In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, Dr. Mohammed Farid of the University of Auckland discusses new research on the impact of phase change material in building materials.
"The benefits of applying PCM in buildings is not limited to capturing day solar heat in winter and night coolness in summer but also to create peak load shifting," said Farid, a member of Entropy Solutions' advisory team. "When you have PCM in the walls of your homes you could switch [off] your heating or air-conditioning for extended period without having the indoor changing significantly."
Farid's research article, "Peak load shifting with energy storage and price-based control system," concludes that PCM-infused building materials could cut home energy costs significantly. The research was published last week in the journal Energy.
"Experimental results showed that using thermal storage material in conjunction with the proposed price-based control method can improve performance of these systems and lead to a successful peak load shifting," according the article's abstract. Based on New Zealand electricity rates, savings of up to 62.64 percent per day were achieved for the building applications.
But the cost of such materials remains a barrier.
"The cost of PCM needs to be reduced," Farid told the Herald. "And it must be used wisely to make it economical."