Energy Efficient Buildings

  • Illustration
    Vinh Duy Cao

In his PhD work, Vinh Duy Cao developed new environmentally friendly construction materials with high energy storage capacity and high insulation properties by using geopolymer concrete containing microencapsulated phase change materials (MPCM) to reduce energy consumption for buildings

Energy Efficient Buildings

Global warming is an important issue due to its significant and harmful influence on communities, health, and climate. The cause of global warming is increased amounts of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide (CO2). The majority of CO2 emissions are from the combustion of fossil fuels. The effort to slow the pace of global warming is closely related to the reduction of energy consumption. With approximately 40 % of the total global energy consumption contributed by buildings, reducing the energy consumption for buildings plays a key role to reduce global warming. Improved construction techniques and enhanced material technology can greatly reduce the energy consumption needed to keep a comfortable indoor temperature.

Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials (MPCM), which are capable of storing or releasing huge amount of energy by changing phases, can provide a high energy storage capacity at an almost constant temperature (the phase change temperature point). The thesis is successful to incorporate the high energy storage capacity of MPCM into environmentally friendly geopolymer concrete, which then can be applied in buildings to reduce the effect of external weather conditions on the indoor temperature fluctuations. This will enhance the energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption for buildings leading to decrease CO2 emission.

An experimental and numerical modelling of thermal performance of geopolymer concrete containing MPCM are conducted, allowing to establish the promising energy consumption reduction of the buildings in Oslo (reduction of 21 %) and Madrid (reduction of 25 %) climate conditions.

Although geopolymer concrete containing MPCM shows the promising thermal performance, the main drawback is mechanical strength reduction, which can limit the possibility of using this advanced materials for building application. The thesis with a valuable information of the effect of MPCM properties on geopolymer concrete properties, can contribute to further investigations to maximize the thermal performance and minimize the mechanical strength reduction of GPC containing MPCM for green building applications.

Published 7. november 2018 - 8:53 - Updated 7. november 2018 - 8:55