Passive cooling of buildings with phase change materials using whole-building energy simulation tools: A review
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Buildings contribute to climate change by consuming a considerable amount of energy to provide thermal comfort for occupants. Cooling energy demands are expected to increase substantially in the world. On this basis, technologies and techniques providing high energy efficiency in buildings such as passive cooling are highly appreciated. Passive cooling by means of phase change materials (PCM) offers high potential to decrease the cooling energy demand and to improve the indoor comfort condition. However, in order to be appropriately characterized and implemented into the building envelope, the PCM use should be numerically analyzed. Whole-building energy simulation tools can enhance the capability of the engineers and designers to analyze the thermal behavior of PCM-enhanced buildings. In this paper, an extensive review has been made, with regard to whole-building energy simulation for passive cooling, addressing the possibilities of applying different PCM-enhanced components into the building envelope and also the feasibility of PCM passive cooling system under different climate conditions. The application of PCM has not always been as energy beneficial as expected, and actually its effectiveness is highly dependent on the climatic condition, on the PCM melting temperature and on the occupants behavior. Therefore, energy simulation of passive PCM systems is found to be a single-objective or multi-objective optimization problem which requires appropriate mathematical models for energy and comfort assessment which should be further investigated. Moreover, further research is required to analyze the influence of natural night ventilation on the cooling performance of PCM.
Is part ofRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2017, vol. 80, p. 1239-1255
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