Design and performance of a novel concept vacuum insulation panel with a honeycomb plate-foil core

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Abstract

Reducing greenhouse emissions can be achieved by better insulating buildings. However, wall thickness increases significantly if conventional insulation materials are used. Conventional vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) offer a solution to this problem. VIPs have potential, but can not compete with conventional insulation materials due to their high pricing. A new concept vacuum insulation panel is introduced by the start-up company IQ-Bizz. To what extent this concept panel is a feasible alternative to conventional VIPs is the main research question of this thesis. The concept panel consists of two honeycomb plates, an intermediate foil and an MF2 panel envelope. The panel's geometry is chosen such that heat transfer through the panel is minimal and failure of the panel does not occur. Finite element models, verified by analytical calculations, have been used for evaluating the concept panel's structural and thermal performance. A thermal performance (R-value) of 6.23 m^2K/W is evaluated for a one-centimetre thick square panel with sides of one metre. Conventional VIPs of equal size have an R-value of 2.5 m^2K/W. The global warming potential of the concept is roughly 9 kg compared to 15 kg for conventional VIPs. A conventional VIP's price of roughly 21 euros is compared to the material costs of the concept panel of 8 euros. All performance parameters of the concept panel are higher compared to conventional VIPs. However, the concept panel's thermal performance is expected to be lower, and its environmental impact and price higher. Further research is required for a better evaluation of these performance parameters. Nevertheless, this thesis shows that the vacuum insulation panel concept has promising potential.