Phase Material Change technology in glass envelopes

Since the end of April the EMILIE project pilot plant based in Zaragoza under the direction of the Research Center for Energy Resources and Consumption – CIRCE is already operational. The “Glassolating” pilot plant focuses on the thermal insulation field for buildings and tertiary sector.

CIRCE’s head office is a model of bio construction and sustainability using the most advanced technology in the field of eco-efficiency and energy saving. Constructed using building materials of low ecological impact, it is a Zero Emissions building throughout its Life Cycle, is environmentally friendly setting a good example for future buildings.GLASSOLATING2

The pilot activity includes two different experimental sets both located nearby the CIRCE building, within the University of Zaragoza Campus “Río Ebro” premises. The two sets have been designed for testing the energy efficiency of special glass windows provided with a new technology based on phase change materials (PCM), in relation to conventional windows. The pilot plant experimentation is conducted in two scenarios. On one hand, PCM glasses were added to the real building conventional windows. On the other hand, an experimental facility was specifically designed to test this technology under a controlled environment.GLASSOLATING1 (1)

The former scenario uses two identical buildings (one with PCM and another without) to contrast the efficiency of PCM windows to conventional windows under real operating conditions. The net area of each module is 177.26 m2 facing southwards.

The latter scenario more accurately tests the performance of the PCM technology in totally controlled conditions with a higher glazing ratio of surface covered by the PCM glass. This experimental facility consists of two 2.4 x 2.4 x 2.64 m rooms. Both cubicles have a double glazing window (standard) while only one of them counts with PCM windows (adapted to the standard window).

In all facilities, the indoor variables (temperature and humidity), the weather variables (solar radiation, outdoor temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity), the heat flows in the facades and the energy consumed by the HVAC systems, are being monitored and analysed.GLASSOLATING 3 (2)

The analysis and measurement will be made throughout the year to check the behaviour of technology in different seasons and weather conditions. Similarly, various groups of companies, governments, students, etc., will be invited to visit the plant and check it in detail.

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