American Journal of Mechanical Engineering
ISSN (Print): 2328-4102 ISSN (Online): 2328-4110 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/ajme Editor-in-chief: Kambiz Ebrahimi, Dr. SRINIVASA VENKATESHAPPA CHIKKOL
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American Journal of Mechanical Engineering. 2015, 3(3), 72-78
DOI: 10.12691/ajme-3-3-1
Open AccessArticle

The Role of Thermal Mass in a U.S. Prototypical Residential House

Peizheng Ma1, and Nianhua Guo2

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, United States

2Department of Asian and Asian American Studies, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, United States

Pub. Date: May 18, 2015

Cite this paper:
Peizheng Ma and Nianhua Guo. The Role of Thermal Mass in a U.S. Prototypical Residential House. American Journal of Mechanical Engineering. 2015; 3(3):72-78. doi: 10.12691/ajme-3-3-1

Abstract

Thermal mass is important for controlling temperature in buildings. This paper systematically investigates the roles of exterior and interior thermal mass (eTM/iTM) in a U.S. prototypical residential house. A resistor-capacitor (RC) model of the house is built in Matlab/Simulink. Simulation results show that, with normal amount of iTM in a wood-envelope house, changing the wood thickness in a reasonable range can keep the operative temperature variation in 2.1-3.4 °C; correspondingly, in a concrete-envelope house, the variation is in 0.9-1.9 °C. With constant envelope total thermal resistance, adequate iTM and sufficient heat exchange rate between iTM and indoor air are both necessary to maintain the operative temperature variation in a small range. It shows that concrete as iTM has a better control on operative temperature than wood, and thus from the point of view of heat storage, concrete is better than wood as thermal mass due to its larger heat capacity.

Keywords:
building energy modeling RC model thermal mass residential house heat transfer heat storage

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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