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Title: An innovative wall-lining for buildings incorporating phase change materials
Author: Dyball, Dianne L.
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2013
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The use of thermal energy storage in buildings is well understood but contemporary buildings with highly insulated, lightweight construction have low thermal inertia. This causes them to respond rapidly to external temperature changes, which results in significant internal temperature fluctuations and overheating. This research addresses this problem by developing a thermal interactive wall-lining through the inclusion of phase change materials. Phase change materials (PCMs) not only absorb sensible heat but also absorb and release latent heat during phase transition. This research set out to determine if it is possible to locate phase change materials on the surface of a room and if they can effectively improve the thermal performance of a room. Using the scientific method the suitability of different types of PCMs was investigated for inclusion within a vinyl matrix. Experiments evaluated the maximum quantity of PCM loading and thermal analysis identified the largest potential heat storage capacity for the phase change wall-lining. Following successful laboratory experiments a pilot scale prototype phase change wall-lining was manufactured and tested. The test involved an experiment comprising two thermally matched chambers to evaluate the thermal performance of the phase change wall-lining in a controlled environment. The results demonstrated the phase change wall-lining can reduce internal temperatures by more than 2°C and delay the time taken to reach extreme temperatures. The effect of different air flow rates on the ability to charge and discharge the phase change wall-lining have been evaluated to identify the required operating criteria for use in buildings. This research has developed an innovative phase change wall-lining that reduces internal peak temperatures, minimises diurnal temperature fluctuations by storing excess heat and improves the thermal comfort. The outcomes provide a greater understanding of the interaction between air and PCMs when located on the surface of a room, and indicate that such materials have the potential to improve thermal performance of new and existing buildings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available