Skip to main content

Potential of Coconut Oil for Temperature Regulation in Tropical Houses

The use of a thermal mass is a well-known technology for conditioning the indoor thermal environment in tropical houses. Architects and builders generally used heavy-weight building materials, such as concrete and bricks, for walls and floors to ensure thermal comfort of rooms; however, it is difficult to make a good composition of thermal masses that can result in thermally comfortable conditions. This paper discusses the potential of coconut oils (co_oil) as an indoor thermal energy storage (TES) material for improving the thermal performance of rooms in addition to the existing thermal masses used in tropical houses in Bandung, Indonesia. Co_oil is a very promising organic phase-change material (PCM) due to its high thermal capacity storage in sensible and latent phases. In this paper, the application of co_oil for temperature regulation is considered in the light of two important aspects, such as the use of addition of a co_oil mass and the effect of room air circulation. The role of PCM in the form of co_oil as a TES material to regulate indoor air temperature is reported.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. O. M. Eludoyin, A perspective of the diurnal aspect of thermal comfort in Nigeria, Atmos. Clim. Sci., 4, No. 4, 696–709 (2014).

  2. S. V Szokolay and R. Tenorio, Energy saving in tropical climates and house design for dual mode of operation, in: Proc. PLEA 2002Passive and Low Energy Architecture Conf., July 22–24, 2002, Toulouse, pp. 661–666.

  3. V. V. Tyagi and D. Buddhi, PCM thermal storage in buildings: A state of art, Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev., 11, No. 6, 1146–1166 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. T. Winter, An uncomfortable truth: Air-conditioning and sustainability in Asia, Environ. Plan. A, 45, 517–531 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. L. Agbemabiese, K. Jr. Berko, and P. du Pont, Air conditioning in the tropics: Cool comfort or cultural conditioning? in: Proc. Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, 1996, Washington, pp. 1–9.

  6. C. A. Balaras, The role of thermal mass on the cooling load of buildings. An overview of computational methods, Energy Build., 24, No. 1, 1–10 (1996).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. P. K. Latha, Y. Darshana, and V. Venugopal, Role of building material in thermal comfort in tropical climates — A review, J. Build. Eng., 3, No. 8, 104–113 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. J. Zhou, G. Zhang, Y. Lin, and Y. Li, Coupling of thermal mass and natural ventilation in buildings, Energy Build., 40, No. 6, 979–986 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. S. V. G. Goulart, Thermal Inertia and Natural VentilationOptimization of Thermal Storage as a Cooling Technique for Residential Buildings in Southern Brazil, Ph.D. Thesis, Open University of Brazil, 2004.

  10. H. Asan, Numerical computation of time lags and decrement factors for different building materials, Build. Environ., 41, 615–620 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. S. T. Elias-Ozkan, F. Summers, and N. Surmeli, A comparative study of the thermal performance of building materials, in: Proc. PLEA 2006Passive and Low Energy Architecture Conf., September 6–8, 2006, Geneva.

  12. X. Jin, X. Zhang, Y. Cao, and G. Wang, Thermal performance evaluation of the wall using heat flux time lag and decrement factor, Energy Build., 47, 369–374 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. S. Wonorahardjo, New concepts in districts planning based on heat island investigation, Proc. Soc. Behav. Sci., 36, 235–242 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. E. Obonyo, J. Exelbirt, and M. Baskaran, Durability of compressed earth bricks: Assessing erosion resistance using the modified spray testing, Sustainability, 2, 3639–3649 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. G. Cultrone, E. Sebastián, and M. Ortega Huertas, Durability of masonry systems: A laboratory study, Constr. Build. Mater., 21, 40–51 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. A. Brencich and E. Sterpi, Compressive strength of solid clay brick masonry: Calibration of experimental tests and theoretical issues, in: Proc. Conf. on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions, New Delhi (2006), ISBN 972-8692-27-7.

  17. L. G. Socaciu, Thermal energy storage with phase change material, Leonardo Electron. J. Pract. Technol., 11, No. 20, 75–98 (2012).

    Google Scholar 

  18. Y. B. Seong and J. H. Lim, Energy saving potentials of phase change materials applied to lightweight building envelopes, Energies, 6, No. 10, 5219–5230 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. A. Kemajou, L. Mba, and G. P. Mbou, Energy efficiency in air-conditioned buildings of the tropical humid climate, IJRRAS, 11, No. 2, 235–240 (2012).

    Google Scholar 

  20. F. Kuznik, D. David, K. Johannes, and J. J. Roux, A review on phase change materials integrated in building walls, Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev., 15, No. 1, 379–391 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. A. Sharma, V. V. Tyagi, C. R. Chen, and D. Buddhi, Review on thermal energy storage with phase change materials and applications, Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev., 13, No. 2, 318–345 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. K. Cavanaugh and J. F. Speck, Guide to Thermal Properties of Concrete and Masonry Systems, Reported by ACI Committee 122 (2002).

  23. M. D. T. O. H. Aque and S. A. A. Lam, Measuring specific heat of normal strength concrete and the comparison of the specific heat with different types of concrete, Int. J. Adv. Struct. Geotech. Eng., 2, No. 2, 4–11 (2013).

  24. E. S. Mettawee and A. I. Ead, Energy saving in building with latent heat storage, Int. J. Therm. Environ. Eng., 5, No. 1, 21–30 (2013).

    Google Scholar 

  25. S. Wonorahardjo, I. M. Sutjahja, D. Kurnia, Z. Fahmi, and W. A. Putri, Potential of thermal energy storage using coconut oil for air temperature control, Buildings, 8, 1–16 (2018).

  26. B. Zalba, J. M. Marín, L. F. Cabeza, and H. Mehling, Review on thermal energy storage with phase change: materials, heat transfer analysis and applications, Appl. Therm. Eng., 23, 251–283 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. A. Wilson, Thermal Storage Wall Design Manual, Modern Press, Albuquerque (1979).

    Google Scholar 

  28. S. K. Ansah, Minimization of heat gains in buildings: The case of domestic buildings in Cape Coast Metropolis — Ghana, Int. J. Develop. Sustain., 1, No. 3, 994–1007 (2012).

    Google Scholar 

  29. R. Walsh, P. Kenny, and V. Brophy, Thermal Mass and Sustainable Building, Irish Concrete Federation, Dublin (2006).

    Google Scholar 

  30. A. Ghoreishi, Assessment of Thermal Mass Property for Energy Efficiency and Thermal Comfort in Concrete Office Buildings, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2015).

  31. D. E. Selangor, B. Sciences, and U. Putra, Physico-chemical properties of virgin coconut oil extracted from different processing methods, Int. Food Res. J., 19, No. 3, 837–845 (2012).

    Google Scholar 

  32. T. Tipvarakarnkoon, R. Blochwitz, and B. Senge, Rheological properties and phase change behaviors of coconut fats and oils, Ann. Trans. Nordic Rheol. Soc., 16, 159–166 (2008).

    Google Scholar 

  33. Applent Instrument AT 4508A Multichannel Temperature Meter, in: User′s Guide, Applent Instruments Inc, Dangnan Industrial Park, Tianing District, Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China (2009).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to S. Wonorahardjo.

Additional information

Published in Inzhenerno-Fizicheskii Zhurnal, Vol. 92, No. 1, pp. 84–92, January–February, 2019.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Wonorahardjo, S., Sutjahja, I.M. & Kurnia, D. Potential of Coconut Oil for Temperature Regulation in Tropical Houses. J Eng Phys Thermophy 92, 80–88 (2019).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • temperature regulation
  • thermal energy storage
  • coconut oil
  • building component