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Thermal energy storage with phase change materials for energy efficiency of European building stock

Periodic Report Summary - EFFIBUILDINGS (Thermal energy storage with phase change materials for energy efficiency of European building stock)

During the 11 months Professor Farid spent in GREA at the University of Lleida where he worked very hard with Prof. Cabeza, her coworkers Dr Albert Castell and Dr Cristian Solé, and her PhD students to achieve all the tasks set in the project, especially those related to knowledge transfer in the different PCM applications. He co-supervised with Prof. Luisa F. Cabeza three PhD students. With whom he has established new areas of research as will be described below. In addition, he has supported another two PhD students by providing them with new ideas. From the day of his arrival, he has been in a continuous daily discussion with most of the staff in GREA to enhance research on PCM encapsulation for buildings and introduce other applications.

Farid's regular meetings with Prof. Cabeza, her staff and PhD students, including daily breakfast meetings have helped the implementation of a number of new ideas in this short period as will be discussed in this report. It is clear that this is going to be a strong starting point for long term research collaborations between the two research teams for the benefit of the European research activities on PCM manufacturing, encapsulation and use.

The major achievements during the 11 month of work may be summarised as follows:
- Succeeded in the construction of two new testing equipment, which will be used for testing the thermal performance of composite building materials.
- Developed new areas of research in GREA, such as (a) the use of PCM in cold stores and industrial freezer, (b) vacuum impregnation of PCM in porous natural products for use in concrete and other building materials.
- Introduced important component to the work in GREA related to computer modelling of PCM system such as (a) the use of PCM in open air swimming pool and (b) the use of PCM in hot water cylinder.
- Worked in a number of PCM projects and published with the group 8 papers in international conferences with a potential of publishing at 8 to 12 papers in international journals.
- Succeeded in building strong link with the European groups working in PCM through participating in Task 42/Annex 24 meetings, which were held in Graz, 7-8 October, 2010; participating in Annex 25 meeting which was held in Lleida, Spain, 7-8 October, 2010; visiting the German Solar Energy Research Centre in Stuttgart; participating in Annex 23, which was held in Sharjah, UAE, 25-26 March 2011; participating in Annex 25, which was held in Perpignan, France, 11-12 April, 2011; the European PCM active groups have agreed to have Annexes 23 and 25 in Auckland, New Zealand in 2012; Prof. Luisa F. Cabeza has invited Prof. Mohammed Farid to be part of the new application of funding for high temperature energy storage. Unfortunately, the application was unsuccessful.

Professor Farid has invited two of his research fellows; one from New Zealand to assist in technology transfer with regards PCM material manufacturing and encapsulation and the other from United States to assist postgraduate students in GREA in the modelling of PCM systems using FLUENT as a commercial CFD packages.

Farid has applied with Dr Ana Inés Fernández from the University of Barcelona for joint funding from New Zealand and Spain to support exchange of visits between the two institutions in the area of energy storage development.