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In portrait

Manufacturer, developer and user – three expert opinions


Marco Schmidt

Technical Marketing for Micronal® PCM at BASF SE, co-developer of micro-encapsulated PCM systems for the building chemicals industry and manufacturers of building materials.

Microcapsules are a vehicle for integrating the physical effect of PCMs into any given building material. This technology opens up new possibilities for latent heat storage. Little additional work is involved when using this technology in buildings, however. The manufacturers of conventional building materials only need to make minimal changes to their products. The development of the first building materials such as gypsum boards, indoor plaster and aerated concrete will be followed in the near future by further innovations with PCMs. In the future, buildings will have to be able to compensate for the time difference between currently available (environmental) energy and the actual use of same. PCMs can serve as the link between heat supply and demand, particularly in lightweight constructions, in a particularly efficient manner.

Bruno Lüdemann

Imtech Deutschland R&D, Project Manager, Development and Optimisation of Energy-Efficient Systems for Building Services Technology, involved in the development of a PCM ventilation device and PCS storage devices.

Innovative storage technologies are a key technology in the optimisation of the efficiency of energy systems and the major-scale use of the time-delayed potential of environmental energy. Microencapsulated materials in the form of water-based slurries (PCSs) represent an alternative technology to already tried-and-tested applications. PCS technology is being used by Imtech in a pilot project for the cooling of machine tools in industry. The viability of PCM systems could be considerably increased by using significantly less expensive salt hydrates, or by developing more stable emulsions that promise a higher PCM concentration in water at lower costs when compared to slurries.

Rolf Disch

Managing Director of Solarsiedlung GmbH and Wirtschaftsverband Erneuerbare Energien Regio Freiburg; has worked for 40 years on the development of pioneering solutions for sustainable building such as the Plusenergiehaus® and the projects Heliotrop®, Solarsiedlung and Sonnenschiff.

The Plusenergiehaus designed by us combines energy efficiency and active and passive use of solar energy, and also benefits from activated building mass. PCM lightweight walls were used in the Sonnenschiff commercial development in Freiburg, and a high degree of thermal comfort was achieved in the office areas. However, measurements did not show up a causal relationship with the PCM material. This may be because the mass of the construction was already very large. PCM use is an option for lightweight construction types. In this way, the energy storage potential of solid structures can also be applied to wood and steel constructions. The comfort zone can be considerably improved by also employing night ventilation. With careful planning, additional cooling equipment may not even be necessary.

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