Spectral and angular solar properties of a PCM-filled double glazing unit
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonEnergy and Buildings. 2015, 87 (1), 302-312. 10.1016/j.enbuild.2014.11.019
Background Phase change materials (PCMs) have been proposed as a means to increase the thermal inertia of glazing systems. These materials have optical features that need to be investigated and characterised in order to better understand the potential of these systems and to provide reliable data for numerical simulations. Methods The spectral and angular behaviour of different PCM glazing samples, characterised by different thicknesses of PCMs, were investigated by means of commercial spectrophotometer and by means of a dedicated optical test bed that includes a large integrating sphere with a diameter of 0.75 m. Such equipment was necessary because of the highly diffusive behaviour of the PCM layer when in the solid state of aggregation. Results The paper provides a data set of luminous and solar properties of glazing units with PCMs in gaps; the data set uses results from an advanced optical facility that overcomes the intrinsic limitations of commercial spectrophotometers in measuring the optical properties of the advanced transparent materials. In detail, transmittance, reflectance and absorptance spectra of double glazing units characterised by different PCM layer thicknesses in the gap, measured at different incident beam angles, are reported. Integrated values calculated according to relevant international standards are thus provided. Optical features of PCM glazing systems are also highlighted and issues related to the integration of these systems in buildings are discussed.