Pelletized Phase Change Material for Energy-Efficient Buildings

R. Abhari1, N. Shukla2, A. Fallahi2, and K. Biswas3
1Syntroleum Corporation, Tulsa, OK 74008, USA; 2Fraunhofer CSE, Cambridge, MA 74008, USA; 3Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 74008, USA

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Summary
A novel, lower cost process for manufacture of Phase Change Material (PCM) has been developed. The process involves direct conversion of vegetable oils into a C16-C18 paraffin composition with a melt point in the 22- 25 ÂșC range, and a heat of fusion > 170 J/g. The paraffin is compounded with HDPE and pelletized. A fluidized bed system was used to successfully coat the pellets and prevent paraffin seepage at temperatures above melt point. When added to cellulose insulation, the PCM pellets were found to reduce peak heat flux by 33% and net heat gain by 12% (summer time averages). Whole-building simulations showed that PCM addition to attic insulation reduces annual energy consumption by 7.3% in a Phoenix-type climate.

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