ENERGY DEMAND REDUCTION TO ENSURE THERMAL COMFORT IN BUILDINGS USING ALUMINIUM FOAM
Keywords:aluminium foam, phase change materials, thermal conductivity, renewable energy sources
The high energy efficiency of buildings can be achieved if energy needs are almost entirely covered by the supply of renewable energy sources obtained directly on the building or in its immediate vicinity. The technology providing efficient storage of the heat at a time of excessive sunlight is necessary if a returns of investment for the construction of small houses with zero energy balance should be less than 10 years. The regular alternation of day and night cycle resulting in continuously changing amount of sunshine falling on the building roof causes even though a small but very well usable potential. The concept presented in this contribution is based on the storage of energy obtained through the aluminium foam roof and facade cladding, which are capable of absorbing the desired, or even take away the excess energy to the surroundings if necessary. The energy effectively generated by this way is by means of piping system distributed by heating liquid medium/coolant to interior ceiling heat exchangers made of aluminium foam enabling due to filling by Phase Change Materials (PCMs) to store the energy required for heating/cooling for a period of at least several hours. This progressive technology, therefore, contributes significantly to reducing of energy demand and thus also the prices of future not only large buildings but also small family houses that are able to achieve the optimal thermal comfort by extremely low costs. Possibility to manufacture facade, as well as the interior panels of aluminium foam, is a good prerequisite for ensuring that these structural components could be in the nearest future made from fully recyclable aluminium alloys. This fact indicates large potential chance for long-term sustainable further development of above-mentioned advanced technologies.
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