Numerical study on the thermal performance of a ventilated facade with PCM
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A new type of ventilated facade (VF) with macro-encapsulated phase change material (PCM) in its air cavity is presented in this paper. Two identical house-like cubicles located in Puigverd de Lleida (Spain) were monitored during 2012, and in one of them, the VF with PCM was implemented in the south wall. The versatility of the facade allows the system to reduce both heating and cooling loads. During winter, the PCM increases the heat storage capacity of the system exposed to solar radiation and during summer the system can be used as a cold storage unit or as a night free cooling device. From the experimental winter campaign, important net electrical energy savings were registered due to the use of the VF. On the other hand, no net energy savings were achieved during summer due to excessive use of mechanical ventilation. In this paper, an own developed numerical model, based on finite control volume approach, was validated against experimental data and it is used to select the operational schedule of both solidification and melting processes in order to achieve net electrical energy savings. During the mild summer period the system presents a net energy supply of 2.49 MJ/day. This value would be increased by 61.6% if a wooden structure would have been used instead of the current metallic structure. Moreover, the high hysteresis of the PCM limits strongly the potential of the system in supplying cooling during the severe summer period.