Researchers develop a new system that can lower room temperature in buildings

Researchers develop a new system that can lower room temperature in buildings
Credit: Saleh Haron

A team of researchers from Institut Teknologi Maju (ITMA), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has succeeded in inventing a new system, known as Nanotechnology for Encapsulation of Phase Change Material (NPCM) that can bring down room temperature in buildings, thus minimising the use of air-conditioning or heating systems, and saving electricity bill.

Head of research team, Prof. Dr. Mohd Zobir Hussein said the encapsulation technology could change material at nano-sized regime which is good for use as media.

"This NPCM method is the first of its kind in Malaysia that can absorb, store and release thermal heat when the surrounding where the material is located is above or below melting temperature.

"These properties allow the to store the thermal energy when it melts and releases the energy when it solidifies," he said.

"If it is used as passive or active building component, it can help in controlling the internal building temperature fluctuations which will result in thermal-comfort buildings.

"This will reduce dependency of building occupants to air conditioning or heating systems and , indirectly reducing carbon dioxide emission.

"NPCM can be incorporated into cement or paint as active insulation materials and apply to the ceilings or walls of the buildings," he told a Press Conference during 2016 ITMA Innovation Day.

He also said if it is incorporated into building components, it will not give any adverse effect to the structure integrity of the buildings.

Elaborating, he said a study showed that the surrounding temperature in Malaysia is getting increasingly hot, torrid and humid with heavy usage of air-conditioning system among the people and this, indirectly had contributed to the increase in electricity consumption.

"In addition, most modern buildings are developed using light weight building material technology with low thermal inertia or low thermal mass.

"This causes the internal to face large temperature fluctuations due to external heating or cooling load.

"The increasing demand for air-conditioning units will lead to further increase not only in electricity consumption but also cost of living," he said.

NPCM research which took about two years to be completed last year was carried out by four researchers, led by Prof. Dr Mohd Zobir. The other three researchers are Dr Tumirah Khadiran, Prof. Dr. Zulkarnain Zainal and Dr Rafeadah Rusli. The encapsulation technology is ready to be commercialized.


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Citation: Researchers develop a new system that can lower room temperature in buildings (2016, July 28) retrieved 19 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-07-room-temperature.html
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Aug 01, 2016
This can be bigger than at first sight. Having structures which capture and release heat stored in phase change materials can take the peak off the power systems in some cases.

An improved Trombe Wall?

Aug 06, 2016
I've often envisioned the simple idea of having homes and small offices built with a thick concrete spine down the middle. In a place like Florida, you cool it down at night (off peak) and "release the cool" during the day. Perhaps it has the capability of also accepting heat from a solar array. As a bonus, the heavy wall helps keep the house from blowing away in a hurricane. Of course, PCMs would be much more effective and less intrusively added to structures.

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