Evaluation of Energy Performance and Thermal Comfort Considering the Heat Storage Capacity and Thermal Conductivity of Biocomposite Phase Change Materials

The application of phase change materials (PCMs) has been verified as an effective strategy for improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Biocomposite PCMs (Bc-PCM) exhibit large latent heat, chemical stability, and a wide temperature range. In this study, thermal conductivity improved Bc-PCM (TBc-PCM) was made via vacuum impregnation with graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs). Chemical stability analysis and thermal performance analyses of the Bc-PCM and TBc-PCM were carried out as well as building energy simulations and thermal comfort analyses. Our results show Bc-PCM showed a higher heat storage capacity and enthalpy value compared to TBc-PCM. TBc-PCM exhibited a 378% increase in thermal conductivity compared to Bc-PCM. Building energy simulation results revealed that annual heating and cooling energy consumption decreased as the thickness of the PCM layer increased. In addition, the Bc-PCM with a larger PCM capacity was more effective in reducing energy consumption during the heating period. On the other hand, the cooling energy reduction effect was greater when TBc-PCM with high thermal conductivity was applied because of the high heat transfer during the cooling period. Thermal comfort evaluation revealed it was more comfortable when PCM was applied.

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