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Passive (Energy Related) Product of the Year

RACUS® Ceiling Tile, Datum Phase Change

RACUS® – Reducing Air Conditioning Units & Systems – is a passive suspended ceiling tile incorporating a bio-based phase change material (bio-PCM) made from the oil from the soya plant and fatty acids. This is the world’s first bio-based PCM ceiling tile that absorbs, stores and releases excessive latent heat gains to promote indoor comfort for occupants and also reduce the energy demand of HVAC systems.

Phase change materials store energy in a latent form, undergoing an endothermic process to store heat energy when ambient temperature rises and an exothermic process to release this energy when the temperature drops. In building applications, these processes occur within a narrow temperature range close to the human comfort temperature with large amounts of heat being absorbed and released.

During the transition phases, the core of the microcapsule will melt as the room temperature reaches the transition temperature and in doing so will absorb latent heat where it will be stored until such time that the room temperature cools to around 20°C.

The RACUS ceiling tile was developed for new and retrofit building projects and is manufactured in two formats: a preformed mineral tile incorporating various abundant minerals which
encapsulate the bio-PCM microcapsules; and a metal ceiling tile which is predominantly used in commercial buildings and is a composite panel assembly comprising of a solid or acoustic metal tile with an insert. It uses an organic microencapsulated phase change material that has twice the heat storage capacity of alternatives, and is the only bio-PCM available that biodegrades within 12 months.

The tile has been installed at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, where the product has contributed to significant energy savings, as well as at Ofcom's head office and Great Ormond Street Hospital.


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