Phase change materials can be used to change the thermal inertia of buildings. In this paper a simulation program is presented where the use of the material is investigated in a night cooling system. The phase change material that is used is Glauber’s salt mixed with a gel, enclosed in aluminium pouches. The melting point is 24°C. The aluminium pouches, which are approximately 10 mm thick are placed in an air heat exchanger. The crystallisation takes place during night where cool night air is let in to the building and into the material, the cool air is thereafter released into the building during the day.
The building types that are investigated are buildings where there is an overproduction of heat during the daytime such as offices, schools, shopping centres etc.
In the paper a simulation of three different buildings is presented. A school, an office and a shopping centre. Each building were assigned with different thermal inertia, lightweight, medium weight and heavy weight building. The buildings were simulated with finite difference method. A network model was programmed in Mathcad. Climate data, air temperature and solar radiation on a horisontal surface were from the summer 2002 in Gävle, Sweden. That summer was an unusually hot summer.
The simulations show that the use of the phase change material has a significant effect on the maximum indoor air temperature during the day. The effects are more apparent in the lightweight buildings than in the heavy weight buildings.
Phase change materials, Building thermal inertia, Finite difference method, network modelling