) can store much larger amounts of thermal energy per unit mass than conventional building materials by storing energy as latent rather than sensible heat. Compared to

the amount of mass required for energy storage in a block or brick building, the amount of PCMs needed is minimal. Similarly, the energy needed to produce the PCMs would only be a fraction of the energy needed to produce blocks, bricks or concrete with the same heat storage capacity (Anderson & Shires, 2002). PCMs can be used for cooling a building in three conventional ways:

Passive cooling: Cooling through the direct heat exchange of indoor air with PCMs incorporated into the existing building materials such as plasterboards, floorboards and furniture • Assisted passive cooling: Passive cooling with an active component (for example, a fan) that accelerates heat exchange by

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increasing the air movement across the surface of the PCM • Active cooling: Using electricity or absorption cooling to reduce the temperature and/or change the phase of the PCM As active cooling, and to a lesser extent supportive passive cooling, require the use of additional energy (refrigeration and fans) it is likely that the simplest, most cost-effective and environmentally sound means of using PCM is in a purely passive way. Although more research is needed to investigate if this is in fact so, the main focus of this paper is on the use of PCMs for passive cooling.

PCMs in Building Applications

PCM can be impregnated into building materials such as plasterboard, either directly or as impregnated pellets. Various materials have been investigated (see Table 1). Paraffin wax, because of its cheapness and ready availability, combined with its flexibly adjustable phase change temperature is seen as a particularly promising material for use in building components (Amar, Kudhair & Farid, 2004; Chen, Nelson & Polanski, 1982; Demirbas, 2006). Another method of incorporating PCM into conventional construction components is micro-encapsulation (Hawlander, Uddin & Khin, 2002; Hawlander, Uddin & Zhu, 2002; Schossig, Henning, Gschwander & Haussmann, 2005). Schossig P., Henning, H., Gschwander, S., & Haussmann, T. (2005) describe simulation and testing of PCM plasterboard-lined rooms, and finds notable decreases in peak temperature in both when compared with conventionally finished rooms. However, it is noted that the main difficulty is night cooling, and mechanical ventilation is used at four air changes per hour to cool the PCM. Micro-encapsulated PCM has the appearance of beads or powder, depending upon size. The PCM is contained within small polymer spheres (for example ‘Thermocules’, 10 micron diameter acrylic spheres which contain paraffin wax), increasing the area to volume ratio available for heat transfer in PCM applications. This effectively overcomes the problems experienced by most encapsulation systems caused by reduced heat flux through the solid-liquid interface as it moves away from the heat transfer surface. In addition, a wall thickness of approximately 1 micron reduces thermal resistance of the encapsulant to negligible proportions. This technique has been a significant breakthrough, as it enables easy integration of organic PCM into building components (for example, plaster, plasterboard and concrete) whilst avoiding odour and handling problems. Micro-encapsulated PCM, already used in some specialized clothing such as ski wear and in some electronics cooling

applications, can be incorporated into a variety of building products, including wallboards and insulation foams. At an experimental stage, conventional, resistive insulation has been converted to capacitive or dynamic insulation by addition of PCM, thus adding thermal storage and consequent time lags where previously none was possible. Experiments have been carried out with perlite-based loft insulation, in which perlite is impregnated with hydrated calcium chloride and contained between layers of conventional insulation (Petrie, Childs, Christian & Childs, 1997). Ceiling tiles is another possible PCM application that has been tested using monitored test cells (University of Brighton Thermal Storage Research Group, 2006). The same group has also undertaken work on a 5mm thick interior wall lining material containing PCM. Recently, wall/ceiling board (plasterboard), concrete blocks and wall/floor tiles containing micro-encapsulated PCM have been produced commercially (Azom.com News, 2006; Hittle, 2002). The phase change temperature close to the desired mean temperature of the room aims to provide effective thermal storage for both cooling and heating applications. The large surface area available for heat transfer should enable effective use of this distributed thermal mass. Plasterboard is the most common lining material used in lightweight timber and steel framed construction and could thus make the biggest contribution to controlling overheating if replaced with PCM variants. In order to test the effectiveness of PCM plasterboard linings in reducing unwanted heat in buildings, an effective method of simulation was devised, and a series of tests carried out described below. The main difference from most previous work is that real weather conditions are used rather than fixed conditions.

