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TermoDeck, a way to energy efficiency, says Eco-Structures

The effectiveness of a building’s thermal mass is enhanced, when the concrete floor slab is utilised for energy storage, says Director, Eco-Structures International

| | Feb 3, 2019 | 2:32 pm
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Dubai, UAE, 3 February 2019: In the GCC region, ACs consume 70% of available power capacity, making them the largest single consumer of energy, driving investment in hydrocarbon extraction, processing and import, asserted Dr Ghassan Al Nimry, Director, Eco-Structures International, while highlighting the benefits of TermoDeck, Eco-structure’s energy-saving solution. Elaborating, he said, “Over the next five years, a further ~70GW of power (costing USD 140 billion) is required to exclusively meet the demand for AC, with LNG feedstock costing USD 25-30 billion/year.” Reducing the installed AC capacity on new builds by 50%, he said, creates an effective demand-side and supply-side management strategy, which extends along the entire energy value chain. On a national scale, he added, it also contributes to savings in capital and recurring operating costs, which exceed USD 10’s of billions.

Explaining how TermoDeck works, Nimry said, “TermoDeck saves energy by storing energy (coolth) in concrete slabs during off-peak periods, such that the slabs can then absorb surplus energy during peak times and radiate coolth, thus, reducing the installed AC capacity and the total amount of energy needed to cool a building.” Every single unit of cooling energy is now able to cool a larger space (from the average 16-25 m2/TR for conventional AC to TermoDeck’s 35-70+ m2/TR), he said. Elaborating further, he said, TermoDeck provides a large component of cooling during off-peak times (when ambient conditions are more favourable for cooling and when internal loads are lower compared to the daytime peak) and chiller efficiency is higher (higher annual chiller COP), so the amount of energy required/ consumed and cooling efficiency is improved.

In addition, elaborating on the benefits of integrating the TermoDeck system into the concrete structure, while using building structural mass to regulate internal temperature, Nimry said, “The effectiveness of the building’s thermal mass is enhanced by passing supply air through the slab even before it enters the room.” The slabs, he added, work as a heat exchanger between the supply air and the rooms. “As a result,” he said, “the effectiveness of the building’s thermal mass is enhanced as the whole concrete floor slab can be utilised for energy storage.” The reason is that the supply air is cooling it from the inside, therefore, the total surface of the cores exposed to the supply air is very big, he said. The concrete slab can effectively be cooled overnight and dissipates the surplus heat generated from people, lighting, computers, solar radiation, etc., that is stored during the daytime, he said. There is no risk of overcooling the room as the cold supply air is cooling the slab and, therefore, heated up before entering the room, he said, adding that during cold periods, this stored heat is used to keep the building warm overnight and the concrete floors, thus, act as an energy store. Elaborating, he said, “All this energy that has been stored in the slabs during the daytime can be removed during the night.” He added that this leads to a saving in installed cooling capacity by approximately 50%.

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