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Buildings 2017, 7(2), 35; doi:10.3390/buildings7020035

Lightweight Concrete Containing Phase Change Materials (PCMs): A Numerical Investigation on the Thermal Behaviour of Cladding Panels

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milan, Italy
2
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Via E. Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ambrose Dodoo
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insulation Materials for Residential Buildings)
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Abstract

The use of phase change materials (PCMs) in building elements has gained increasing popularity in recent years because of the potential energy savings that result from the heat stored during variable temperature–time histories. This paper describes the results of non-linear numerical analyses on sandwich panels characterized by different geometry and consisting of an innovative concrete, i.e., lightweight concrete with aggregates containing PCMs. The amount of embedded PCMs has no equal in the literature, and this calls for a detailed assessment of its thermal performance within a typical building element. The heat transfer process inside the panels is modelled via finite elements in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the addition of PCMs with regard to insulation. The results show that adding PCMs may significantly reduce (by up to 20%) the energy required for cooling in the hot season, while the reduction of the energy required for heating in the cold season is lower (up to 10%). Moreover, there is a significant reduction in the instantaneous power required, both for heating and cooling. View Full-Text
Keywords: phase change materials (PCMs); lightweight concrete; claddings; non-linear finite element analysis phase change materials (PCMs); lightweight concrete; claddings; non-linear finite element analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bamonte, P.; Caverzan, A.; Kalaba, N.; Lamperti Tornaghi, M. Lightweight Concrete Containing Phase Change Materials (PCMs): A Numerical Investigation on the Thermal Behaviour of Cladding Panels. Buildings 2017, 7, 35.

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