Modelling PCM Impregnated Plasterboard

Dynamic thermal simulation is a powerful tool for assessing the thermal comfort and energy use of buildings throughout the year. However, none of the commercially available software allows incorporation of PCM as part of the standard routine, so additional modelling was required to assess their use in buildings. The essential feature of PCMs is that they absorb energy as latent rather than sensible heat over a small range of temperatures around their melting point (fusion temperature), and hence exhibit no sensible temperature rise over this range. The amount of heat absorbed in this way is termed the latent heat of crystallization, and varies with the material under consideration, as does the melting point. The absorbed heat is released back into the space when

Table 1: Some existing PCMs that may be useful for Passive Cooling Applications.

Mater ial

Phase Change Te mp eratur e

Type of mater ial

Envi ron mental p erfor manc e

Cris topi a A C00

Cristopia AC00

0

¡C

Wat er and Crysta llis ing Agen t

(sea led p las tic nodule)

Safe and non -toxi c ¥ Low en ergy

¥

Cris topi a P CM-13A

 

13

¡C

Trim ethy lole than e (s ea led pla stic

¥

Safe and non -toxi c

Cristopia PCM-13A

 

nodule)

¥ Low en ergy

Cris topi a P CM-20

20

¡C

Organic Fa tty Ac ids (s ea led

¥

Natura l by -product

Cristopia PCM-20

 

plas ti c nodul e)

¥ Safe and non -toxi c ¥ low en ergy

Cris topi a P CM-27

Cristopia PCM27

27

¡C

Ca lc ium and Po tas sium Chlorid e Solution (se al ed pl as ti c nodul e)

¥ Corrosive , hen ce need s to be enc losed ¥ Low en ergy

Various

Various

22

-35¡C

Paraffin Wax es

¥ By -product of the pe troleu m industry

manufacturers

manufac turers

 

¥ Low energy

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temperatures drop below the melting point. This process may be considered fully reversible for the purposes of simulation. The PCMs were modelled using the conditioned cavity method, whereby a cavity is maintained at a setpoint behind the PCM material related to the melting point of the material chosen. As the temperature rises above the melting point, energy will be passed into the conditioned space, the amount of energy being monitored until all the theoretical latent heat of the material can be accounted for. At this point, conditioning will be switched off, allowing the temperature of the material to rise in the normal manner. The process is reversed for solidification, the conditioning being maintained until all latent heat contained in the material is released back into the space, assuming temperature differentials allow. Energy consumed in conditioning the space is not considered in the assessment of energy use for the building, but is used purely to simulate the phase change behaviour of the material used. The limitation of the method is that it requires considerable manual intervention to ensure correct operation of the model, unless repetitive (design day) conditions are assumed. Energy absorbed by and released from the conditioned space must be recorded and the conditioning switched on or off accordingly. Hence, as a compromise, real weather data was used, but the simulation period was limited to the month of August (usually the hottest month of the year) for the weather year chosen. A simple lightweight building was represented, consisting of a single space glazed on opposite (north/south) walls. The purpose of the modelling is to assess the performance of PCMs in the cooling mode during the summer. No reference is made to the effect on heating performance and energy use. Both commercial (office) and domestic (living room) conditions were assessed, the main differentiating feature being the sizing and timing of heat loads. For the office building, the effect on air conditioning loads was also considered. The interior surfaces were modelled with PCM impregnated plasterboard lining walls and ceiling. The floor was modelled as standard construction. Examined were the effects of the:

Thermodynamic characteristics of the PCM and the wallboard on the delivery of indoor cooling including the latent heat of fusion of the material containing PCM Thermal conductivity of the wallboard containing PCM • Provision of nighttime ventilation on the performance of the PCM

