Impact on energy saving and thermal comfort through the application of expanded polyurethane thermal insulation in Panama

Published in: Engineering, Integration, and Alliances for a Sustainable Development. Hemispheric Cooperation for Competitiveness and Prosperity on a Knowledge-Based Economy: Proceedings of the 18th LACCEI International Multi-Conference for Engineering, Education and Technology
Date of Conference: July 27-31, 2020
Location of Conference: Virtual
Authors: Orlando Aguilar (Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, PA)
José Mendoza (Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, PA)
Luis Mogollon (Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, PA)
Orlando Aguilar Gallardo (Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, PA)
Felix Henriquez (Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, PA)
Full Paper: #231


Air conditioning systems are used every day on a global scale in a search for comfort, especially in places with very hot and humid climates. Panama classifies as one of those, therefore, the use of air conditioning systems attributes to a big part of nationwide electricity consumption. As the country grows, more of these systems are used daily in residential and labor sectors, and this takes a toll on the nationwide consumption of electricity. Part of the country’s strategy is increasing the energy generation capabilities, but the rational and efficient use of the energy that’s already available could substantially help the energy situation in the country. This research focuses on evaluating the viability of the use of polyurethane based thermal insulation in Panama, with and without the use of air conditioning systems, to evaluate the impact of this technology in the human comfort and in the electricity bill payed for consumers in Panama. Various tests were conducted to evaluate different aspects such as decrease in consumption and temperature gain inside experimental houses. Test results indicate a 44% decrease in electricity consumption due to the use of air conditioning systems under the installation of polyurethane insulation on ceiling and walls. This directly translates into a reduction of the cost of electric bills in homes and offices and may positively impact on the national electric energy demand.