Building Simulation

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 481–495 | Cite as

Simulation-based analysis of the use of PCM-wallboards to reduce cooling energy demand and peak-loads in low-rise residential heavyweight buildings in Kuwait

  • Nelson SoaresEmail author
  • Christoph F. Reinhart
  • Ali Hajiah
Research Article Building Thermal, Lighting, and Acoustics Modeling


Between 2000 and 2015, annual electric peak demand in Kuwait has doubled to 15000 MW and the Ministry of Energy and Water expects this number to double once more by 2030 attributing 70% of this growth to new housing projects. Within this context, this manuscript evaluates the effect of incorporating PCM-wallboards in low-rise air-conditioned residential heavyweight buildings in Kuwait. Using an EnergyPlus single-zone model, a parametric study is performed considering several window-to-wall ratios (WWRs), different solar orientations and some PCM-wallboards configurations. The main study goals are to: (i) explore the validity of a single PCM-wallboard solution that can be universally applied throughout residential buildings in Kuwait; (ii) evaluate the impact of PCMwallboard on the reduction of both cooling demand and peak-loads; (iii) provide some guidelines for incorporating PCM-wallboards in Kuwait. Following an extensive parametric study, a 4 cm thick PCM-wallboard with a melting-peak temperature of 24 °C yielded the lowest annual cooling demand across a variety of room orientations and WWRs assuming cooling setpoint of 24 °C. Its implementation led to annual cooling energy savings of 4%–5% across all the case-studies. Regarding the impact throughout the year, cooling demand and peak-loads can be reduced by 5%–7% during summer months. The average daily cooling loads can be reduced by 5%–8%.


PCM-wallboards residential buildings hot arid climate cooling energy demand dynamic simulation 


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The first author acknowledges the support provided by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) through the PhD scholarship SFRH/BD/51640/2011 in the framework of the MIT-Portugal program, and the support provided by FEDER funds through the COMPETE 2020 (POCI), Portugal 2020 and FCT I.P. (PIDDAC)—project “PCMs4Buildings”, ref. POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016750 (FEDER) | PTDC/EMS-ENE/6079/2014 (FCT). This work further contributed to Signature Project 1, “Sustainability of Kuwait’s Built Environment,” that was administered by the Kuwait-MIT Center for Natural Resources and the Environment.


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nelson Soares
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Christoph F. Reinhart
    • 4
  • Ali Hajiah
    • 5
  1. 1.MIT-Portugal Program, EFS InitiativeUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.ADAI, LAETA, Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  3. 3.ISISE, Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  4. 4.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  5. 5.Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR)KuwaitKuwait

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