ECOM4TILE - Advanced thermal energy storage techniques with phase change materials for residential building air conditioning
Dates: May 2011 – December 2014
Grant agreement number:
The direct and indirect environmental effects of the construction industry in Europe and Spain (considering life cycle) indicate that between 33% and 42% of primary energy consumption is absorbed by this sector, half of which is due to Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC).
Thermal storage in construction materials, largely due to latent heat storage (LHS), is a relatively new field that has shown great potential for heat control and saving in buildings. Phase change materials (PCM) can cool or heat a room without the need for thermal mass or additional space, simply by releasing or absorbing energy in the phase change.
ECOM4TILE will be developed on this premise. It consists in an innovative ceramic product with PCMs added to its composition that will provide it with important improvements such as energy saving (an estimated 16% on the average home’s electricity bill). In other words, a saving of almost the cost of power spent on a home’s air-conditioning in two months. And all thanks to the PCMs, which are able to accumulate and release energy little by little, saving on the energy involved in atmospheric temperature reduction and on the time air-conditioning systems or heaters are used.
The main objective of this project is to acquire the scientific and technical knowledge needed to develop ceramics with new thermal properties and, more specifically, new ceramic solutions with high thermal inertia, making it possible to store energy that will later be used according to the thermal demands of the surroundings. This will increase heat control and reduce the energy consumption produced by auxiliary air-conditioning systems.
The aim is also to develop methodologies and IT tools to assess and reduce environmental impact by observing the final product’s life cycle. This will enable buyers to consider the environmental profile of the products purchased, promoting the demand and manufacturing of lower-impact construction products.
In this project, CIRCE will carry out a study to analyse the behaviour of these PCMs in order to ensure that the most adequate materials are selected according to atmospheric or structural conditions.
CIRCE will develop a parameterised methodology and IT tool applying the life cycle approach that will help the company CERACASA to assess and reduce the environmental impact of its products as well as create Environmental Declarations of these products (EDPs).