Vigna, I.; Bianco, L.; Goia, F.; Serra, V. Phase Change Materials in Transparent Building Envelopes: A Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis. Energies2018, 11, 111.
Vigna, I.; Bianco, L.; Goia, F.; Serra, V. Phase Change Materials in Transparent Building Envelopes: A Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis. Energies 2018, 11, 111.
Building envelope can play a crucial role in building improvement efficiency and the adoption of Phase Change Materials (PCMs) coupled with transparent elements may (i) allow a better control of the heat flows from/to the outdoor environment, (ii) increase the exploitation of solar energy at building scale and (iii) modulate the light transmission to avoid glare effects. Starting from a literature review of experimental works, this research identifies the main possible integration of PCM in transparent/translucent building envelope components (in glazing, in shutters and in multilayer façade system) drawing a global picture potentials and limitations of these technologies. Transparent envelopes with PCMs have been classified from the simplest “zero” technology, which integrates the PCM into the double glass unit (DGU), to more complex solutions – with different numbers of cavities of the glass (TGU), different position of PCM layer (internal/external shutter), and in combination with other materials (TIM, aerogel, prismatic solar reflector, PCM curtain controlled by an electric pump). The results of the analysis are resumed in a SWOT (strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats) analysis table to underline strengths and weaknesses of transparent building envelope components with PCMs, and to indicate opportunities and threats for future research and building application.
Phase Change Materials (PCMs); PCM-filled window; transparent building envelope; Thermal energy storage (TES); glazing; SWOT analysis; review; experimental
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.