Building thermal storage technology: Compensating renewable energy fluctuations
Guerrero Delgado, M. Carmen
Sánchez Ramos, José
Álvarez Domínguez, Servando
Tenorio, José Antonio
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Emerging technologies and new intelligent management systems will be needed to rise to the energy challenges posed by buildings today. Thermally activated building systems (TABS) are attracting growing interest on the back of their energy savings potential. The TABS studied in this article, a new prefabricated
panel designed for installation in residential building façades, was characterised by the high thermal inertia afforded by the phase change materials in its composition. The design and assessment of the potential savings derived from TABS require specific characterisation methodologies to estimate the amount of useful energy available to control the indoor environment. A two-stage approach was adopted for the TABS studied here with ``ideal'' operating control (the building is assumed to be at a constant desired temperature). The first stage involved a simplified method for characterising system behaviour based on performance maps developed from CFD simulations. Such maps can be used to quickly assess changes in system energy performance following on variations in design and operating parameters. In the second, the TABS was integrated into a building with a simplified model to assess monthly energy demand to evaluate the system potential for energy savings in representative types of Spanish single-family housing in different climate zones. The first-stage findings showed that given the system significant inertia, it discharged for several days, even when charging occurred only on the first, ensuring a wide operating range adaptable to renewable resource limitations. The analysis of potential, in turn, revealed that savings of over 40% in heating demand are possible even under the least favourable circumstances.