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Building Integrating Phase Change Materials: A Dynamic Hygrothermal Simulation Model for System Analysis

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 7, Issue 2, June 2019, pp 325-342
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d6.0255
Cesare Forzano1 , Paolo Baggio2, Annamaria Buonomano3, Adolfo Palombo3
1 Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Piazza UniversitĂ  1, 39100 Bozen, Italy
2 Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, Via Calepina 14, 38122 Trento, Italy
3 Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, P. le Tecchio 80, 80123 Naples, Italy


Phase change materials are considered a very promising technology to reduce energy consumption for space heating and cooling purposes in buildings. In this framework, this paper presents a comprehensive energy performance analysis of building envelopes integrating phase change materials to provide suitable selection and design criteria of such technology. To this aim, an in-house dynamic simulation model implemented in a computer code, and validated by means of experimental data, has been used.
The performance of phase change materials embedded in building enclosures and their optimal configuration (i.e., positions with respect to the construction layers) are evaluated. The results obtained by applying the code to suitable case studies (several climate zones and buildings are investigated) return that the energy saving percentage potentials per cubic meter of phase change materials range from 1.9%/m3 to 18.8%/m3. Finally, interesting design criteria for their adoption in buildings are provided.

Keywords: Phase change materials, Dynamic energy performance analysis, Innovative building envelopes, Parametric analysis, Hygrothermal comfort, Heating and cooling energy.

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