Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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    Lessons Learned from PCM Embedded Radiant Chilled Ceiling Experiments in Melbourne
    Mousavi, S ; Rismanchi, B ; Brey, S ; Aye, L (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, 2021-09-14)
    Buildings are responsible for over a third of energy consumption worldwide, particularly for the increasing demand of air-conditioners in response to the more extreme heat around the globe. It is imperative to move towards more energy-efficient space cooling alternatives. The integration of phase change material (PCM) with a radiant chilled ceiling (RCC) is a promising technology due to its benefits regarding energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality. This article presents a field study conducted on a newly-developed PCM embedded radiant chilled ceiling (PCM-RCC) installed in a stand-alone cabin located in Melbourne. The study evaluates the thermal and energy performance of the system through investigation of the transient thermal behaviour of PCM panels in charging-discharging cycles, the indoor comfort conditions, and the electricity peak demand. It was observed that the proposed PCM-RCC can provide satisfactory comfort conditions and contribute to load shifting if a refined operating strategy is applied. The efficiency of PCM recharge overnight depends on several factors that need to be carefully considered in design. The challenges related to the implementation of optimal operating dynamic schedules in response to the thermal behaviour of PCM-RCC, and accurate weather forecasting should be addressed to realise the full potential of this technology.