WELLINGTON, Kan. (KSNW) – Wellington City Hall now has thermal energy-storing ceiling tiles to help reduce energy use.

These Passive Thermal Energy Storage (PTES) ceiling tiles are similar to how gel packs for cold shipping functions. The tile is composed with a Phase Change Material (PCM) that will absorb heat as it changes from a solid form to liquid. After temperatures in the attic have dropped, the tiles release the stored heat.

This project comes through the Department of Energy and aims to reduce cooling, heating, and electric demand. The goal with these tiles is a 10-20% reduction in use.

“Obviously cost of energy actually gets more expensive the more it’s used. So there’s times during the day where the cost of energy gets pretty spendy. And then, at night, the cost of energy is a lot cheaper. So it’s about normalizing those curves so we can utilize energy and the dollars to make it go a little bit further,” said Jason Newberry, the Interim City Manager for the City of Wellington.

The tile installed at City Hall is placed above the existing tile and under the fiberglass insulation throughout the building.

The City is working with Templock and Sumner County to produce over 85,000 square feet to be installed and tested in six public sector buildings.

“Having the opportunity to test this tile in so many different commercial applications is a game changer,” said Stacy Davis, Executive Director, Sumner County Economic Development Commission. “With the anticipated results in energy savings, existing commercial buildings can become more financially viable to operate, with increased comfort and performance.”

As a partner, the City feeds back information to show experts how much energy they’re actually using.

The project team will continue to install the tile over the next several months. At the end of the three-year field-testing and validation study, the energy efficiency and demand flexibility performance results will be published.

Wellington is the first site in Kansas to test these ceiling tiles.