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Modelling the effects of phase change materials on the energy use in buildings : results of experiments and system dynamics modelling

Prins, Jasper (2012) Modelling the effects of phase change materials on the energy use in buildings : results of experiments and system dynamics modelling.

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Abstract:The current era is in need for more and more sustainable energy solutions. Phase Change Materials (PCM’s) are a solution for a more sustainable build environment because they can help to reduce the energy use of buildings during heating and cooling of the indoor air. This paper presents the results of recent experiments that have been executed with test boxes. In addition a System Dynamics model has been developed to find out how PCM’s can be used efficiently without testing in reality. The first experiment, in which PCM’s were applied in a concrete floor, shows a reduction of peak temperatures with 4˚C ± 0.7˚C on maximum temperatures and over 1.5 ˚C ± 0.7˚C on minimum temperatures during warm periods. The model confirmed these findings, although the predicted reductions were slightly. During the second experiment more PCM’s were applied by mounting them into the walls using gypsum plasterboard to increase the latent heat capacity. Remarkably, both the experimental set-up as the model showed that the increase of PCM´s (of almost 98%) causes hardly any difference compared to the first situation. Adapting the exterior in a way to absorb more solar energy, increases the average indoor temperature but decreases the reduction of peak temperatures. Again the model confirmed these findings of the experiment. These results show that the effect of PCM’s varies on different climatological contexts and with different construction components physics. This means no straight forward advice on the use of PCM’s for a building design can be given. The solution for this problem is provided by the model, showing that the effects of PCM’s can be modelled in order to use PCM’s in an effective way in different climatological contexts and with different characteristics of construction components. The research shows that a simple model is already capable of predicting PCM performance in test boxes with reasonable accuracy. Therefore it can be used as a template for designing improved tools to come to an effective use of PCM’s in buildings.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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