ENERGY MANAGEMENT IN NAVAL FACILITIES USING PHASE CHANGE MATERIALS
Martinez, Julian M.
Gannon, Anthony J.
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Phase change materials (PCM) offer a great potential to passively cool buildings by using latent heat to store the room thermal energy throughout the day and releasing it at night when the ambient air is cooler. This study supports the ONR Energy, Science and Technology Evaluation Program (ESTEP) by evaluating commercial PCMs and other alternatives to traditional air conditioning methods. Flat panels of PCMs—energy panels—were installed in the ceiling and as a wall in a room. The air temperature in the room was continuously monitored for weeks by imposing varying heat loads to document the effectiveness of the PCM in achieving the desired benefits. The results showed that the PCM reacted very quickly to the applied heat load with a charge time of a few minutes, but still satisfactorily cooled the room. However, a more gradual heat loading permitted the room temperature to remain stable near the PCM melting temperature, which was the goal of the project. These conclusions also enable estimating the PCM mass required for any room if the heat loads can be quantitatively assessed. The results of this study were verified with the DoE energy management software EnergyPlus, a program that uses finite differencing methods to simulate the thermal profile of whole buildings. Reasonable qualitative agreement was obtained between the measurements and calculations.
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