'Development of phase change thermal storage wallcoverings in buildings' in Smart and Sustainable Built Environment Ch. 9, edited by J. Yang, Brandon, P and A. Sidwell, Blackwell Publishers. ISBN:1405124229
Latent thermal storage using phase change materials (PCM) and sensible storage using thermal mass are two streams of sustainable thermal storage technology I research and develop. As the leader of the thermal storage group in the Centre for Sustainability of the Built Environment (CSBE) I have provided input to the design, theoretical analysis, testing, validation and the feasibility evaluation of incorporating such technology in buildings. This area of research has led to a collaborative research project with a wallcovering company to develop a product capable of incorporate PCM for improving the thermal comfort of indoor environment. This project was supported by the UK DTI Teaching Company Scheme and has won the innovation award 2006 from the University of Brighton.
I was invited to include a chapter in the book Smart and Sustainable Built Environment following the conference presentation of this developing technology at the CIB (International Council for Research and Innovation) Smart and Sustainable Built Environment Conference in Brisbane Australia 2003.
The PCM wallcovering can significantly increase a building’s thermal storage capacity with added benefit of improved thermal comfort. The research addresses the current undesirable trend of using air-conditioning to alleviate summer discomfort. As the technology can be applied to both new and existing buildings, the environmental impact due to lower energy consumption is significant. Through this research I have explored:
Micro-encapsulated pcm wallcovering specimens were produced which enabled the on-going experimental evaluation of the insitu thermal performance. This research has strengthen my expertise in PCM thermal storage and complements the EU Framework 5 funded research project (Endohouse) in applying PCM to water systems and linked to the other thermal storage studies such as the ‘Earthship’ – an earth-sheltered building.