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Open AccessArticle

Thermally Anisotropic Composites for Improving the Energy Efficiency of Building Envelopes

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, One Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
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This manuscript has been authored by UT-Battelle, LLC, under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. DOE will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan (http://energy.gov/downloads/doe-public-access-plan).
Energies 2019, 12(19), 3783; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12193783
Received: 9 September 2019 / Revised: 27 September 2019 / Accepted: 29 September 2019 / Published: 5 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Thermal Envelope)
This article describes a novel application of thermal anisotropy for improving the energy efficiency of building envelopes. The current work was inspired by existing research on improved heat dissipation in electronics using thermal anisotropy. Past work has shown that thermally anisotropic composites (TACs) can be created by the alternate layering of two dissimilar, isotropic materials. Here, a TAC consisting of alternate layers of rigid foam insulation and thin, high-conductivity aluminum foil was investigated. The TAC was coupled with copper tubes with circulating water that acted as a heat sink and source. The TAC system was applied to a conventional wood-framed wall assembly, and the energy benefits were investigated experimentally and numerically. For experimental testing, large scale test wall specimens were built with and without the TAC system and tested in an environmental chamber under simulated diurnal hot and cold weather conditions. Component-level and whole building numerical simulations were performed to investigate the energy benefits of applying the TAC system to the external walls of a typical, single-family residential building. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal anisotropy; building envelope; thermal management; energy efficiency; peak load reduction thermal anisotropy; building envelope; thermal management; energy efficiency; peak load reduction
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Biswas, K.; Shrestha, S.; Hun, D.; Atchley, J. Thermally Anisotropic Composites for Improving the Energy Efficiency of Building Envelopes. Energies 2019, 12, 3783.

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