Review on building energy performance improvement using phase change materials

Mengjie Song, Fuxin Niu, Ning Mao, Yanxin Hu, Shiming Deng

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

216 Citations (Scopus)


Confronted with the crises of the growing resource shortages and continued deterioration of the environment, building energy performance improvement using phase change materials has received much attention in recent years. This review work provides an update on recent developments, 2004 ∼ 2017, in phase change materials used to optimize building envelope and equipment. Firstly, a review of building envelope optimization methods by integrating surrounding wall, roof, and floor with phase change materials, is given. This is followed by reporting articles on building equipment optimized with phase change materials to reduce regular energy consumption. Series of air cooling, heating, and ventilation systems coupled with thermal energy storage were comparatively investigated. Finally, the existing gaps in the research works on energy performance improvement with phase change materials were identified, and recommendations offered as authors’ viewpoints in 5 aspects. It was also found that the phase change temperature range of PCMs used was changed from 10 ∼ 39 °C for envelope to −15.4 ∼ 77 °C for equipment. We believe this comprehensive review might provide an overview of the analytical tools for scholars, engineers, developers, and policy designers, and shed new light on the designing and performance optimization for PCMs used in building envelope and equipment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-793
Number of pages18
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Building envelope
  • Building equipment
  • Energy performance
  • Phase change material
  • Thermal comfort
  • Thermal energy storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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