Can VIP be an alternative solution for energy retrofit for enhancing the thermal performance of wood-frame walls?

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Proceedings titleThermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings - 12th International Conference
Conference12th International Conference on Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings, December 1-5, 2013, Clearwater Beach, FL, USA
SubjectVacuum Insulation Panel (VIP); Thermal resistance; Thermal performance; Retrofit; Wood-frame wall systems; Energy savings.
AbstractField monitoring of the dynamic heat transmission characteristics of residential 2 × 6 wood-frame wall systems that had been retrofitted using vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) with glass fiber cores and extruded polystyrene foam (XPS) panels were undertaken in 2011-2012 at the Field Exposure of Walls Facility (FEWF) of the NRC Construction. The main objective of this research was to evaluate the steady-state and transient thermal performance of three wall assemblies (4 ft × 6 ft), two of which incorporated VIPs within an XPS tongue and groove (T&G) configuration and VIPs within an XPS clip-on (C-O) configuration, and a third assembly incorporating only XPS. The three wall assemblies were installed in the FEWF for one year cycle of exposure to outdoor natural weather conditions. The NRC's hygrothermal model, hygIRC-C, was validated against the measured data. Results showed that the model predictions were in good agreement with the experimental data. Given that the VIP could be punctured during the installation process (e.g., inadvertent use of fasteners in wall assembly) or may fail during normal operating conditions or due to imperfection during the manufacturing process, the numerical model was used to conduct parametric analyses in order to predict the thermal resistance (R-value) in cases where one or more VIPs failed. In the final phase of this study, the model was used to predict the yearly cumulative heat losses from the respective wall systems. It is important to point out that the aging effect and the effect of the thermal bridging due to the envelope (i.e., skin) of the VIPs are not accounted for in this study. However, sensitivity analysis of the thickness and thermal conductivity of the VIP envelope was conducted in this paper to investigate the effect of these parameters on the effective R-values of VIP. Results showed that the yearly cumulative heating loads for the XPS retrofit wall specimen was 69.9% and 78.8%, respectively, greater than that obtained for the T&G VIP retrofit wall specimen and the C-O VIP retrofit wall specimen. Furthermore, the results showed that the effect of the furred-airspace assembly in the C-O VIP retrofit wall specimen when the emissivity of all surfaces that bounded the airspace was assumed to be 0.9 resulted in a reduction in the yearly heating load by 5% compared to the T&G VIP retrofit wall specimen without furred-airspace.
Publication date
PublisherAmerican Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; Construction
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number23000483
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Record identifier3ed46ec6-234b-45dc-8844-2e6cb75e9d1f
Record created2016-07-25
Record modified2016-07-25
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