Thermal characterization of bio-based phase changing materials in decorative wood-based panels for thermal energy storage
Decorative wood panels containing pouches of bio-based phase changing materials (PCMs) were prepared. Three different PCM mixtures were used: a blend of capric and lauric acids as well as two commercial products, Puretemp®20 and Puretemp®23 (Puretemp). The panels consist of engraved Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) filled with a plastic pouch filled with PCM. High density fiberboard (HDF) was used on top of the panels to enclose the PCM pouches. PCM mixtures were first tested by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Phase change temperature and total heat storage of the panels were measured for both fusion and solidification with a Dynamic Heat-Flow Meter Apparatus (DHFMA). DSC and DHFMA results were compared, allowing a better understanding of results gathered from these two techniques. DSC calibration has been revealed important when assessing PCMs. The panels present a phase change temperature and a latent heat storage suitable for buildings applications. The panel made with Puretemp®23 presented the highest energy, with 57.1 J/g. Thermal cycling was conducted on the panels to investigate thermal reliability, which revealed small modifications of thermal properties for two products. For all cases, latent heat was found stable. Hygro-mechanical behavior of the panels was also evaluated as these where designed to be aesthetic decorative panels. This study exposes the potential of a new type of wood-based panels loaded with PCM for thermal energy storage and brings overall knowledge about PCM products thermal characterization.