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Storage LCA tool: A tool for the investigation of the environmental potential of innovative storage systems in buildings

: Bari, R. di; Horn, R.


Albrecht, S.:
Progress in Life Cycle Assessment 2019
Cham: Springer Nature, 2021 (Sustainable Production, Life Cycle Engineering and Management)
ISBN: 978-3-030-50518-9 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-030-50519-6 (Online)
ISBN: 978-3-030-50520-2
ISBN: 978-3-030-50521-9
Book Article
Fraunhofer IBP ()

With increasing energy performance requirements of buildings, new solutions and materials for thermal energy storage have been recently developed. In this regard, phase change materials (PCMs) proved to provide a good energetic performance, but their environmental potentials are still debated. In this work, a tool for environmental performance evaluation of PCM storage systems is presented. On the basis of a comprehensive collection of data coming from PCM producers, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analyses are carried out on material level. The integration of building energy simulations allows analyses on higher levels (component and building level). Afterwards, through comparisons among different systems the tool supports decision-making and enables optimization of PCMs storage system depending on location, building type, insulation level, and components specifications. Results proved that, despite their energy saving potentials, PCM storage systems showed not always a good environmental performance over the whole lifecycle. Main drivers are impacts from material production processes and low recycling rates. Thus, the development of such energy supply and storage concepts considering environmental life cycles has to be encouraged.