Phase Change: The Future of Efficiency
A new breed of material can absorb and release heat, mimicking thermal mass and potentially helping to close the ‘energy loop’ for light-weight construction techniques.
PCMs are relatively new to the construction industry, although research started in the USA in the early 1940s, focused on developing affordable products that act at useful temperatures. There are now various types of PCM, mostly based on paraffin or a salt hydrate. All are capable of absorbing and emitting heat with a comparitively small temperature change, typically 18ºC to 24ºC.
It may be that PCMs are the final component, providing the thermal mass necessary for really efficient homes
Tim Pullen of Homebuilding & Renovation Magazine reports in the June 2013 edition, featuring PCM products from Datum Phase Change Ltd.