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Clean buildings along with resource efficiency enhancement using appropriate materials and technology

Periodic Report Summary 2 - CLEAR-UP (Clean buildings along with resource efficiency enhancement using appropriate materials and technology)

Project context and objectives:

CLEAR-UP will develop sustainable approaches to providing an optimised indoor environment, optimised in terms of energy and usability. It does not propose to directly investigate the topic of 'comfort'. However, CLEAR-UP recognises that the needs of building occupants are a key component of any strategy for reduction in operational energy.

The core of CLEAR-UP's approach is to use sensors and intelligent control to provide an energy-optimised indoor environment where active and passive systems for lighting, ventilation and temperature are combined in one building. Day lighting and natural ventilation will work in conjunction with artificial systems. CLEAR-UP will achieve these aims by the integration of a range of nano and micro technology-enabled components in a holistic system. Simulation and modelling will be used along with economic and ecological analysis to address the business and resource aspects in a whole lifecycle approach. The role of the user will be addressed by work on user perceptions of CLEAR-UP enabled buildings and specific human machine interfaces to provide feedback to users on their energy use and motivate their behaviour towards lower energy use.

CLEAR-UP will develop new components and subsystems for control of temperature, light and air. The project will integrate a range of different technologies into subsystems. For example, phase change materials, natural ventilation, passive and active cooling and window shades and electrochromic windows may all contribute to moderating temperature. CLEAR-UP will develop models backed up with real-life testing to help inform building designers and users about which combinations are most appropriate for different buildings in different climatic zones. In practical terms, it addresses four key elements of a building:
- Windows: CLEAR-UP will advance the practical use of shutters and electrochromic window foils which reduce the building cooling load and along with light-guide technology, reduce the need for artificial lighting. It will address applications and solutions for controlled natural ventilation with integrated heat recovery potential reducing the need for heating in winter and cooling in summer.
- Walls: CLEAR-UP will use photocatalytic materials for air purification and nano-porous vacuum insulation in combination with phase change materials to passively control temperature.
- Air conditioning: CLEAR-UP will advance technologies for demand controlled ventilation and the intelligent combination of natural and artificial ventilation.
- Sensors and control provide an underpinning technology for CLEAR-UP's approach. New sensors will be developed, and their use optimised for the operation of smart windows, demand controlled ventilation, and catalytic purification.

Project results:

The project activities are organized in eight work packages (WPs), namely:

WP1: Design, simulation and performance characterisation
The WP aims at identifying the energy performance of the technologies developed in CLEAR-UP in different types (hotels, schools, office buildings etc.) of new and existing buildings within the range of European countries (EU-27) by simulation. A second aim is to support the development process by optimisation by simulation of the different applications with respect to energy performance, resource efficiency and costs.

WP2: Intelligent control and monitoring
The objectives of this WP are the development of control and monitoring strategies, the development of methods to design and commission the control and monitoring strategies for a given building, the evaluation of the developed control and monitoring strategies and the extension of the existing simulation tool to support this development and evaluation.

WP3: Component / subsystem design, development and test
The objective of this WP is to develop the technology components required for the CLEAR-UP concept. Within each of the identified tasks, components will be modelled, tested etc but in contrast to WP1, this is at the component level.

WP4: System integration, testing and proof of concept
The WP objectives are:
- integration of functional subsystems with control system;
- ensuring safety of subsystems prior to real world testing and demonstration;
- provide performance and durability data for comparison with models.

WP5: Whole building demonstrators
The objective of this WP is to demonstrate the viability of the new components researched in the CLEAR-UP project, by taking the results of the extended test bed building, and doing the demonstrators in two selected buildings: the kindergarden in Copenhagen (Denmark), and the hotel complex in Benicarló (Spain).

WP6: Preparing industry
It communicates the project's objectives and results to a range of audiences.

WP7: Maximising impact on resource use
It ensures that the premise behind the implementation of technology is sound by undertaking whole lifecycle analysis of CLEAR-UP solutions from economic and environmental viewpoints. It investigates how public and private procurement systems may impact on the uptake of CLEAR-UP solutions, looking at models including public private partnerships. Further, it explores the supply chain, and in particular how smaller contractors can be incorporated into a systems solution.

WP8: Consortium management
The objectives are to achieve the technological aims of the project and promote the use of CLEAR-UP results in other scientific disciplines and market sectors; to ensure that all 19 CLEAR-UP partners achieve the objectives which their organisations set out for participating; to use European research and development (R&D) resources efficiently and effectively, including maximising links to relevant national, European and worldwide initiatives; to broaden the expertise of all participants working within the project in both technology and exploitation.