Description of the Building Model

Whilst the building is simple in respect of geometric detail it is sufficient to model the building thermally. However, the model is more complex than might normally be used, since it has been set up to assess the potential performance of a PCM impregnated board which is not possible by defining physical parameters describing the fusion process. The building has two floors and section 10m x 6m. It has effectively one room on each floor to simplify the setting up and analysis. However to make it more thermally realistic some internal mass has been provided by the addition of a partition wall separating the two halves of each room. It is a reasonable assumption that the temperature of the wallboard will perform as a normal wallboard until the melting

point is reached and thence the temperature will remain fixed for some period after that. This can be modelled by describing a cooling scenario for spaces adjacent to the wallboard. In reality, these spaces are the wall cavities and space between joists. Normally these would be modelled by an air gap in the wall and ceiling construction. Here the wall and ceiling constructions have been divided into two constructions describing either side of the air gaps. To make the model as simple to describe as possible, the wall cavity spaces are double height: two being described: one wraps from the eastern face of the building and one the western face. The glazing is described by separate window spaces, again double height. The glazing effectively consists of an external and internal window that are aligned and separated by a gap of 100mm. The external windows are standard double-glazing and internal single clear glazing. The combined effect of the two windows having a thermal performance equivalent to those required by 2002 building regulations, the small gap separating them having the same order of impact as a normal window reveal. The rooms defined for the modelling are shown in Figures 1 to 4. Note that the window rooms are 100% glazed on both south and north faces, other surfaces (which are only 100mm thick) are constructed of materials corresponding to their type.

The Constructions

With cavities separating rooms being defined as rooms

themselves, this required the definition of two constructions where one would normally have been defined. The complete sets of constructions used are defined in Table 2. Two basic models were created:

  • 1. A base model comprising standard plasterboard for all internal wall and ceiling surfaces

  • 2. All these surfaces were replaced by plasterboard impregnated

with phase change material The table shows which constructions were used in each model and room. The dry lined partition wall was used in both models for the walls in the centre of the main room spaces. This could have also

Christopher Kendrick and Nicholas Walliman Phase Change Materials for Removing Unwanted Heat in Lightweight Buildings 267

Figure 1: Geometric detail: main rooms.

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been constructed of phase change materials (potentially improving thermal performance) but would have further complicated the modelling. Thermal templates were constructed for the different types of space: main rooms, cavities and windows. Main rooms received heating when temperatures dropped below 19°C between the hours of 7am and 11pm. No other spaces were heated. Internal gains were defined for the main rooms representing occupancy, lighting and miscellaneous electrical usage. No other spaces had internal gains. Main rooms also had infiltration defined at 1 ac/h. All the cavities had a cooling setpoint defined, such that the air in the cavity could not rise above that temperature. This was how the fusion process was modelled with the fusion temperature represented by a cooling setpoint for the adjacent cavity. Depending on the simulation details, this setpoint could run all day and every day or just certain hours of a given period of days. This allowed different fusion temperatures to be investigated, the fusion data being treated as generic. The baseline case of no fusion could be modelled by defining a setpoint, which would not be reached (40°C used in this case).

The Case Study Environments

Two types of environment were considered:

  • 1. Commercial (office)

  • 2. Residential (living room)

Office Environment

A single room open plan office building of lightweight construction was modelled. The building is rectangular in plan with an east-west axis. North and south faces were glazed to 30% of their areas. Walls were timber framed with brick cladding, and the roof was modelled as ‘flat’ but of conventional sloping roof materials. All external surfaces were insulated to Building Regulation Part L (2002) standards.

Casual gains:

Office equipment:

8.89W/m 2 from 9am to 6pm

People:

90/60W sensible/latent, 1 person

Lighting:

per 12.5m 2 from 9am to 6pm 7.33W/m 2 from 8am to 8pm

Air exchanges:

Room infiltration:

1 air change per hour (ac/h) continuously

Night ventilation:

3 ac/h from 6pm to 6am

All windows open at 10% by area from 9am to 6pm once air

temperature exceeds 22°C.

