Paper Conference

Proceedings of SimBuild Conference 2012: 5th conference of IBPSA USA


Numerical Thermal Performance Analysis of PCMs Integrated with Residential Attics

Ali Fallahi, Nitin Shukla, Jan Kosny
Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, Cambridge, MA 02141 USA

Abstract: During the last decade, following a rapid growth of low-energy building projects, building components using phase change materials (PCMs) have become more popular in North America. As the focus has slowly begun to shift to a new generation of salt hydrates and bio-based PCMs, it is critical to develop new energy models that can describe the true behavior of these PCMs. While thermodynamic models are essential to analyze the impact at different conditions and using different control strategies of building structures which integrate PCMs, there are few whole-building simulation tools containing sufficient numerical algorithms of the detailed physics, which are necessary to provide accurate simulations of the thermodynamic behavior of these structures. In this paper, a whole-building energy modelling program, ESP-r, based on a finite difference method, is utilized to simulate the thermal behavior of different PCM configurations within an attic space of a ranch-style house. This numerical tool is capable of predicting temperature profiles and heat fluxes within different configurations of PCM applications. In order to evaluate the accuracy of the PCM model in ESP-r, the model is first validated with experiments.
Pages: 431 - 439