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Present trends on solar thermal systems for building integration define the need of integrated solar technologies for façades. The integration of solar systems in façades allows for the direct connection of solar systems to heated spaces, and automated air solar collectors based on the trombe-mitchell provide a suitable technology for its adoption in multi-rise buildings with decentralized-individual HVAC systems in Central-European and Mediterranean heating dominated climates.
Solar walls can be used to increase the overall energy efficiency of a building. Phase Change Materials (PCM) are capable of increasing the effective thermal mass of building elements, thus improving the overall energy consumption. Recently, the incorporation of PCM in a solar wall has been proposed, aiming to increase the total energy efficiency of the system. The main scope of this work is to investigate the thermal behaviour of a PCM-enhanced solar wall (PCMESW), using experimental and numerical simulation techniques. A prototype PCMESW is installed in the Kubik by Tecnalia test facility, a full scale test building for the experimentation in energy efficiency and architectural systems. Being an outdoor test environment, the PCMESW prototype was exposed to dynamically changing climate conditions. A broad range of sensors, used to monitor the time-evolution of several important physical parameters, is employed to assess the dynamic response of the PCMESW. In addition, a Computational Fluid Dynamics tool is used to numerically investigate the thermal behaviour of the PCMESW prototype. Predictions of the developing flow- and thermal-field in the PCMESW's air cavity are validated by means of comparison with the obtained measurements; in general, good levels of agreement are observed. Results of the numerical simulations may support the design optimization process of innovative PCMESW systems.