Cavities:

Infiltration: 1 ac/h continuously

Living Room Environment

Maximum lighting: 5W/m 2 , Audio-Visual 6W/m 2 , 2 persons Profiles: 7 days: Lighting and AV Occupation: Mon-Fri 07.00-09.00 and 18.00-23.00, Sat/Sun 07.00-23.00 Room infiltration: 1 air change per hour (ac/h) continuously

Night ventilation:

3 ac/h from 11pm to 7am

All windows open at 10% by area during occupied hours once

air temperature exceeds 22°C.

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Figure 2: Geometric detail: cavity rooms.

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Figure 3: Geometric detail: ceiling rooms.

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Figure 4: Geometric detail: window rooms.

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Phase Change Materials

The type of PCM selected was such as those developed by Concordia University, Montreal, Canada during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s in their PCM research projects (Athienitis, Hawes, Banu & Feldman, 1997; Hawes, Banu & Feldman, 1992; Hawes, Feldman & Banu, 1993). Much of their work focused on the use of fatty acid esters as the PCM. They used a PCM that was a combination of two or more fatty acids. By altering the proportion of different constituents, they could tailor a PCM with a melting range most appropriate to its application. The PCM was contained within the air pockets of gypsum plasterboard, which typically amount to 40% of the volume of the board. They discovered that provided concentrations of PCM within the board did not exceed 25% the PCM would be held within the pores through the temperature cycles experienced by the board in use. Data used for the simulations was obtained from this work based on 13mm gypsum board. Office simulations were based on an impregnation of 19% (providing 320kJ/m 2 heat of fusion). Residential simulations were based on an impregnation of 22% (370kJ/m 2 heat of fusion). The heats of fusion corresponded to 12.65kWh and 6.11kWh for each of the rooms respectively. Other values for heat of fusion were considered in one study.

Simulation Results

Table 2: Constructions used for modelling.

Co n stru cti o n

th i ckn e ss

sh c

Co n d u cti vi ty

De n si ty

 

m

m

Jk g -1 K -1

W m -1 K -1

k gm -3

 

Ex te rn a l W a l l s

 

T i m b er F ram e wal l : o u tsi d e

Out s ide

       

B ri c k

 

100

800

0.

840

1700

A ir

 

90

     

P l y wood

 

10

2500

0.

150

560

M ineral F ibre S lab

 

75

1000

0.

035

30

         
 

I n te rn a l W a l l s

 

T i m b er F ram e wal l : i n si d e

Gy ps um P las t erboard

 

13

840

0.

160

950

T i m b er F ram e wal l : i n si d e PCM i m p reg n ated

 

P CM im pregnat ed wal lboard

 

13

1100

0.

190

780

ex t ernal res i s t anc e 0. 005m 2 K W -1

       

Dry L i n ed Parti ti o n W al l

Gy ps um P las t erboard

 

13

840

0.

160

950

A ir Gap

 

75

     

Gy ps um P las t erboard

 

13

840

0.

160

950

         
 

Gro u n d F l o o r

 

S tan d ard F l o o r Co n stru cti o n (i n su l ated to 2002 reg u l ati o n s)

 

London Clay

 

750

1000

1.

410

1900

B ri c k work

 

250

800

0.

840

1700

Cas t Conc ret e

 

100

1000

1.

130

2000

Dens e E P S Ins ulat ion

 

75

1400

0.

025

30

Chipboard

 

25

2093

0.

150

800

S y nt het i c Carpet

 

10

2500

0.

060

160

         
 

Ce i l i n g s

Cei l i n g : Up p er S u rface

Tim ber F looring

 

15

1200

0.

140

650

Cei l i n g / Ro o f: L o wer S u rface

       

Gy ps um P las t erboard

 

13

840

0.

160

950

Cei l i n g / Ro o f: L o wer S u rface (PCM Im p reg n ated )

     

P CM im pregnat ed wal lboard

 

13

1100

0.

190

780

ex t ernal res i s t anc e 0. 005m 2 K W -1

         
 

Ro o f

S l o p i n g Ro o f: Ou tsi d e

Clay Ti les

 

20

800

0.

