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Title: Field Testing of Nano-PCM Enhanced Building Envelope Components

The U.S. Department of Energy s (DOE) Building Technologies Program s goal of developing high-performance, energy efficient buildings will require more cost-effective, durable, energy efficient building envelopes. Forty-eight percent of the residential end-use energy consumption is spent on space heating and air conditioning. Reducing envelope-generated heating and cooling loads through application of phase change material (PCM)-enhanced envelope components can facilitate maximizing the energy efficiency of buildings. Field-testing of prototype envelope components is an important step in estimating their energy benefits. An innovative phase change material (nano-PCM) was developed with PCM encapsulated with expanded graphite (interconnected) nanosheets, which is highly conducive for enhanced thermal storage and energy distribution, and is shape-stable for convenient incorporation into lightweight building components. During 2012, two test walls with cellulose cavity insulation and prototype PCM-enhanced interior wallboards were installed in a natural exposure test (NET) facility at Charleston, SC. The first test wall was divided into four sections, which were separated by wood studs and thin layers of foam insulation. Two sections contained nano-PCM-enhanced wallboards: one was a three-layer structure, in which nano-PCM was sandwiched between two gypsum boards, and the other one had PCM dispersed homogeneously throughout graphite nanosheets-enhanced gypsum board. The second test wallmore » also contained two sections with interior PCM wallboards; one contained nano-PCM dispersed homogeneously in gypsum and the other was gypsum board containing a commercial microencapsulated PCM (MEPCM) for comparison. Each test wall contained a section covered with gypsum board on the interior side, which served as control or a baseline for evaluation of the PCM wallboards. The walls were instrumented with arrays of thermocouples and heat flux transducers. Further, numerical modeling of the walls containing the nano-PCM wallboards were performed to determine their actual impact on wall-generated heating and cooling loads. The models were first validated using field data, and then used to perform annual simulations using Typical Meteorological Year (TMY) weather data. This article presents the measured performance and numerical analysis to evaluate the energy-saving potential of the nano-PCM-enhanced building components.« less
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  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); Building Technologies Research and Integration Center
Sponsoring Org:
ORNL work for others
Country of Publication:
United States
phase change material; nano-PCM; PCM wallboard