An experimental and numerical simulation study of an active solar wall enhanced with phase change materials


  • Dionysios I. Kolaitis Laboratory of Heterogeneous Mixtures and Combustion Systems, Thermal Engineering Section, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University Athens, Athens
  • Roberto Garay Martinez
  • Maria A. Founti Laboratory of Heterogeneous Mixtures and Combustion Systems, Thermal Engineering Section, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University Athens, Athens




Solar wall (SW), Trombe wall, Phase Change Materials (PCM), experimental data, CFD, simulation, building energy performance, energy savings


Solar walls can be used to increase the overall energy efficiency of a building. Phase Change Materials (PCM) are capable of increasing the effective thermal mass of building elements, thus decreasing the overall energy consumption. Recently, the incorporation of PCM in a solar wall has been proposed, aiming to increase the total energy efficiency of the system. The main scope of this work is to investigate the thermal behaviour of a PCM-enhanced solar wall (PCMESW), using experimental and numerical simulation techniques. A prototype PCMESW is installed in a large-scale test facility and is exposed to dynamically changing climate conditions. A broad range of sensors, used to monitor the time-evolution of several important physical parameters, is employed to assess the dynamic response of the PCMESW. In addition, a Computational Fluid Dynamics tool is used to numerically investigate the thermal behaviour of the PCMESW prototype. Predictions of the developing flow- and thermal-field in the PCMESW’s air cavity are validated by means of comparison with the obtained measurements; in general, good levels of agreement are observed. Results of the numerical simulations may support the design optimization process of innovative PCMESW systems.





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