840

1900

A ir Gap

 

10

     

Roofing F elt

 

5

837

0.

190

960

A ir Gap

 

800

     

Glas s F ibre Qui lt

 

230

840

0.

040

12

         

Whilst PCMs may be useful for all seasons, it was decided to focus on the summer period for

Office:

Study 1: The Effect of Fusion Temperature on Comfort

these studies, as this is where benefits are perceived to be greatest. This series of studies concentrated on the month of August. The weather data used was from Kew, recorded in 1965 (supplied as part of the IESVE ‘Apache’ program). This period was chosen as it is preceded by a short period of moderate temperatures in which fusion is improbable. This ensured that the preconditioning of the building would result in a realistic state at the start of the evaluation period (1st August). Assessment was largely based on the assessment of Dry Resultant Temperature (DRT), an average of a mean air and mean radiant temperatures, which is a close representation of the temperature as perceived by the occupant. DRT values within the range 20-24°C were considered desirable. Evaluation of DRT was made for the periods of occupation. These were:

Phase change may occur at a fixed temperature or over a range of a few degrees. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different fixed fusion temperatures on the thermal comfort. Temperatures of 21, 22 and 23°C were chosen since it would seem improbable that temperatures outside the comfort range would be of benefit. Note that in later sections, the abbreviations PCM21 and PCM22 are used to denote PCM with phase change temperatures of 21 and 22°C respectively. According to Table 3, the base case (standard plasterboard) can be seen to require improvement with overheating occurring for a third of the time and over 10% of hours underheated. All cases can be seen to level out the daily fluctuations such that both the minimum temperatures are increased and the maximum decreased. However, the improvements are not very significant. A high fusion

Living room:

9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday 7am to 9am and 6pm to 11pm, Monday to Friday; 7am to 11pm Saturday and Sunday

temperature range appears to offer little improvement in comfort between 20 and 24°C. Improvements that are more significant

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Table 3: Summary of Resultant Comfort (DRT) temperatures between 0900 and 1800 for the different fusion temperatures compared with the standard plasterboard case (no PCM).

Table 4: Summary of overall effect of the use of various night ventilation rates.

Fusion Te mpe ra tur e

% hou rs b e low

% hou rs above 24¡ C

 

Air chang es p er

% hou rs b e low

% hou rs above

% hou rs above

¡ C

20¡ C

hour (A c/h)

 

20¡ C

24

¡ C

25¡ C

  • 21 6

 

24

0

 

2

 

58

32

  • 22 8

 

29

3

 

4

 

44

10

  • 23 10

 

27

10

 

14

 

32

6

No PCM

11

32

0, no P CM

 

2

 

66

58

are achieved at lower fusion temperatures, 22°C giving the better overall cooling performance. The nature of the performance at the different temperatures is illustrated in Figure 5. This shows the temperature fluctuation on a hot day. A PCM melting at 21°C shows the greatest ability to reduce air temperatures but will soon absorb all its fusion energy, allowing subsequent temperatures to rise quickly due to the lightweight nature of the construction when neither melting nor crystallization is occurring. At 22°C, fusion temperature the response is slower with less reduction in temperatures within the room. This slower response means that full melting is delayed by an extra couple of hours when compared with the lower fusion temperature PCM and room temperatures begin to drop in late afternoon. Full melting of the PCM occurs at the end of the working day and temperatures rise in the early evening. The 23°C case shows an even slower response and higher temperatures. However, in this case, the PCM does not fully melt and the temperatures drop more progressively. It is also worth noting that at the start of the day, only the lower temperature PCM behaves differently to the standard board. This is an indication that the lower temperature PCM has not fully given up its heat of fusion: the adjacent surfaces are thus at 21°C which prevents the space from becoming too cold at the start of the day. In conclusion, the best overall performance might be expected to be achieved with a PCM operating around the mid-point of the

comfort range: this appears to give the best compromise between cool morning temperatures and hot afternoons. A PCM melting temperature of 22°C will be used for the majority of subsequent investigations. However, even at an optimum temperature it would appear necessary to incorporate an additional cooling strategy to improve cooling significantly. The working week 11-15 th August proved to be significantly hotter than other weeks in August. Indeed, for the PCM at 22°C, this week accounted for 70% of the overheated hours. Remaining studies will concentrate on this week.