The main activities that took place in WP1 to date are:
- collection and definition of reference buildings;
- implementation of building descriptions in simulation environment;
- definition of representative locations for simulations;
- incorporation of the CLEAR-UP technologies into the building simulation tool and their integration in the subsystems air and temperature;
- implementation of the CLEAR-UP technology models into the reference buildings and the inquiry and collection of data about the existing building stock and the requirements for retrofit in chosen exemplary locations;
- demonstrator and test bed simulations.

In the first two periods, in WP2, work on the initial specifications of the interfaces between the high level control function and the subsystems was performed together with the extension of the available simulation environment to CLEAR-UP technologies and work on high level control and monitoring strategies. Besides that, a concept for new human machine interfaces (HMI) was elaborated. In the third period, the focus changed on the implementation of the monitoring and the advanced control strategies for the test bed Prague and Steinhausen and the demonstrator in Cadiz.

In WP3, at the beginning, the focus was on the improvement of the components performance with more emphasis on the gas sensors, thermal insulation technologies and photocatalytic materials. On the electrochromic (EC) glazing, the focus was lately on mixed NixW1-x oxides. For the photocatalytic materials applied for the elimination of inorganic (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) substances, work has been performed on W doped TiO2 coatings On the gas sensors topic, the main research lines were the decrease of the power requirements for the sensors developed to monitor the IAQ and the full characterisation of the novel formaldehyde sensors. On the side of thermal insulation technologies, the emphasis was on making sure that they are applicable in the test bed and demonstration buildings. For the light balancing concepts, a new investigation direction, based on fibre optic transmission is in the focus. Finally, on the issue of material safety with emphasis on photocatalyticaly produced by-products, all materials to be used in the test bed and demonstration buildings as well as the newly developed materials are to be tested.

In WP4, after completing all installations for the test bed sites and testing of all subsystems in laboratory conditions, the focus moved on the assessment of the performance of all subsystems in the test bed as preparation for the installation in the demonstration building.

In WP5, the main activities were related to the installation of CLEAR-UP components and advance controlled strategies in the Cadiz demonstrator; after that the monitoring activities and the performance assessment were started.

WP6 activities were dedicated to the tuning of the communication programme and were fine-tuned according to the decisions of the general assembly.

In WP7, the life cycle assessments and the whole life costing activities were one of the main topics. Besides that, the internal training activities were also successfully ran.

In WP8, after the successful starting of the project activities and the launching of all project management processes, the successful execution of the project was in the focus.

In WP1, a database of building descriptions of different building types that will be used in the simulation work was put together followed by the implementation of the building descriptions in the simulation environment TRNSYS. Besides that, a database describing the European building stock was started. Also, the incorporation of the CLEAR-UP technologies into the building simulation tool and their integration in the subsystems light, air and temperature was achieved. In the third period, the main achievements are the incorporation of the CLEAR-UP technologies into the building simulation tool and their integration in the subsystems air and temperature, the implementation of the CLEAR-UP technology models into the reference buildings and the inquiry and collection of data about the existing building stock and the requirements for retrofit in chosen exemplary locations. The comparison with the two non-refurbished base cases representing residential and non-residential buildings with buildings improved in their thermal standard appreciably by vacuum insulation, electrochromic windows, PCM passive plaster and advanced ventilation have shown that the potential reductions in heating and cooling demand are up to 80 % in some cases for heating, up to 50 % for cooling in cooling dominated climates, and in heating dominated climates respectively, opening up the possibility to fully eliminate the active cooling.

In WP2, the very important task of defining the initial specification of the interfaces between the high level control function and the subsystems was executed. Besides that, the existing simulation framework was adapted to cover all required elements (e.g. suspended ceiling with PCM material). Several new models and new control strategies were implemented in such a manner that simulation can easily be run for different sets of the relevant parameters. The development of control and monitoring functions for all subsystems was initiated. In addition, a simple high level control strategy has been implemented in the doll-house demonstrator controlling electrochromic windows, natural and mechanical ventilation. In the third period the main topic was the implementation of the advanced control strategies for the test bed Prague and Steinhausen and the demonstrator in Cadiz, which was successful and allowed for extended monitoring at all test sites. Besides that, in the test room lighting / shading in Zug, some additional tests have been carried out with the new installed EC windows. This was important to do those tests in advance of the installation in Cadiz.

