What Types of Buildings Do Phase Change Materials Work Best In?
Phase change materials can deliver energy savings to any type of building, but there are certain types of building materials in certain climates that will get the most gain from installing phase change materials (PCMs). Here are some tips about where to use phase change materials in construction:
Buildings with drop ceilings
One of the best environments to install PCM is above drop ceilings. Drop ceilings provide an easy pathway for retrofitting buildings with PCM, as there’s no need to remove drywall or fixtures. Not only can PCM be easily installed or uninstalled in a drop ceiling, but it also creates the best connection for PCM to a building’s indoor environment.
Older buildings can be drafty and have poor energy efficiency. These buildings have the most to gain from installing PCMs. With its ability to lessen temperature peaks and store heat, PCMs can give old buildings the same efficiency benefits without upgrading materials or insulation.
Buildings in hot or cold places
Places that experience both hot and cold temperatures benefit from PCMs. During cold weather, PCMs will absorb the heat from the furnace and then release it when the building becomes cold. During the summer, PCMs will keep a building from getting too hot and then release the heat at night when the temperature cools down.
Buildings made of poorly-insulated materials
Buildings made of wood, metal, or other thin, poorly-insulated materials can greatly benefit from PCMs. Unlike traditional insulation, PCMs store heat and release it when you need it. This is the best way to make a building lacking proper insulation more energy-efficient.
Large buildings are particularly costly to heat and cool. With large amounts of PCMs, big buildings can greatly offset the amount of electricity they need for heating and cooling.
Buildings with heavy machinery
Industrial equipment and computers generate lots of heat when they run, and overheating can become a big problem. Using PCMs in the construction of buildings with heat generating equipment can help capture heat and keep the temperature at a safe and comfortable level. PCMs can also help with load shifting, storing heat when there is too much, and releasing heat at night, when sensitive equipment isn’t operating.
Using PCMs in construction is one of the best ways to ensure the PCMs are effective. By building with PCMs in mind, contractors are able to build in areas where the PCMs will be the most beneficial.
To learn more about how phase change materials can help make your building more efficient contact D.I. Pathways today.