Study 2: Night Ventilation

A common technique for low energy cooling buildings of high thermal mass is the introduction of cold night air to induce heat flow out of structure and into the air stream that is subsequently extracted from the building. Night ventilation may be employed naturally or through mechanical means. A short study was conducted into the effect of this strategy on comfort performance. Ventilation rates of 3 and 10 air changes per hour (ac/h) were incorporated between 6am and 6pm, see Table 4. Most significant is the reduction in the prevalence of very high temperatures as indicated by the number of hours over 25°C. Even when the PCM is crystalline at the start of the working day, the gains on a very hot day exceed those that can be absorbed by the PCM. Whilst the PCM is at its fusion temperature, on a very hot day (high temperature and gains) it cannot accommodate a temperature difference between itself and the air of under 2°C (corresponding to an air temperature of 24°C) which

Hourly V ariat ion in DRT during one hot day (11/ 08) for various fus ion t emperat ures

Dry Resultant Temperature (oC) 0 3 9 6 21 12 18 15 24 28 12 14
Dry Resultant Temperature (oC)
0
3
9
6
21
12
18
15
24
28
12
14
16
18
20
22
24
26

Hour Of Day

21oC 22oC 23oC No P CM out s ide
21oC
22oC
23oC
No P CM
out s ide

Figure 5: DRT profile for a hot day in August.

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would be necessary to ensure fully comfortable conditions. However, it can largely accommodate a temperature differential of 3°C (corresponding to an air temperature of 25°C). This would suggest that a fusion temperature of 21°C would be more suitable. The results are shown in Figure 6. The 0 ac/h case (as Study 1) illustrates the problem of not using any active means of removing the heat stored during the day. The temperatures follow the no PCM case during the evening and early morning because the PCM has melted fully and is behaving as normal plasterboard. It releases some heat in the early hours of the morning but then starts to re-absorb heat around 9am. Having released only one quarter of the stored heat, the PCM has fully melted by early afternoon and begins again to behave as standard plasterboard. In the 3ac/h case, the night ventilation extracts all the heat of fusion from the PCM such that it has its full potential for absorbing excess heat. It has fully melted at around 6pm by which time it is no longer necessary to cool the environment and outside air can be introduced to assist the removal of this heat. The 10ac/h case is similar to the 3ac/h case. However, the heat is removed more quickly and the high air change means that the environment more closely matches the outside temperature, producing an environment that is too cold in the early-occupied hours. Clearly, the incorporation of night ventilation is advantageous to the performance of the PCM, only requiring a low air change. Over ventilation may be prevented by employing a control mechanism.

DRT 15/ 8
DRT 15/ 8
32 0ac h 30 3ac h 28 26 24 10ac h 0ac h no pc m
32
0ac
h
30
3ac
h
28
26
24
10ac h
0ac h no pc m
Out s ide A ir
22
20
18
16
14
12
96
102
108
114
120
Hour
Figure 6: DRT for 15/8 at different ventilation rates.
DRT
60 Cooling Load (kWh) 120 Cooling Load for 11-15/ 08 for s t andard wallboard and
60
Cooling Load (kWh)
120
Cooling Load for 11-15/ 08 for s t andard wallboard and P CM impregnat ed
100
Cooling S et P oint
24
22
80
P
40
20
0
23
NO P CM
CM22
P
CM21

Figure 7: Cooling loads for different wallboards.

