Influence of internal thermal mass on the indoor thermal dynamics and integration of phase change materials in furniture for building energy storage: A review

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Abstract

The increasing share of intermittent renewable energy on the grid encourages researchers to develop demand-side management strategies. Passive heat storage in the indoor space is a promising solution to improve the building energy flexibility. It relies on an accurate control of the transient building temperature. However, many of the current numerical models for building energy systems assume empty rooms and do not account entirely for the internal thermal inertia of objects like furniture. This review article points out that such assumption is not valid for dynamic calculations. The furnishing elements and other internal content can have a significant impact on the indoor thermal dynamics and on the occupants’ comfort. There is a clear lack of guidance and studies about the thermo-physical properties of this internal mass. Therefore, this paper suggests representative values for the furniture/indoor thermal mass parameters and presents the different available modelling technics. In addition, the large exposed surface area of furniture pieces offers a good potential for the integration of phase change materials. It can highly increase the effective thermal inertia of light frame buildings without any construction work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRenewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews
Volume69
Issue numberMarch
Pages (from-to)19-32
ISSN1364-0321
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Furniture
  • Thermal mass
  • Indoor thermal dynamics
  • Thermal energy storage
  • Phase change material
  • Building energy flexibility

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