EG20 102
Call 01

A phase change material (PCM) is a material with a large specific latent heat capacity to enable super energy storage and thermal management. Incorporating a PCM into a building element can increase the energy storage density of the material by a factor of 10. Although first generation PCMs show promise, further development is required to overcome barriers to their widespread implementation, notably issues of low thermal conductivity, low cost effectiveness, flammability, sourcing from non-sustainable feedstock and recyclability. The proposed project will develop second generation sustainable and safe PCMs implemented in cost-effective systems that meet the comfort requirements of end users in buildings.

The novel PCM solar façade concept is based on the integration of a solar collector (solar thermal or photovoltaic+thermal collector) and a blister-PCM panel into building façades. No similar concept or application is known with regard to the integration. Partner 1 has submitted a patent on a blister PCM panel that concerns a new PCM material and layout and will fit perfectly in this novel façade concept.The façades will be ventilated, and the design will allow incoming air to be heated or cooled, according to indoor comfort needs. During the heating season, outside air will be heated in the solar collector and then delivered to the indoor space, after charging the PCM; in periods of low solar radiation, such as night periods, the air will be heated by the PCM discharge. During the cooling season, cooling will be achieved through a diverse day/night operation mode, with the PCM being discharged and cooled during the night by outside colder air, and with indoor air being cooled during the day (while the PCM is charged). The design may also incorporate a heat exchanger for heat recovery from exhaust indoor air. A PCMSF prototype system will be designed, constructed, lab- and field-tested, with the capacity of 3 kW (heating) and 1 kW (cooling). The system will benefit from advances in solar collector and PCM materials, to be carried out during the project and afterwards. It will have no moving mechanical parts (except small fans), and so is extremely reliable, requiring little maintenance. The system has a much more compact configuration than conventional vapour compression heat pumps or absorption/adsorption thermal heat pumps. It will have a high efficiency, low-cost and long-term duration, with virtually no carbon emissions. Field tests will take place in a real building and the system will be monitored for both heating and cooling seasons. The PCMSF system will significantly boost the performance and advantages of ventilated façades, and provide additional cooling. It will contribute to significantly improve the thermal performance of buildings, achieving the goal of a high share of renewable energy in the total energy mix for net zero energy buildings.

The successful development of the proposed project will promote innovative construction solutions to provide heating and cooling to buildings. The commercialisation of the system will bring economic and environmental benefits to the EU.

Project overview