Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 134, Issue 3, pp 1757–1763 | Cite as

An improved heat transfer model for building phase change material wallboard

  • Xing Jin
  • Huoyan Hu
  • Xing Shi
  • Xin Zhou
  • Liu Yang
  • Yonggao Yin
  • Xiaosong Zhang


For improving the accuracy of the effective heat capacity model and increasing the computing speed of the enthalpy model, an improved numerical model for phase change material wallboard was proposed in the research. This improved model was expected to combine the advantages of the enthalpy model and the effective heat capacity model. This improved model was firstly validated by the literature results, and then it was compared with the enthalpy model and the effective heat capacity model. Based on the simulation results from the improved model, it was concluded that the accuracy of this improved model was the same as the enthalpy model and higher than that of the effective heat capacity model. In addition, the computing speed of this improved model was much higher than that of the enthalpy model because of its much lower number of iterations.


Improved numerical model Heat transfer Phase change material Wallboard 

List of symbols


Specific heat capacity/kJ kg−1 K−1


Time step size/s


Space step size/m


Enthalpy/kJ kg−1


Space node


Time node


Heat of fusion/kJ kg−1


Number of space nodes


Number of iterations






Temperature value when enthalpy is 0 kJ kg−1


Center point temperature value of phase change temperature range



Greek symbols




Half of phase change temperature range


Density/kg m−3


Thermal conductivity/W m−1 K−1














This research was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China under Grant No. 2016YFC0700102, the Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 51308104, and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.


  1. 1.
    Jeon J, Lee JH, Seo J, Jeong SG, Kim S. Application of PCM thermal energy storage system to reduce building energy consumption. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2013;111:279–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sun Q, Yuan Y, Zhang H, Cao X, Sun L. Thermal properties of polyethylene glycol/carbon microsphere composite as a novel phase change material. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2017;130:1741–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jin X, Shi D, Medina MA, Shi X, Zhou X, Zhang X. Optimal location of PCM layer in building walls under Nanjing (China) weather conditions. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2017;129:1767–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lorwanishpaisarn N, Kasemsiri P, Posi P, Chindaprasirt P. Characterization of paraffin/ultrasonic-treated diatomite for use as phase change material in thermal energy storage of buildings. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2017;128:1293–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tyagi VV, Pandey AK, Kothari R, Tyagi SK. Thermodynamics and performance evaluation of encapsulated PCM-based energy storage systems for heating application in building. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2014;115:915–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kumar KRS, Kalaiselvam S. Experimental investigations on the thermophysical properties of CuO-palmitic acid phase change material for heating applications. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2017;129:1647–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zhang Y, Lin K, Jiang Y, Zhou G. Thermal storage and nonlinear heat-transfer characteristics of PCM wallboard. Energy Build. 2008;40:1771–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ye W. Enhanced latent heat thermal energy storage in the double tubes using fins. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2017;128:533–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ye W. Melting process in a rectangular thermal storage cavity heated from vertical walls. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2016;123:873–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mankibi ME, Zhai Z, Al-Saadi SN, Zoubir A. Numerical modeling of thermal behaviors of active multi-layer living wall. Energy Build. 2015;92:374–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Chow T, Lyu Y. Numerical analysis on the advantage of using PCM heat exchanger in liquid-flow window. Appl Therm Eng. 2017;125:1218–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Xiao X, Zhang P. Numerical and experimental study of heat transfer characteristics of a shell-tube latent heat storage system: Part I—charging process. Energy. 2015;79:337–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jin X, Hu H, Shi X, Zhou X, Yang L, Yin Y, Zhang X. A new heat transfer model of phase change material based on energy asymmetry. Appl Energy. 2018;212:1409–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Zhou D, Shire GSF, Tian Y. Parametric analysis of influencing factors in Phase Change Material Wallboard (PCMW). Appl Energy. 2014;119:33–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Copertaro B, Principi P, Fioretti R. Thermal performance analysis of PCM in refrigerated container envelopes in the Italian context-Numerical modeling and validation. Appl Therm Eng. 2016;102:873–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jin X, Medina MA, Zhang X. Numerical analysis for the optimal location of a thin PCM layer in frame walls. Appl Therm Eng. 2016;103:1057–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Singh SP, Bhat V. Performance evaluation of dual phase change material gypsum board for the reduction of temperature swings in a building prototype in composite climate. Energy Build. 2018;159:191–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Voller V, Cross M. Accurate solutions of moving boundary problems using the enthalpy method. Int J Heat Mass Transfer. 1981;24:545–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Al-Saadi SN, Zhai Z. Modeling phase change materials embedded in building enclosure: a review. Renew Sustain Energy Rev. 2013;21:659–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kuznik F, Johannes K, Franquet E, Zalewski L, Gibout S, Tittelein P, Dumas JP, David D, Bédécarrats JP, Lassue S. Impact of the enthalpy function on the simulation of a building with phase change material wall. Energy Build. 2016;126:220–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Biswas K, Lu J, Soroushian P, Shrestha S. Combined experimental and numerical evaluation of a prototype nano-PCM enhanced wallboard. Appl Energy. 2014;131:517–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ling H, Chen C, Wei S, Guan Y, Ma C, Xie G, Li N, Chen Z. Effect of phase change materials on indoor thermal environment under different weather conditions and over a long time. Appl Energy. 2015;140:329–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Thiele AM, Liggett RS, Sant G, Pilon L. Simple thermal evaluation of building envelopes containing phase change materials using a modified admittance method. Energy Build. 2017;145:238–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hu Z, Li A, Gao R, Yin H. Enhanced heat transfer for PCM melting in the frustum-shaped unit with multiple PCMs. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2015;120:1407–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ye W, Zhu D, Wang N. Fluid flow and heat transfer in a latent thermal energy unit with different phase change material (PCM) cavity volume fractions. Appl Therm Eng. 2012;42:49–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Guarino F, Athienitis A, Cellura M, Bastien D. PCM thermal storage design in buildings: Experimental studies and applications to solaria in cold climates. Appl Energy. 2017;185:95–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Borderon J, Virgone J, Cantin R. Modeling and simulation of a phase change material system for improving summer comfort in domestic residence. Appl Energy. 2015;140:288–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Jin X, Hu H, Shi X, Zhou X, Zhang X. Comparison of two numerical heat transfer models for phase change material board. Appl Therm Eng. 2018;128:1331–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Solomon AD. An easily computable solution to a two-phase Stefan problem. Sol Energy. 1979;23:525–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ArchitectureSoutheast UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Urban and Architectural Heritage Conservation (Southeast University)Ministry of EducationNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of Energy and EnvironmentSoutheast UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations