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17 Sep 2015
VIA 2015 © photo Colombe Clier

VIA 2015 © photo Colombe Clier

French designers are using phase change materials to create energy saving furniture.

We’ve been looking at integrating phase change materials into buildings for some time, however theZeroEnergyFurniture   programme has been looking at how to deliver energy savings at furniture scale rather than at building scale.

ZEF_table_PCM_EN
The Climatic Table is the first solution to be demonstrated.  This stylish table incorporates phase change material micro-beads sandwiched between a wood surface and a folded sheet of anodized aluminium.  The aluminium conducts heat to enable thermal exchange with the phase change material and its folded design provides structural support to increase the strength and load capacity of the table.

Phase change materials work by absorbing heat when room temperatures rise and releasing it as the temperature falls again.  In the ZeroEnergyFurniture programme the microencapsulated wax starts to melt once the room reaches 22°C and hardens as the room cools down, helping the room remain at a steady, comfortable temperature.

Further products are planned in the range and it will be interesting to see the feedback on the energy savings achieved and analysis of how designs can be optimised to deliver performance.

 

Images courtesy The Zero Energy Furniture Programme

Ali Nicholl
About the Author
Innovation Network Manager @BRE_Group helping companies to innovate within the built environment. All opinions my own.

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