Effect of phase change materials (PCMs) integrated into a concrete block on heat gain prevention in a hot climate

Ahmad Hasan, Khaled A. Al-Sallal, Hamza Alnoman, Yasir Rashid, Shaimaa Abdelbaqi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


In the current study, a phase change material (PCM) contained in an insulated concrete block is tested in extremely hot weather in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to evaluate its cooling performance. An insulated chamber is constructed behind the block containing PCM to mimic a scaled down indoor space. The effect of placement of the PCM layer on heat gain indoors is studied at two locations: adjacent to the outer as well as the inner concrete layer. The inclusion of PCM reduced heat gain through concrete blocks compared to blocks without PCM, yielding a drop in cooling load indoors. The placement of PCM and insulation layers adjacent to indoors exhibited better cooling performance compared to that adjacent to the outdoors. In the best case, a temperature drop of 8.5% and a time lag of 2.6 h are achieved in peak indoor temperature, rendering a reduction of 44% in the heat gain. In the tested hot climate, the higher ambient temperature and the lower wind speed hampered heat dissipation and PCM re-solidification by natural ventilation. The findings recommend employing a mechanical ventilation in hot climates to enhance regeneration of the PCM to solid state for its optimal performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1009
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 10 2016


  • Air infiltration
  • Building insulations
  • Decrement factor
  • Phase change material
  • Thermal management
  • Time lag

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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