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This paper demonstrates a theoretical argument that straw bale walls have a substantial thermal inertia potential based on wall thickness, heat conductivity, mass density, and specific heat capacity. Several different types of wall materials are compared with regard to these factors, and a ratio of wall thickness to penetration depth is established showing the heat storage potential of the different wall types. The data analyzed for straw bales are taken from previously published literature and contain a wide range of values for the thermophysical properties. From these data, a range of values are calculated for straw bales. Even at the low end, the thermal inertia potential for straw bales is comparable in value to adobe, compacted straw boards, and wood log construction.

AUTHOR: Francisco Arumí-Noé, Kathryn Hamilton
CITATION: Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Buildings VII
KEYWORDS: December, Florida, 1998
YEAR: 1998