In recent years, the systematic application of phase change materials (PCM) is continuously developing. In this paper, an innovative PCM ceiling coupled with earth-air heat exchanger (EAHE) cooling system was proposed for building cooling. The system aimed to combine the cooling capacity of soil and the energy storage capacity of PCM, thus improving the indoor thermal environment. Performance of the system was tested by experimental method while data analysis focused on the indoor side. To research the effect of cold storage time on the performance of the system, two different operation strategies were adopted for comparison: 8-h cold storage strategy and 12-h cold storage strategy. Moreover, a control group was set up to observe the performance of the system on indoor temperature under the same weather conditions. The result showed that the experimental room in which we installed this system could reduce peak temperature by 2.1 °C under 8-h timed cold storage strategy and 2.7 °C under 12-h timed cold storage strategy. What is more, under the two operation strategies, temperature and heat flux of the PCM ceiling had similar distribution characteristics. Different strategies mainly affected the sustainability of the system and phase transition efficiency of the PCM ceiling.
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