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Thermal Model of Area and Edge Losses for Vacuum Insulation Panels Using Tensile Supports and a Stainless Steel Foil Exterior



Thermal models of a tensile vacuum insulation panel (VIP) with a 51 μm thick stainless steel exterior indicate that an R-value of 100/inch can be achieved while minimizing edge losses provided that the interior vacuum is kept below 10-3 Torr, and there are three aluminum black body radiation shields. A 0.5 inch thick VIP can be designed that has an R value of 50 in the center of the panel. The model assumes the panel is operated with an interior face at 21.1oC (70 oF) and an exterior face at either - 6.7oC (20oF) or 37.8oC (100oF) respectively. Those temperature differentials are referred to here as “cold” and “hot” and were chosen for comparison since they are representative of typical temperature extremes seen in Chicago [1]. The model covers heat transfer between the interior and exterior surfaces of a VIP by thermal conduction through the area and edge, black body radiation, and molecular transport

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