Special Issue "Thermal Energy Management in Buildings"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Thermal Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 June 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. João M. P. Q. Delgado
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CONSTRUCT, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Interests: composite materials; heat and mass transfer; fluid mechanics; energy storage; ceramic-type membrane; composite-type membranes; wastewater treatment; oily water treatment, environmental cleaning, water purification; fluid flow in complex systems; separation processes; separation efficiency; permeability and porosity; mathematical modeling; numerical methods application; CFD applications; transport phenomena modeling; capilaraity; modeling and simulation in membranes
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Prof. Dr. Ana Sofia Guimarães
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CONSTRUCT, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Interests: energy efficiency; hygrothermal behavior; thermal comfort; moisture safety; numerical simulation; building rehabilitation; indoor environment; passive and active comfort; 3D printing
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Prof. Adelio Mendes
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
LEPABE - Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portuga
Interests: solar redox flow cells; photoelectrochemical water splitting; perovskite solar cells (PSC); dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC); photoelectrochemical devices; electrochemical devices; fuels
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since 50 years ago, the energy demand from buildings (residential and commercial) has grown by 1.8% per year, and it is predicted to grow from 2790 Mtoe (i.e., 116.8 EJ) in 2010, to over 4400 Mtoe by 2050, with most of this increase being from developing countries. Three-quarters of the total energy consumption in the buildings sector is residential, where there is great potential to improve energy efficiency. There is a presumption and need for these requirements to be applied, not only to new buildings, but also to the existing ones.

In the early of 2010’s, this objective was viewed as unrealistic. Now, with emerging materials for thermal energy management, the PV panels’ reduction of costs, and with the development electrochemical storage energy (batteries) and simulation technologies, suddenly, researchers and investors, and consequently, politicians, began to see this directive as possible, necessary, and potentially interesting to invest in.

The purpose of this Energies Special Issue on “Thermal Energy Management in Buildings” is to publish a set of research articles that demonstrate the effectiveness of innovative concepts, solutions, and materials, to fulfil the maximum building energy demands, meeting the long-term and changing needs and requirements of building users.

We invite researchers to contribute original research articles, as well as review articles that will stimulate the continuing efforts to understand the recent advances and innovation in these research fields. We are particularly interested in articles describing the recent trends, developments, and applications of new thermal energy management solutions capable of fulfilling the electrical, thermal, and cooling demands of low-energy consumption buildings. Manuscripts combining experimental implementation with theoretical calculations and techno-economic assessment are welcome.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Emerging materials for thermal energy management
  • Energy storage systems, including phase change materials and batteries
  • Advanced insulation materials, components, and systems
  • Modelling of advanced materials and technologies in buildings
  • Energy consumption in buildings
  • Near-zero energy buildings (nZEB’s) and zero energy buildings (ZEB’s)
  • Optimized solar-oriented envelope designs
  • Strong integration of renewable technologies
  • Improved air-tightness and highly efficient air conditioning systems
  • Economic/functional merit factor
  • Life-cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Energy policy

Dr. João M.P.Q. Delgado
Prof. Ana Sofia Guimarães
Prof. Adélio Mendes
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • emerging materials
  • energy management
  • energy consumption
  • renewable technologies
  • energy policy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Advanced Manufacturing in Civil Engineering
Energies 2021, 14(15), 4474; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14154474 (registering DOI) - 24 Jul 2021
Viewed by 147
Abstract
The main goal of this work is the analysis of potential energy and green benefits of 3D printing on building construction. Current literature reports a considerable number of benefits for 3D printing, namely, reduction of material use, lower operational costs and time-saving. The [...] Read more.
The main goal of this work is the analysis of potential energy and green benefits of 3D printing on building construction. Current literature reports a considerable number of benefits for 3D printing, namely, reduction of material use, lower operational costs and time-saving. The authors also mention design freedom, higher efficiency, productivity and quality. This work presents the latest developments in 3D printing in civil engineering, namely, a review of the last 3D printing projects and the limitations of construction 3D printing with a focus on large-scale applications, technology costs, mix development and optimisation and thermal behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Energy Management in Buildings)
Article
Unsteady Coupled Moisture and Heat Energy Transport through an Exterior Wall Covered with Vegetation
Energies 2021, 14(15), 4422; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14154422 - 22 Jul 2021
Viewed by 172
Abstract
A mathematical model that governs unsteady coupled moisture and heat energy transport through an exterior wall covered with vegetation is described. The unknown temperature and moisture content of the plants and canopy air are represented by a system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations [...] Read more.
