Verification and Validation of EnergyPlus Phase Change Material Model for Opaque Wall Assemblies

Paulo Cesar Tabares-Velasco, Craig Christensen, Marcus Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

312 Scopus Citations


Phase change materials (PCMs) represent a technology that may reduce peak loads and HVAC energy consumption in buildings. A few building energy simulation programs have the capability to simulate PCMs, but their accuracy has not been completely tested. This study shows the procedure used to verify and validate the PCM model in EnergyPlus using a similar approach as dictated by ASHRAE Standard 140, which consists of analytical verification, comparative testing, and empirical validation. This process was valuable, as two bugs were identified and fixed in the PCM model, and version 7.1 of EnergyPlus will have a validated PCM model. Preliminary results using whole-building energy analysis show that careful analysis should be done when designing PCMs in homes, as their thermal performance depends on several variables such as PCM properties and location in the building envelope.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)186-196
Number of pages11
JournalBuilding and Environment
StatePublished - 2012

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-54019


  • Building energy simulation
  • Building envelope
  • PCM
  • Phase change materials
  • Storage
  • Validation


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