Numerical Asessment of The Thermal Performance of Structural Precast Panels

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Title: Numerical Asessment of The Thermal Performance of Structural Precast Panels
Authors: Keenehan, Jennifer
Concannon, Karen
Hajializadeh, Donya
McNally, Ciaran
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/4068
Date: 29-May-2012
Abstract: With the increasing cost of energy the need to provide energy efficient buildings continues to grow. In 2003 the EU introduced the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and this was enforced by all member states by 2006. The need to continually improve thermal performance has lead to member states implementing their own national initiatives, and from next year the National Standards Authority of Ireland will specify that all certified sandwich panel products comply with the incoming building regulations. The incoming building regulations stipulate that all sandwich panels achieve a U-value of 0.15 W/m2K, a reduction from the current value of 0.25 W/m2K. This is a significant challenge and requires that there be no significant heat loss through the panel. This paper presents the results of a collaborative project with a sandwich panel manufacturer whereby the thermal performance of a number of concrete panels was assessed. Each sandwich panel contained an inner concrete wythe of 150mm thickness, a 120mm layer of phenolic foam insulation and a 90mm thick outer layer of concrete. For structural reasons it is necessary to use connectors between the inner and outer concrete wythes, but these connectors have the potential to allow heat loss. In this study 2 connector types were used: 1 manufactured using FRP, the other with stainless steel. A control (non-structural) panel was manufactured containing no connectors. The thermal performance of each panel was assessed through experimental hot-box testing to determine U-values. This was complemented by a series of images taken using a thermal camera to show areas of heat loss. In addition the U-values were also determined using a theoretical numerical approach and a thermal finite element analysis (using MSC Patran) was conducted to determine the heat flux through the panel. The results showed that the connector type has a significant influence on the thermal performance of the sandwich panels, and that those containing steel connectors were not capable of providing the required U-value. The relative performance of the various panel types was consistent between analysis methods, as the finite element, the numerical and experimental approaches were in agreement. In addition, the heat losses observed through the thermal imaging camera were consistent with the heat losses predicted by the finite element analysis. It is proposed then that the use of numerical and finite element approaches has a valuable role in the design of thermally efficient sandwich panels. The experimental testing required is time consuming and requires significant effort. The analysis approach described above will make the design process more efficient and facilitate the construction of energy efficient buildings.
Type of material: Conference Publication
Copyright (published version): 2012, AFGC
Keywords: FEA;Concrete;Thermal performance;U-value
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Conference Details: Numerical Modeling Strategies for Sustainable Concrete Structures, Aix-en-Provence, France, May 29 - June 1, 2012
Appears in Collections:Civil Engineering Research Collection

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