A mathematical model that governs unsteady coupled moisture and heat energy transport through an exterior wall covered with vegetation is described. The unknown temperature and moisture content of the plants and canopy air are represented by a system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The transport of moisture and heat through the support structure, which includes insulation and soil layers, is defined in a series of nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs). After setting out the model, this article presents and discusses a set of numerical applications. First, a simplified system consisting of a brick wall covered with climbing vegetation is used to study the role of individual variables (e.g., wind speed, minimum stomatal internal leaf resistance, leaf area index, and short-wave extinction coefficient) on the hygrothermal behaviour of the green wall. Thereafter, more complex green wall systems comprising a bare concrete wall, mortar, cork-based insulation (ICB), soil and vegetation are used to evaluate the influence of the thermal insulation and substrate layers on the heat flux distribution over time at the interior surface of the wall, and on the evolution of the relative humidity, water content, and temperature throughout the cross section of the green wall. The numerical experiments proved that vegetation can effectively reduce exterior facade surface temperatures, heat flux through the building envelope and daily temperature fluctuations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Energy Management in Buildings)
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Article
Modelling of Solar Irradiance Incident on Building Envelopes in Polish Climatic Conditions: The Impact on Energy Performance Indicators of Residential Buildings
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4371; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144371 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 216
Abstract
In this study, we use the data of Polish typical meteorological years and 15 transposition models to obtain global solar irradiance on sloped surfaces to calculate solar irradiance on external building partitions, solar gains, heating demands, and primary nonrenewable energy for heating and [...] Read more.
In this study, we use the data of Polish typical meteorological years and 15 transposition models to obtain global solar irradiance on sloped surfaces to calculate solar irradiance on external building partitions, solar gains, heating demands, and primary nonrenewable energy for heating and domestic hot water (EPH+W) of two typical Polish residential buildings, each for two variants in five locations. In relation to TMYs, annual solar gains were lower by −31% and −36% on average in a single and multifamily building, respectively, and the annual heating demands increased by 9% and 16%, respectively. Consequently, averaged EPH+W in relation to TMYs rose by 1.4 kWh/m2 and 4.5 kWh/m2, respectively. The mean differences between TMYs and the new method from the recently published EN-ISO 52010 standard for test Building 1 were 1.6 and 1.2 kWh/m2, for Variants 1 and 2, respectively. Similarly, for test Building 2, the mean differences were 5.1 kWh/m2 and 3.9 kWh/m2, respectively. This means that the simulation model that is chosen has a visible impact on a building’s energy performance indicators and its rating without any changes in the physical structure and use of the building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Energy Management in Buildings)
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Article
Using PCM in Two Proposed Residential Buildings in Christchurch, New Zealand
Energies 2020, 13(22), 6025; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13226025 - 18 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 514
Abstract
A characteristic feature of lightweight constructions is their low thermal mass which causes high internal temperature fluctuations that require high heating and cooling demand throughout the year. Phase change materials (PCMs) are effective in providing thermal inertia to low-thermal-mass buildings. This paper aims [...] Read more.
A characteristic feature of lightweight constructions is their low thermal mass which causes high internal temperature fluctuations that require high heating and cooling demand throughout the year. Phase change materials (PCMs) are effective in providing thermal inertia to low-thermal-mass buildings. This paper aims to analyse the thermal behaviour of two proposed lightweight buildings designed for homeless people and to investigate the potential benefit achievable through the use of different types of PCM in the temperate climatic conditions of Christchurch, New Zealand. For this purpose, over 300 numerical simulations were conducted using DesignBuilder® simulation software. The bulk of the simulations were carried out under the assumption that the whole opaque building envelope is equipped with PCM. The results showed significant energy saving and comfort enhancement through the application of PCMs. The integration of PCM in single-structure components led to substantial energy savings between 19% and 27% annually. However, occupant behaviour in terms of ventilation habits, occupancy of zones, etc. remains one of the biggest challenges in any simulation work due to insufficient data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Energy Management in Buildings)
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Article
Assessing the Magnitude and Likely Causes of Summertime Overheating in Modern Flats in UK
Energies 2020, 13(19), 5202; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13195202 - 06 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 493
Abstract
There has been increasing recognition that climate change may lead to risk of summertime overheating in UK dwellings with potentially adverse consequences for human comfort and health. This paper investigates the magnitude of summertime overheating over one month in 2017, in four new [...] Read more.
There has been increasing recognition that climate change may lead to risk of summertime overheating in UK dwellings with potentially adverse consequences for human comfort and health. This paper investigates the magnitude of summertime overheating over one month in 2017, in four new flats built to identical thermal standards, with similar occupancy patterns and located in the same block in a development in Southeast England. Both static and adaptive methods were used to assess the overheating risk, while the variation in indoor temperatures across the flats was examined through key building characteristics including floor level, glazing orientation, exposed surface area to floor area ratio (SA/FA), glazing area to floor area ratio, and ventilation. Data collection included continuous monitoring of indoor and outdoor temperature, relative humidity, CO2 levels and opening/closing of windows. Summertime overheating was found to be prevalent in all four flats but was most pronounced in two top floor flats with high SA/FA ratio and east/west facing glazing. Due to limited window opening and locational limitations of one flat, some conclusions were derived from three flats. Though the study sample is small, it is clear that overheating in new housing is a current issue and designing for avoidance of summertime overheating should become mainstream. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Energy Management in Buildings)
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Article
Phase Change Material Melting Process in a Thermal Energy Storage System for Applications in Buildings
Energies 2020, 13(12), 3254; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13123254 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 767
Abstract
The development of thermal energy storage systems is a possible solution in the search for reductions in the difference between the global energy supply and demand. In this context, the ability of some materials, the so-called phase change materials (PCMs), to absorb and [...] Read more.
