Innovative approach to energy savings in new and existing Indian habitats: multilayer system for energy efficiency using phase change materials

Due to long and hot summer season in India, cooling and heating (during winter) of residential and commercial buildings have a huge energy footprint and, hence, consumes large amount of electricity.  The solution involves reducing the electricity consumption in these buildings by increasing their energy efficiency. Incorporation of phase change materials (PCM) in buildings could reduce the electricity consumption in heating and cooling of these buildings. The proposed PCM system can be easily integrated in to new or existing residential/commercial buildings. The system can also be used to improve thermal comfort of habitats which does not have air-conditioning.

The building envelope heats up due to solar radiation.  During the day time, there exists a negative thermal gradient across the thickness of the building wall. A part of solar energy incident on the wall outer surface is utilized in melting the PCM which limits the amount of energy available for heating of the wall. The inner PCM system layer functions in the similar way as the outer surface PCM layer and utilizes the heat energy reaching the inner wall surface as latent heat for the melting PCM present in the inner layer. It has been shown that in use of PCM in residential and commercial structures reduces the energy demands of air-conditioning systems and can improve the energy efficiency of the entire building.

This project is funded through DST under "Initiative to Promote Habitat Energy Efficiency" scheme