Study 3: Additional Artificial Cooling

To achieve optimal comfort within an office environment, as the previous studies indicate, it may be necessary to incorporate some additional mechanical cooling. In Study 2, it was found that whilst achieving significant improvement in comfort on very hot days (measured according to the time in the 20-24°C range) may be difficult, the cooling load appeared much reduced. Thus, whilst an air-conditioning plant may still be required, this plant may be smaller and use less energy. A set of simulations were performed with air-conditioning set-points of 22, 23 and 24°C on PCMs operating at 21 and 22°C together with standard plasterboard. According to the modelling, it was found that PCMs operating at the same temperature as the cooling setpoint are unlikely to be successful as the air-conditioning ends up competing with the cooling system. However, if in reality, PCMs are installed in the ceiling only then this may be successful due to the stratification of temperatures within the room. Accordingly, a range of cooling setpoints and PCM fusion temperatures were used and compared against the same setpoints when the surfaces did not incorporate PCMs. The results, as summarised in Figure 6, indicated that the greatest benefit in reducing mechanical cooling loads is clearly achieved by cooling to 24°C the case with a PCM of 22°C fusion

temperature (PCM22). In this case, the instantaneous peak load was halved and the cumulative load cut to less than 20% of its base value. Cooling to lower temperatures will not reduce the equipment sizing but will still give considerable benefits in energy saving (38- 54% in the simulated cases). These results are for a hot week in which the PCM finds it more difficult to control the air temperature. It is probable that milder days will produce even greater savings as no additional cooling will be necessary on such days.

Study 4: Effect of Latent Heat of Fusion on Performance

All the above studies have used a latent heat of 320kJ/m 2 . This is based on 19% PCM in gypsum plasterboard. PCM percentages of up to 25% of this material have been achieved, equivalent to 420kJ/m 2 . In addition, other materials will exhibit other properties including different heats of fusion. It is clear from previous studies that heat of fusion does have an effect on the performance: we have seen that the value used is one which whilst being sufficient in mild summer weather is stretched in more severe conditions. The heat of fusion is of the right order to be appropriate to this application but how flexible is this energy level? A short parametric study of the effect of different heats of fusion on DRT was conducted using half and double that used in

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previous studies, measured over the occupied period within a hot week. It was found that the main effect of different heats of fusion is to reduce the very high temperatures (over 24°C) rather than increasing the time within the comfort range. Double the basic heat of fusion (640kJ/m 2 ) enables all temperatures to be kept below 26°C. This heat is sufficient to prevent full melting of the PCM to occur on any of the simulated days. However, it does not bring all hours within the comfort band, an indication that the heat cannot be absorbed into the PCM as quickly as desirable.

Study 5: Effect of Thermal Conductivity of the Pcm/Gypsum Board

Comfort Temperat ure for Living Room Model: W it h and W it hout P CM
Comfort Temperat ure for Living Room Model: W it h and W it hout P CM
30
28
26
24
22
20
18
16
14
0
24
48
72
96
120
144
168
Hour Of W eek : Mon 11/ 08 - S un 17/ 08
W it hout P CM
W it h P CM
DRT (oC)

Figure 8: Effect of PCM on temperature profile for residential conditions.

In all the above studies, the thermal conductivity of the PCM board has been taken as 0.19W/mK. In addition to the fusion temperature and heat of fusion, an appropriate PCM is likely to be chosen on its thermal response. In the previous studies, the thermal response of the PCM21 board has been better than the PCM22 board as the temperature difference between the air and board surface is higher. PCM22 has responded more slowly for this reason and, whilst having a favourable effect on comfort temperatures, has not been as successful as is desirable in bringing temperatures below the maximum boundary used for comfort assessment. A PCM board with a higher conductivity is likely to bring the comfort temperature down (whilst in fusion). The effects of a thermal conductivity half and double the base value were investigated. It was found that:

• For the first day (Monday 11 th August), a conductivity of 0.4W/mK brings the peak temperatures within the comfort bounds causing a reduction of nearly 1°C in this peak. The disadvantage is that the heat is absorbed more quickly and the PCM is fully melted earlier, creating a small rise in temperature at the end of the day. Fortunately, this occurs too late to affect the temperatures during the occupied time and since the temperature is dropping, the rise is not a problem. • On the next day (Tuesday 12 th August), full melting occurs earlier due to higher solar gains/temperatures and, although temperatures have been kept below the maximum comfort boundary during fusion, they rise steeply in the late afternoon. This occurs with each of the other conductivities but is delayed a little longer such that performance evaluated over the day is reasonably equal in each case. However, this is very much a worst-case scenario and the overall effect for this week is to halve the overheated hours through a doubling of the thermal conductivity.

