Journal Article Development of Numerical Heat Transfer and the Structural Model to Design Slim and Translucent Vacuum Layer Type Insulation Panels to Retrofitting Insulation in Existing Buildings

Yang, Zhang  ,  Katsura, Takao  ,  Aihara, Masahiro  ,  Nakamura, Makoto  ,  Nagano, Katsunori

10 ( 12 )  , p.2108 , 2017-12 , MDPI
The authors develop slim and light-weight vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) by producing vacuum layers with spacers and plastic plates. The developed VIPs have the advantages of a low cost and easy installation, thus facilitating retrofitting insulation of existing buildings. In addition, one of the developed VIPs is slim and translucent so it can be easily used for windows in an internal installation. In this paper, the authors first propose a vacuum layer type slim translucent VIP and focus on a reasonable design method. Next, the authors introduce the design process in which the structural design is obtained with element mechanical analysis and a three-dimensional analysis is conducted for the VIP element. In the study, a heat transfer model is used to predict the insulation performance through finite element analysis (FEA). Subsequently, the authors perform an experiment to measure the thermal conductivity in a guarded hot plate apparatus to validate the performance prediction. Finally, case studies are performed to confirm how the different design conditions affect the insulation performance. The optimum design of the vacuum layer type slim and translucent VIP will have a sufficient structural strength to hold and maintain the vacuum layer. The thermal conductivity is approximately 0.007 W/(m.K), which can effectively improve the insulation performance in applications.

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