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A Comparative Heat Transfer Examination of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) With and Without Phase Change Materials (PCMs) Using a Dynamic Wall Simulator
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The main focus of this paper was to present data to advance the design of a previously developed thermally-enhanced structural insulated panel (SIP) that had been outfitted with phase change materials (PCMs) (Medina et al., 2008). To advance the development of the previous design, which had only been evaluated under full weather conditions, a set of well-controlled laboratory experiments was carried out. For this, a dynamic wall simulator was built, where a range of important parameters was evaluated. This was done through a comparative heat transfer examination of SIPs, with and without PCMs; where parameters, such as, foam core material of the SIP and material of the PCM holding containers (i.e., encapsulating pipes) were evaluated. Instantaneous heat transfer rates measurements are presented. The two parameters considered (i.e., foam material and pipe material) were found to have first order effects on the performance of PCM-enhanced SIPs. The PCM outfitted SIPs reduced the peak heat fluxes when compared to their own kind, but without PCM. The results indicate that SIPs with molded expanded polystyrene (EPS) cores would benefit more from the PCM enhancement than SIPs with urethane cores. PVC pipes as holding containers for the PCMs did not prove as efficient as metal pipes.
Medina, M.; Zhu, D. (2008). A Comparative Heat Transfer Examination of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) With and Without Phase Change Materials (PCMs) Using a Dynamic Wall Simulator. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from