ORNL prints concrete wall that saves on air conditioning

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers demonstrated that cooling cost savings could be achieved with a 3D-printed concrete smart wall following a three-month field test.

According to an ORNL news release, the team used data from the five-foot by eight-foot wall installed in an ORNL conference room and predictive modeling to estimate performance in the Southeastern United States climate zone during summer months. The modeling indicated a full deployment would show an 8% savings with the potential to save even more.

Embedded with pipes that carry chilled water to lower its temperature, the wall transfers coolness stored within the occupied space when needed. Data gathered included energy efficiency, costs, resilience and overall performance in reducing electricity demand without compromising the occupant’s comfort.

“Preliminary analysis shows this prototype wall has a potential to save energy and reduce peak demand,” ORNL’s Piljae Im stated in the release. “Future modeling analysis will include increasing the wall’s cooling capacity and analyzing savings potential in different climate zones.”

Source: The Oak Ridger

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Published October 7, 2021