The development of thermal energy storage systems is a possible solution in the search for reductions in the difference between the global energy supply and demand. In this context, the ability of some materials, the so-called phase change materials (PCMs), to absorb and release large amounts of energy under specific periods and operating conditions has been verified. The applications of these materials are limited due to their low thermal conductivity, and thus, it is necessary to associate them with high-conductivity materials, such as metals, to make the control of energy absorption and release times possible. Bearing this in mind, this paper presents a numerical analysis of the melting process of a PCM into a triplex tube heat exchanger (TTHX) with finned copper tubes, which allowed for the heat transfer between a heating fluid (water) and the phase change material to power a liquid-desiccant air conditioning system. Through the analysis of the temperature fields, liquid fractions, and velocities, as well as the phase transition, it was possible to describe the material charging process; then, the results were compared with experimental data, which are available in the specialized literature, and presented mean errors of less than 10%. The total required time to completely melt the PCM was about 105.5 min with the water being injected into the TTHX at a flow rate of 8.3 L/min and a temperature of 90 °C. It was observed that the latent energy that accumulated during the melting process was 1330 kJ, while the accumulated sensitive energy was 835 kJ. The average heat flux at the internal surface of the inner tube was about 3 times higher than the average heat flux at the outer surface of the TTHX intermediate tube due to the velocity gradients that developed in the internal part of the heat exchanger, and was about 10 times more intense than those observed in the external region of the equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Energy Management in Buildings)
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Article
Industrial Ceramic Blocks for Buildings: Clay Characterization and Drying Experimental Study
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2834; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112834 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 602
Abstract
The conformation of a ceramic piece follows the steps of preparing the raw material, molding, lamination, drying, and firing. Drying is a thermodynamic process of heat and mass transfer, with dimensional variations of the product that requires a large amount of energy. Ceramic [...] Read more.
The conformation of a ceramic piece follows the steps of preparing the raw material, molding, lamination, drying, and firing. Drying is a thermodynamic process of heat and mass transfer, with dimensional variations of the product that requires a large amount of energy. Ceramic materials when exposed to non-uniform drying may suffer cracks and deformations, reducing their post-drying quality. Thus, this work aimed to study the drying of industrial ceramic blocks in an oven with forced air circulation. Experiments were carried out to characterize the clay and drying of the ceramic block at temperatures ranging from 50 °C to 100 °C. Results of the chemical, mineralogical, granulometric, differential thermal, and thermogravimetric analysis of the clay, and heating kinetics, mass loss, and dimensional variation of the industrial ceramic block are presented and analyzed in detail. It was found that the clay is basically composed of silica and alumina (≈ 80.96%), with an average particle diameter of 13.36 μm. The study proved that drying at high temperature and low relative humidity of the air generates high rates of mass loss, heating, and volumetric shrinkage in the ceramic product, and high thermo-hydraulic stresses, which cause the appearance and propagation of cracks, gaps, and cleavages, compromising the final quality of the product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Energy Management in Buildings)
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Article
FEM Applied to Building Physics: Modeling Solar Radiation and Heat Transfer of PCM Enhanced Test Cells
Energies 2020, 13(9), 2200; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13092200 - 02 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 844
Abstract
In passive solar buildings, energy can be stored using either sensible heat materials or latent heat materials. Phase change materials (PCM) can contribute to temperature control in passive solar buildings when melting occurs near to comfort temperature required for building’s interior spaces. The [...] Read more.
In passive solar buildings, energy can be stored using either sensible heat materials or latent heat materials. Phase change materials (PCM) can contribute to temperature control in passive solar buildings when melting occurs near to comfort temperature required for building’s interior spaces. The use of finite element method (FEM) as a numerical methodology for solving the thermal problem associated with heat transfer in current building materials and PCMs make sense, as it is a well-known technique, generalized and dominated, however, still little applied to the domain of building physics. In this work, a solar model was developed and applied in order to simulate numerically the effect of solar radiation incidence on each face of the test cells (with different solar exposures) without neglecting the main objective of the recommended numerical simulation: the study of the action of PCM. During the experimental campaign, two test cells with distinct inner layers were used to evaluate the effect of solar radiation: (i) REFM test cell (without PCM) with a reference mortar; (ii) PCMM test cell (with PCM) with a PCM mortar. The temperatures monitored inside the REFM and PCMM test cells were compared with the values resulting from the numerical simulation, using FEM with 3D discretization and the explicit modeling of the solar radiation, and the obtained results revealed a significant coherence of values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Energy Management in Buildings)
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