The increasing energy demand for heating and cooling is leading to the development of new strategies for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Phase change materials applied on the building envelope can act as a heat modulation passive cooling strategy, reducing the energy requirement. An essential aspect for an effective application of PCM is the knowledge of its thermo-physical properties, namely heat conductivity, specific heat and latent heat. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is one of the most used techniques, but the characteristics of the sample necessary for the test make it unsuitable for all those inhomogeneous or composite materials for which a small sample may not be representative of their properties. Alternative and unconventional tests have been developed to overcome this limitation and estimate experimentally one or more thermal properties of a selected material. In the research presented here, a new low-cost experimental set up was developed for the experimental estimation of the thermal conductivity, the specific heat and the latent heat of a plaster containing granular phase change materials through both steady-state as well as unsteady-state tests. The estimated values were then used in the numerical modelling of the experimental set up. A good agreement in thermal response between the experimental and the simulated values validates the proposed experimental estimation method.CO 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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