Experimental study of an active slab with PCM coupled to a solar air collector for heating purposes
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Solar energy has been widely introduced in the building market to provide electricity, heating and domes-tic hot water for a sustainable development. However, the low-density and the mismatch between energysupply and demand make appropriate its combination with thermal energy storage (TES) systems.
Theintegration of these technologies (solar thermal and TES) in the building design is a key aspect to reduceenergy consumption. Latent heat storage using phase change materials (PCM) presents an advantage incomparison to conventional sensible heat storage systems due to the required volume. In this context,an innovative system that integrates PCM inside the structural horizontal building component is pre-sented in this paper. The slab consisted of a prefabricated concrete element with 14 channels filled withmacro-encapsulated PCM which is used as a storage unit and a heating supply. In order to melt the PCMthe system is coupled to a solar air collector. The prototype is tested in an experimental facility locatedin Puigverd de Lleida (Spain) where its thermal performance is evaluated under real weather conditions.This study demonstrates the high potential of the concrete slab on reducing the energy consumptioncompared to a conventional heating system.