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Software

The most important step to tap the full potential of this technology is to individually plan your project and select the most suitable PCM product for it. The following tools might help you with this task.

Our members will provide you with specific data required for planning and simulation on request.

Planning tools

PCMexpress

Provided by: Valentin Software GmbH

PCMexpress is a planning and simulation program for buildings using phase change materials (PCM). It aims to support architects and planners in planning by facilitating reliable decision-making in dimensioning the system and by speeding up the market launch of PCMs.

In this respect, PCMexpress provides users with a simple method of defining a PCM system. This includes the use of PCMs in wall structures and changes in the associated mains ser-vices. In particular, the low-energy approach is to be supported in the form of activated build-ing components (panel heating, cooling areas) and energy-saving cooling techniques. De-pending on the situation, the use of PCMs may be justified by the increased level of comfort provided (private houses with wellness requirements) or by economic considerations (office buildings). Both strategies are supported by the program, through the use of menus, prede-fined usage profiles and adapted presentation of the results.

You can download PCMexpress without any costs when following this link: www.valentin-software.com/en/downloads/produkte/pcm-express

Micronal® PCM App

Provided by: BASF SE

A mobile app from BASF is helping architects, investors and designers of technical building equipment to assess the impact of latent heat storage enhanced building materials on the cooling load of buildings. Unlike the conventional software used to calculate cooling load, the application for mobile end devices takes building materials based on Micronal® PCM into account and identifies potential energy savings that can be made when cooling buildings. The app is available in German and English and can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple and Google App Store as well as on www.micronal.de.

Users of the app can enter the cooling load of a building conventionally calculated according to VDI 2078. After entering some additional data on the building situation and the desired PCM building material, they are provided with a figure which is a reduction factor for this cooling load, optimized for the application in question. This reduction factor is calculated on the basis of forecast dynamic simulations in standard rooms and applies the user’s data to a suitable reference building, extrapolating it to the actual construction project in question.

The comprehensive simulation study forming the basis of this work was carried out together with the planning and engineering office ARUP and demonstrates the potential of latent heat storage systems in cooling various types of buildings. Office buildings, for instance, require smaller cooling systems if Micronal PCM is used which in turn releases more floor space. Air conditioning systems can often be dispensed with in residential buildings with a window area of 40 to 50 percent.

The app also takes economic efficiency into account and shows the user the break-even point when the costs required for buying and installing the PCM construction material have been covered by savings in facility investments and energy. Furthermore, the app provides information on construction material based on Micronal PCM such as dry wall boards based on gypsum and clay, chilled suspended ceiling systems, internal plasters or even PCM furni-ture. As the app also includes calculation modules or tips for planners and users, it constitutes a comprehensive and helpful tool for the correct application of latent heat storage solutions in buildings.

Simulation tools

TRNSYS

Provided by: Thermal Energy System Specialists, LLC

TRNSYS is a complete and extensible simulation environment for the transient simulation of thermal systems including multi-zone buildings.

It is used by engineers and researchers around the world to validate new energy concepts, from simple solar domestic hot water systems to the design and simulation of buildings and their equipment, including control strategies, occupant behaviour, alternative energy systems (wind, solar, photovoltaic, hydrogen systems), etc. Throughout its thirty year history TRNSYS has been under continual enhancement by an international group.

ESP-r

Provided by: University of Strathclyde

ESP-r allows an in-depth appraisal of the factors which influence the energy and environ-mental performance of buildings. The ESP-r system has been the subject of sustained de-velopments since 1974 with the objective of simulating building performance in a manner that: a) is realistic and adheres closely to actual physical systems, b) supports early-through-detailed design stage appraisals, and c) enables integrated performance assessments in which no single issue is unduly prominent.

ESP-r attempts to simulate the real world as rigorously as possible and to a level which is consistent with current best practice. By addressing all aspects simultaneously, ESP-r allows the designer to explore the complex relationships between a building’s form, fabric, air flow, plant and control. ESP-r is based on a finite volume, conservation approach in which a prob-lem (specified in terms of geometry, construction, operation, leakage distribution, etc.) is transformed into a set of conservation equations (for energy, mass, momentum, etc.) which are then integrated at successive time-steps in response to climate, occupant and control system influences. ESP-r comprises a central Project Manager around which are arranged support databases, a simulator, various performance assessment tools and a variety of third party applications for CAD, visualisation and report generation.

Tas

Provided by: Environmental Design Solutions Limited

Tas is an industry-leading building modeling and simulation tool. Capable of performing dy-namic thermal simulation for the world’s largest and most complex buildings, Tas allows de-signers to accurately predict energy consumption, CO2 emissions, operating costs and oc-cupant comfort.

WUFI

Provided by: Fraunhofer Institute for building physics IBP

PC-Program for calculating the coupled heat and moisture transfer in building components

Realistic calculation of the transient hygrothermal behaviour of multi-layer building compo-nents exposed to natural climate conditions.

The menu-driven PC program WUFI (Wärme und Feuchte instationär – Transient Heat and Moisture), developed by IBP and validated using data derived from outdoor and laboratory tests, allows realistic calculation of the transient hygrothermal behaviour of multi-layer building components exposed to natural climate conditions.

WUFI is based on the newest findings regarding vapour diffusion and liquid transport in build-ing materials.

WUFI only requires standard material properties and easy-to-determine moisture storage and liquid transport functions.

WUFI can use measured weather data – including driving rain and solar radiation – as bound-ary conditions, thus allowing realistic investigations on the behaviour of the component under exposure to natural weather.

WUFI can be used for assessing

  • the drying time of masonry with trapped construction moisture
  • the danger of interstitial condensation
  • the influence of driving rain on exterior building components
  • the effect of repair and retrofit measures
  • the hygrothermal performance of roof and wall assemblies under unanticipated use or in different climate zones.

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