A review on the air-PCM-TES application for free cooling and heating in the buildings

Muriel Iten, Shuli Liu, Ashish Shukla

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174 Citations (Scopus)
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Thermal energy storage (TES) technologies incorporating phase change materials (PCM) are proving viable option for achieving energy efficiency economically in the buildings. This paper reviews the application of air-PCM-TES studies and technologies for the free cooling and heating of buildings. TES in general and air-PCM-TES in particular are discussed in this review. An extensive investigation on air-PCM-TES systems has been undertaken through passive and active methods and the advantages and disadvantages for each, are detailed. The thermal performances of these systems have been investigated through experimental and numerical approaches and listed in this paper. Passive methods e.g. use of PCMs in the building envelope present difficulty of exchanging a high rate of heat and therefore unsuitable for extreme climate. Therefore, active methods are adopted for extreme climates to meet the demand. Overall, when the right method is applied, air-PCM-TES systems have shown to be effectively providing free cooling and heating of the buildings through auxiliary sources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Phase change materials (PCM)
  • Thermal energy storage (TES)
  • Free cooling and heating


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