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Phase Change Materials (PCMs) have been considered for thermal storage in buildings since before 1980. In the literature, development and testing were conducted for prototypes of PCM wallboard and PCM concrete systems to enhance the thermal energy storage (TES) capacity of standard gypsum wallboard and concrete blocks, with particular interest in peak load shifting and solar energy utilization.

The idea studied here was to integrate a PCM in construction materials and test them in real buildings to check improvements in thermal performance. The first experiment was the inclusion of a microencapsulated PCM in concrete and the construction of a small house-sized cubicle with this new PCM-concrete. A second cubicle with the exact same characteristics and orientation, but built with standard concrete, was located next to the first one as the reference case. The thermal behavior of such cubicles was tested during the years 2005 and 2006. In autumn 2006 a Trombe wall was added in both cubicles and its influence was investigated. The results were very good, since temperature differences up to 4ºC were observed between both cubicles and peak temperatures in the PCM cubicle were shifted to later hours.

Presented at Thermal Performance of Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings X – December 2007

Units: SI

Citation: Thermal Performance of Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings X