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Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6815-6829;

Clathrate Hydrates for Thermal Energy Storage in Buildings: Overview of Proper Hydrate-Forming Compounds

IPASS, Engineering for Environment and Sustainable Development, Via G. Guerra, Perugia 06127, Italy
CIRIAF, Interuniversity Research Center on Pollution and Environment "M. Felli", University of Perugia, Via G. Duranti, Perugia 06125, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 June 2014 / Revised: 20 September 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 30 September 2014
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Increasing energy costs are at the origin of the great progress in the field of phase change materials (PCMs). The present work aims at studying the application of clathrate hydrates as PCMs in buildings. Clathrate hydrates are crystalline structures in which guest molecules are enclosed in the crystal lattice of water molecules. Clathrate hydrates can form also at ambient pressure and present a high latent heat, and for this reason, they are good candidates for being used as PCMs. The parameter that makes a PCM suitable to be used in buildings is, first of all, a melting temperature at about 25 °C. The paper provides an overview of groups of clathrate hydrates, whose physical and chemical characteristics could meet the requirements needed for their application in buildings. Simulations with a dynamic building simulation tool are carried out to evaluate the performance of clathrate hydrates in enhancing thermal comfort through the moderation of summer temperature swings and, therefore, in reducing energy consumption. Simulations suggest that clathrate hydrates have a potential in terms of improvement of indoor thermal comfort and a reduction of energy consumption for cooling. Cooling effects of 0.5 °C and reduced overheating hours of up to 1.1% are predicted. View Full-Text
Keywords: clathrate hydrates; phase change materials; building simulation; thermal storage clathrate hydrates; phase change materials; building simulation; thermal storage

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Castellani, B.; Morini, E.; Filipponi, M.; Nicolini, A.; Palombo, M.; Cotana, F.; Rossi, F. Clathrate Hydrates for Thermal Energy Storage in Buildings: Overview of Proper Hydrate-Forming Compounds. Sustainability 2014, 6, 6815-6829.

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