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Phase change materials

Should phase change materials be a part of your commercial building energy efficiency plan?

Would you like to reduce peak electricity demand by 4-7% through a non-invasive retrofit? Perhaps you should consider phase change materials (PCMs) as one of your efficiency measures.

PCMs passively regulate air temperature by storing and releasing thermal energy. PCMs can improve building occupant comfort and reduce operational energy consumption, peak demand, energy costs, and greenhouse gas emissions. Another perk of PCMs is they are not difficult to incorporate into buildings. They are typically installed above suspended ceilings and can be easily incorporated through non-invasive retrofits.

In our Minnesota simulation study, Slipstream found significant energy savings potential for commercial buildings. Simple operational adjustments such as adjusting setback temperatures and introducing night flushing maximized energy savings from PCMs. PCM applications in commercial office and school buildings saved up to 15% of cooling, 50% of the electric heating, and 17% of the gas heating energy. This amounts to a 5% reduction in total building energy, with a peak electricity demand reduction of 4-7%.