Energy performance and optimal control of air-conditioned buildings with envelopes enhanced by phase change materials
Studies are conducted to investigate the impacts of shape-stabilized phase change material (SSPCM) and different control strategies on the energy consumption and peak load demand as well as electricity cost of building air-conditioning systems at typical summer conditions in two climates (subtropical and dry continental climates). An office building using a typical variable air volume (VAV) air-conditioning system was selected and simulated as the reference building in this study. Its envelopes were enhanced by integrating the SSPCM layers into its walls while the air-conditioning system and other configurations of the building remained unchanged. The building system was tested under two typical weather conditions and two typical electricity pricing policies (i.e. time-based pricing and energy-plus-demand-based pricing).Test results show that the use of SSPCM in the building could reduce the building electricity cost significantly (over 11% in electricity cost reduction and over 20% in peak load reduction), under two pricing policies by using load shifting control and demand limiting control respectively. This paper presents the test results and the evaluation on the energy performance and the optimal control strategies of air-conditioned commercial buildings with envelopes enhanced by SSPCM.