The aim of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of phase-change materials (PCMs) incorporated into the supply air duct of a hollow-core slab ventilation system. Both experimental and numerical approaches were adopted in this investigation. In the experimental work, the air was passed through a PCM-incorporated aluminum air duct, and the temperature at various points of the duct was recorded. Computational fluid dynamics models of the PCM-incorporated supply air duct and the hollow-core slab were developed and validated with the respective experimental data. The validated models were used to simulate the performance of PCM-incorporated hollow-core slabs during summer in Melbourne, Australia. The results showed that the reduction in temperature fluctuation varied with the way the PCM was incorporated inside the supply air duct. The temperature difference was maximum and was maintained for a longer period when the PCM was spread to all four internal surfaces of the supply air duct. The results also showed that the effectiveness of the combined PCM–air duct–hollow-core slab system in reducing the temperature fluctuation was lower than the individual performance of the PCM–air duct and hollow-core concrete slab for a given inlet temperature condition during the simulated period. This was because the integration of PCMs in the supply air duct resulted in a precooling effect which reduced the difference between the amplitude of slab inlet temperature swing and average slab temperature. As a result, the reduction in temperature fluctuation due to the thermal mass of the hollow-core slab was 21% lower in the presence of PCMs compared to the no-PCM case.
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