NewMass - a new type of cooling system

New Mass

14/03/2012 Written by: Gill Sincock

Gideon Susman, who recently completed his engineering doctorate whilst working as a researcher at BuroHappold, debuted his inventive new PCM cooling system at the finals of this year’s Ecobuild Innovation Zone competition. So what is NewMass and how does it work?

NewMass - a phase change material (PCM) cooling system

What is NewMass?

A cutting edge, low-energy, passive cooling tube that uses phase change material (PCM) to absorb  excess heat within a room and chilled water to discharge the heat and provide additional cooling. Typical energy savings of around 35% are predicted.

How does NewMass work?

NewMass consists of aluminium finned tubes filled with PCM, which melts within a certain temperature range to absorb heat. This controls room temperature in the same way that melting ice controls the temperature of a glass of water.

As temperatures rise, warm air passes between the aluminium fins where the air is naturally cooled and sinks. The heat absorbed by the fins passes into the tube core where it melts paraffin wax. At night when the temperature drops, the stored heat is either expelled to cool night air or transferred to a chilled water circuit.

How will NewMass improve the future built environment?

Keeping building occupants cool accounts for an increasing proportion of global electricity use, with a particular demand in the retail sector. NewMass can cut the electricity required to keep people cool, maintaining both thermal comfort standards and reducing carbon. The distinctive finned tube design, which acts as a radiator in reverse, is fitted to the ceiling, raising awareness among occupants and customers.

How close is NewMass to market?

A prototype system has been tested in a custom built thermal chamber. Results revealed excellent temperature control potential and beneficial convection cycle in the air. Modelling, based on operation parameters, suggests around 35% energy savings. Component parts for mass manufacture have been identified. The next major task is to subject the system to full safety testing and seek manufacturing and distribution partners.

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