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Phase Change Material Modeling Results

posted Apr 4, 2011, 8:56 PM by Ella Wong   [ updated Sep 12, 2011, 11:06 PM ]
PSU graduate student Kevin Campbell has been studying the potential use of phase change material (PCM) with varying phase change temperatures for the West TrekHaus unit using the Department of Energy's EnergyPlus Energy Simulation Software.  Here's some preliminary results...

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The phase change material will be used to improve thermal comfort, particularly during the summer when the south facing windows on the 2nd floor heat up the common living area.  The phase change material should significantly improve thermal comfort and reduce cooling needs in the summer.  Kevin recommends using a phase change temperature of 25 degrees C (76 degrees F), and to cover  62 to 75% of the wall space in the 2nd floor living area with BioPCM 25.  The modeling showed no overheating on the 1st floor.  ASHRAE Standards were used to determine thermal comfort ranges.

A closer look at the baseline (without PCM) hours of summer overheating on the 2nd floor showed... 
#Hours where overheating < 1 degree C = 116 hrs
#Hours where overheating between 1 degree C and 2 degree C = 59 hrs
#Hours where overheating between 2 degree C and 3 degree C = 26 hrs
#Hours where overheating between 3 degree C and 4 degree C = 13 hrs
#Hours where overheating between 4 degree C and 5 degree C = 3 hrs
There were no hours where the house overheated by more than 5 degree C
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