A solar collector and thermal energy storage window for lightweight construction

  • YEAR
    Skates, Henry
    2004 Conference Papers
    Building technology


ABSTRACT: Traditional construction in New Zealand lacks thermal mass. This is a major barrier to the
efficient use of solar thermal energy in such buildings. To overcome this problem a window system has
been designed that incorporates thermal mass in the form of a Phase Change Material (PCM) inside
hollow section aluminium window surrounds within the window head, sill and reveals. Excess daily
solar heat gains are stored and can be made available later in the day as space heating becomes a
requirement. The thermal development within the PCM is investigated experimentally for different
window configurations using a solar simulator. The diurnal performance of the complete PCM window
system is measured experimentally using a pair of matched test cells and is compared to that of a
typical window system. Using a validated general-purpose thermal analysis program for residential
buildings and realistic climatic data the effect of the PCM window system is predicted for daily and
yearly time periods for Wellington New Zealand. Diurnal simulation results are compared with the
measured results. For a standard New Zealand House insulated to current Building Code levels and
heating to 19ÂșC, the system as designed has the potential to store and make available up to 903 MJ of
useful energy per annum.


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