M-Value: What is it?
For years the insulation industry has been synonymous with R-Value, a rating system that relates to “Thermal Resistance”. Depending on your climate zone and local weather patterns, your local building codes are designed to make sure that any structure being built in the region is up-to-date with modern building advancements to make it as energy efficient as possible.
This process considers the cost of such improvements as well as the ROI of these improvements. In a typical southern home for example, one might find a building code rating of R-19 in the outside walls and R-23 overhead.
This R Rating system is now the industry standard for insulation. That being said, industry leaders in the phase change industry have taken it upon themselves to set an international standard for phase change materials. When phase change materials are added to a structure, the resulting improvement is in the form of “Thermal Mass”. This characteristic of a structure relates to the ability of the structure to maintain its desired temperature. This can also be referred to as “smart thermal massTM” in that it seeks to maintain a set temperature as opposed to the average temperature of the day, as most thermal mass tends toward. In determining the M-Value, products are tested to determine their ability to store latent heat and are given a corresponding M-Value rating which states the product’s Btu rating per square foot of space in which it is installed. As an example, a product with an M-Value of 91 will have the ability to store 91 Btu’s of latent heat per square foot.
Our bioPCmat product is available in a variety of M-Values depending on the application for which it is intended. As a rule of thumb, one half inch of our BioPCmat material is equivalent in thermal mass to approximately 12 inches of concrete when included in the walls of a structure. This provides a huge increase in the thermal mass of the structure which allows it to maintain its desired temperature for significantly greater lengths of time. This addition of thermal mass also allows the structure to shift its peak demand on the energy grid due to its latent heat storage capacity. This in turn reduces the energy consumption of the structure.