Study 6: Residential Model

The use of a PCM in a residential environment offers a different challenge due to the different usage and generally lower gains compared to an office environment. The effect of any type of thermally massive construction is to level out the daily temperature variation, and delay the peak temperatures, so that rather than these occurring in the mid-afternoon they occur in the early evening. This could potentially make the building hotter in the evening than for a lightweight building of standard construction. A series of simulations was made of a room within a building of similar construction and geometry but of a smaller size (4m x 4m)

to that used for the office studies. The gain profile was different and temperature-driven ventilation employed in the evening and early morning rather than the afternoon for weekdays. Ventilation and gains were set up, additionally, for the daytime, at the weekends. The same hot week was modelled but included the following weekend. Results of the simulation are shown in Figure 8. The effect of the PCM on the daytime temperatures is obvious, typically a reduction of 4-5°C on very hot days. Evening temperatures are also improved, with the lightweight building being colder only in the very late evening, at which time temperatures have dropped considerably. In a continuous week of hot days, the PCM clearly does not fully crystallize, so the nighttime temperatures are quite high (typically 22°C and 3-4°C higher than the lightweight building. Whilst the room is modelled as a living room, not used overnight, it is possible that for a bedroom the resulting overnight temperatures will be higher than desirable.

Conclusions

The simulations showed that a phase change temperature of 22°C is best for the conditions studied, this being the mid-point of the chosen comfort band (20-24°C). Peak temperatures can be reduced by 3-4°C, and hours over 24°C can be reduced by 80% in commercial buildings with moderate heat loads. Peak cooling loads can be reduced by 20-25% (cooling to 22°C) or by 50-80% if cooling to 24°C. Cumulative plant energy consumption can be reduced by about 40% if cooling to 22°C or 80% if cooling to 24°C during the sample week of August. However, night ventilation is important to allow cooling and recrystallization of the PCM so that it remains able to absorb heat during a period of hot days. Approximately 3 ac/h is adequate, although higher ventilation rates may be required on warmer nights. It was found that doubling the latent heat of fusion would keep temperatures lower, but that the PCM would not be fully melted on hot days. The amount of PCM used in wallboards therefore needs to be matched to the projected cooling need of the particular room as well as its heat of fusion. Doubling thermal conductivity reduced peak temperatures by a further 1°C and halved the hours over 24°C. However, a high thermal conductivity can allow premature melting, leading to temperature rises later in the day.

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The main limit to performance is the heat transfer between the air in the space and the surface of the material containing PCM. This could be enhanced by creating air movement with fans PCM is effective for residential buildings, reducing peak temperatures by 4-5°C, and hours over 24°C by 90%. Thermal stability of lightweight buildings is also increased, reducing temperature swings from around 10°C to 4°C in the case studied. However, the resulting higher overnight internal temperatures (3- 4°C) may not be desirable for bedrooms. It may be that use of PCM building materials be restricted to rooms used during the daytime and early evening, allowing lighter construction to be retained for bedrooms where it appears to be advantageous. Overall, it can be concluded that the use of PCM impregnated plasterboard has significant advantages for both commercial and residential building applications, provided sufficient night ventilation is allowed. Although the most likely market is initially for commercial buildings, where use of PCM can improve thermal comfort levels and obviate or reduce the need for air-conditioning, with the increasing use of lightweight construction for homes, particularly in modular and volumetric construction, PCM is likely to become a valuable tool for improving thermal comfort in domestic buildings.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the following for their assistance:

Steffie Broer, ESD; Kees Stap, Ecofys UK; Paul Tickner, Cristopia UK; Evangelos Kounavis, Kajima Construction Europe; Andrew Thorne, Building Research Establishment; and Funding from the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme.

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