Experimental and numerical analysis of the thermal performance of polyurethane foams panels incorporating phase change material


The potential thermal regulation effect of rigid polyurethane (RPU) foams can be enhanced by the incorporation of phase change materials (PCM). The main goal of the present work is to evaluate the thermal characteristics of RPU panels using two different types of PCM (a commercial one and another based on paraffin and calcium carbonate) and to quantify their potential as thermal regulators of indoor spaces. The experimental results obtained revealed that the RPU panels incorporating PCM can lead to a thermal amplitude reduction of about 3.5-1 degrees C (peak maximum temperature - peak minimum temperature). Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the performance of the RPU panel with PCM was enhanced when the external and internal mean temperature were closer to the melting peak temperature of the PCM. Additionally, it was also verified that the thermal amplitude reduction due to the PCM is more significant for the RPU panel incorporating PCM. In brief, the results showed that the efficiency of the RPU panels incorporating PCM is not exclusively dependent on the presence and quantity of PCM (equivalent in wt% in all cases) but it is also affected by the imposed temperature profile and the PCM thermal properties. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



subject category

Thermodynamics; Energy & Fuels


Amaral, C; Silva, T; Mohseni, F; Amaral, JS; Amaral, VS; Marques, PAAP; Barros-Timmons, A; Vicente, R

our authors


This work was developed under the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020 and UIDP/50011/2020, financed by national funds through the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology/MCTES and TEMA e Centre for Mechanical Technology and Automation, was supported by the projects UIDB/00481/2020 and UIDP/00481/2020 - FCT - Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia; and CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-022083 -Centro Portugal Regional Operational Programme (Centro2020), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund. Thanks are due to University of Aveiro, FCT/MEC for the financial support to the research Unit RISCO e Aveiro Research Centre of Risks and Sustainability in Construction (FCT/UID/ECI/04450/2013). JSA acknowledges FCT IF/01089/2015 grant.

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