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Facade that stores and releases heat

04.11.2002


In the last years the cold industry has incorporated advanced technologies based on substances that in low temperatures, usually lower than 0 ºC, have a phase-change. Those substances, called eutectic mixes, store and release heat when they change their state from liquid to solid.

Those substances have been used to regulate temperature and give automonomy to perishable good transport. Ice has been also used with that purpose and for climatization installations, becoming obligatory for installations with high power.

Nevertheless it is difficult to find substances with latent heat stored that make the phase-change at environmental temperatures. Those regular temperatures mean the temperatures in which people live, from 10 ºC to 30 ºC.



If those substances are found it would be possible to create heat storing systems for each building, improving their energetic efficiency and avoiding the unnecessary energy loss.

It is considered that a substance with the phase-change at 20 ºC will mean that during the day the material will become liquid at outside temperatures higher than 20 ºC and it will store heat. At night, when the temperature is lower, the material will become solid and will release the heat stored during the day. The released heat will be used to keep warm the interior of the building.

Obviously the major or minor efficiency of the system depends on the architecture design and the climatology of the area, which means that it is necessary to develop substances with phase-change in several temperatures and to design specific walls to exchange heat for a better use of energy.

One of the main difficulties talking about the requirements specified on the regulations is that the actual Basic Rule for Buildings-Thermal Conditions of Buildings does not take into account the energy coming from the sun. That makes impossible to calculate the buildings real needs and it is also impossible to know the influence of the sun energy in the absolute energy contribution. That is the reason why the building facade have been developed taking into account esthetic and archithectonic aspects.

Nevertheless the new European directive in energy matters puts special attention in the energetic efficiency of buildings, the decrease of CO2 emissions and the use of renewable energies as energy sources.

Buildenersave project

Nowadays the building facade are designed without taking into account the real energy needs of the building. That means that determinant factors such as orientation, irradiation, draugths, etc. are not taken into account.

Considering those needs, Cidemco Basque Research Centre, has started the Buildenersave project . That project implies the design and development of a heat exchange system by using renewable energies, such as sun energy and the use of natural convection and radiation as energy transport platforms, avoiding the use of mechanical ways. Those mechanical ways reduce the energetic efficiency, produce sounds, may have failures and definitely increases the price of installation and the maintenance.

With this purpose the project has been divided in three parts. The first one is to obtain substances that make the phase-change at room temperature and to determinate their thermodinamic characteristics. Then, the climatic areas and the geographic limits for the use of different substances will be defined. In the second part those substances will be integrated in building facades that combine translucid and opaque surfaces. Solutions for two type of opposite facades will be searched, one for office buildings and the other one for family houses. The design will take into account the maximun energy efficiency of each front type. In the third part, once the design of each front is finished, the fronts will be build in real scale, testing them in a climatic camber to optimize their characteristics. The last part will include those fronts in a real building in order to prove the energy deviations comparing with the data obtained in laboratory or theorically.

The final results will enable the optimization of the archithectonic design of the fronts initially projected.

Garazi Andonegi | alfa

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