Page 49 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2017 publication
P. 49

Summer 2017 European Energy Innovation  49


Solar Thermal Glass Facades

with Adjustable Transparency

FLUIDGLASS                                                      Summers day

The heavy use of energy from non-renewable
            resources is one of the biggest problems of our
            time. Efficient use of energy is becoming more
            relevant than ever, and it must be implemented in
all sectors of human activity.

The highest contributor to the generation of Green House        Winters day
Gases is the creation and operation of built environment.
The average value is estimated in most developed countries
at close to 33%, knowing that around 40% of the total
energy use corresponds to buildings, while their fossil fuel
heating represents a major share. Consequently, the built
environment in Europe needs to be designed, built, operated
and refurbished with much higher energy efficiency.

A new and innovative concept of solar thermal façades           Basic operating modes of advanced approach with two
has been developed in FLUIDGLASS project for use at             fluid layers
building level, increasing flexibility and energy efficiency.
Liquid is circulated in spaces of transparent window panes,     In the most advanced approach, two fluid filled layers are
transforming passive façades into active collectors that        implemented in the glass façade. These two layers regulating
are capable to react on changing interior and exterior          all energy flow within the façade. The fluid layer to the interior
environmental conditions. This opens new routes of              space keeps the inside surface temperature just below or
advanced thermal building management embedded in                above room temperature for heating and cooling, while the
energy networks at district level to significantly improve       liquid layer to the exterior controls the energy transmission
the thermal performance of the building envelope and the        by absorption of the solar irradiation.
comfort for the user.
                                                                FLUIDGLASS proposes a disruptive innovation in façade
The collector panel is a combination of fluid and glass          systems - transparent solar thermal façade system combining
layers and a thermal barrier. In this way, an optimized         solar thermal collector, insulation glazing, shading device
configuration of the layers can be assembled for different       and heating/cooling panel in one element. This unique
applications and different sections of the building envelope.   system doesn´t offer just a better performance characteristics
The basic element of FLUIDGLASS remains the same, but the       than competing products, moreover it is the only solution for
combination of the different layers allows wide applicability   a large number of glazed buildings where opaque collectors
and simple production process. For example: Shading can         cannot be installed due to aesthetics, usage or construction
be provided by tinted glass or fluid (fixed or adjustable). This  type reasons. Since FLUIDGLASS allows all these additional
modular approach has the advantage to offer customized          buildings to become potentially net-zero in heating and
panels depending on the user’s need.                            cooling, the macro economic impact is by far higher than
                                                                the impact of competing approaches, which only offer slight
                                                                efficiency improvements for existing solutions.

FLUIDGLASS modular layer approach                               The project FLUIDGLASS receives funding from the European
                                                                Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)
                                                                under Grant agreement n° 608509. ●

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