Paper presented at the XXXIII IAHS World Congress on Housing, 27-30 September 2005,"Transforming Housing Environments through Design", University of Pretoria.
Numerous experimental results now demonstrate that the insertion of Phase Change Materials (PCM) in light, dry assembled buildings represent a valid solution for solving problems related to the overheating which they are subject to when located in climatic contexts characterized by strong solar irradiation. The present paper illustrates a number of building solutions regarding finishing panels conceived at the Department of Architecture Construction and Structures. Thanks to its flexibility characteristics, it can be adapted, from the aesthetic and technological point of view, to different solutions; in new constructions and in restoring operations as well. This new technology demonstrated its ability to lower thermal load peaks and, more importantly, it demonstrated its ability to shift the peaks to the hours of the day in which they are useful hence guaranteeing temperature stability within the internal environment. Furthermore, the technology demonstrated its ability in solving problems regarding the durability of this type of component, in particular, solving problems tied to change phase material’s deformable quality apart from problems tied to its potentially corrosive behavior. The results of experimental tests (both in laboratory and on site) carried out during the campaign held in the summer of 2004 are proposed. The experiments were finalized at verifying the components’ ability to reduce incoming thermal flux. Lastly, the results obtained through laboratory tests regarding the characteristics of different types of PCM (all of which had, as principal heat storage principal, Glauber salt stabilized using additives), in order to obtain the types of composites which are more adequate for guaranteeing durability when subjected to numerous loading and discharging cycles. In addition to the information provided regarding PCM’s capacity, the test cycles also furnished information regarding the plastic containers’ durability and their compatibility with the PCM.
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