Reduced-Scale Hot Box Method for Thermal Characterization of Window Insulation Materials
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionApplied Thermal Engineering. 2019, 160 1-8. 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2019.114026
Highly transparent and low thermal conductivity materials have attracted great interest for the applications in window insulation in recent years. Accurate characterization of the thermal properties including thermal transmittance (U-value) and thermal conductivity of window insulation materials is very important for developing next-generation materials. The conventional hot box method, which is commonly used to measure the U-values of building materials, requires sample sizes > 1.0 m2 to minimize the influence of parasitic heat loss on the measurement accuracy. This characterization challenge hinders the development of novel window materials which are not yet available for large-scale deployment. To address this issue, a reduced-scale hot box system (RHS) was designed to measure both the U-value and the thermal conductivity of specimens that can be more readily made, with sizes < 0.2 m × 0.2 m. The developed reduced-scale hot box system has a very simple testing system and can avoid the challenging thermal insulation requirement of the conventional hot box. The fast turnaround of the reduced-scale hot box system can help facilitate the development of novel insulating materials for energy-efficient windows.