In WP3, advances on electrochromic thin films based on nickel-tungsten oxides and electrochromic thin films deposited on TCOs, namely, ZnO and ZnO:Al were achived. On the side of photocatalytic materials new ones were developed and tested. For the sensors, two rounds of prototypes were provided for the chemoresistive VOC sensors and in the case of SGFET transducers new sensitive layers were realised and tested; also, a very promising formaldehyde chemoresistive material was identified and tested in various conditions by using the newly realised setup for dosing formaldehyde concentrations in the range of interest. Linked to the improvement of the insulation construction materials, advancements in VIP technology were brought about. Also, new concepts for light balancing were explored. In the third period, the work on mixed NixW1-x oxides EC glazings has been finalised and resulted in a PhD thesis written by Sara Green. Very effective photocatalytic materials were obtained, such as W- TiO2 coatings, which have shown a photocatalytic activity better than the commercial product when the deposition temperature is about 400 degrees Celsius or sol-gel synthesised powders with enhanced decomposition of Benzene, Toluene and Xylene (BTX) under ultraviolet (UV) and visible light. Comparable tests of old and new TiO2 undoped PC commercial material from CTG were sent to and analysed by JRC and based on these tests a new cementitious photocatalytic paint was realised for and used in the Cadiz demonstrator. One of the two involved industrial partners working on the conductometric gas sensor platforms has finished to evaluate their IAQ modules performance. Their long-term testing has shown no significant sensitivity changes for CO and acetaldehyde during the observation period. During the last period, EKUT have been continuing the characterisation of the formaldehyde sensors. One direction followed was to characterise the material further and to test the response to additional target gases. Work on sensors by SIEMENS CT based on work-function has encountered some progress difficulties. They have sent VOC sensing layers to Micronas for sensor manufacturing end of last year, but still have no sensors for testing, since there are additional difficulties in mounting the sensors at the moment. So they continued to improve the stability of the CO2 sensing layers mainly. Moreover, AppliedSensor has installed their VOC sensors in Cadiz and Siemens BT. Both thermal insulation technologies approaches are now in use at all test and demonstration sites. The first results of the solar fibre optic lighting system, SP2 Parans, installed in November 2010 in the test lab of CLEAR-UP project in Zug, Switzerland, and at BBRI have been evaluated. The functional performance results of the test lab facilities have shown that both Parans systems, which were delivered, were faulty and thus produced disappointing performances. Parans have undertaken the task of fixing the problems and results are now pending. In the meantime, UU have installed at Uppsala an SP3 Parans system both with plastic and glass fibres and initial results have shown very satisfying performances. These tests coupled with the required diffuser studies and run in the summer period at UU demonstrated a very successful operation performance of the solar fibre optic lighting system for indoor applications.

In WP4, prototypes for all subsystems were realised including components controllers and interfaces. A first use was made for the demonstrator presented at the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit in Copenhagen. In the second period, the achievements are:
- subsystem temperature realisation, testing and installation in test bed;
- subsystem air realisation, testing and installation in test bed;
- design and realisation subsystem light, roadmap to testbed;
- starting of test bed experiments.

In the third period, the measurement campaigns at the test bed at Prague and Steinhausen were finalised. Besides that, laboratory tests for subsystems light and temperature were performed in Zug, at BBRI and Uppsala. All planned tests were conducted and, even more, they were completed with new tests on daylight balancing system performed in Sweden.

In WP5, following the realisation of demonstrators for the climate summit during the first period, the main achievement of the second period was the selection of the demonstration site and the starting of the preparation for the installations of CLEAR-UP technologies. In the third period, all installation work at the demonstrator site at Cadiz were finalised and a monitoring period of 6 months was delivering the first results, namely 12 % overall energy savings in the monitoring period and 34 % cooling energy saving thanks to the CLEAR-UP implementations.

In WP6, the activities were:
- development of messages, logo and branding;
- production of materials to support dissemination;
- website; publications; and
- media relations.
Also, many dissemination activities were taking place and four issues of the newsletter have been produced, amongst them a special issue dedicated to the presentation of the Cadiz demonstrator presented at a dissemination event on 9 October 2012. A similar dissemination event took place on 5 March 2012, in Prague for the presentation of the test bed there. In the last period, two workshops with industry stakeholders took place at international events in Brussels (International Symposium on Superinsulating materials, Brussels, 26 April 2012) and Copenhagen (workshop 'VOC sensing and demand controlled ventilation strategies', at the annual conference of the AIVC, the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre of the IEA Copenhagen, 11 October 2012).

In WP7, consortium trainings were organised around topics selected based on partner consultations. Also the activities related to LCA (materials for PC paint, for PCM plaster, for VIP and at building scale for the influence of two CLEAR-UP technologies VIP and PCM) and WLC (VIP panels, EC windows, PCM plaster and DCV) were executed. One has to mention that for the above mentioned materials and component it was the first time when such analyses were performed.

In WP8, besides the general coordination of CLEAR-UP activities, the kick-off meeting and three general assemblies were organised as well as the reviews. The internal project communication platform is up and running as well as the progress monitoring, planning and reporting processes.

Potential impact:

CLEAR-UP is designed to make significant advances in technologies to improve energy efficiency in buildings, to increase awareness within the construction industry, facility managers and home owners about the potential for improving their buildings, and to remove barriers to the adoption of CLEAR-UP concepts.

The project has clear quantitative targets for the different goals it has set. They are selected to ensure that in all respects, from component to subsystems to integrated solutions breakthroughs in the field. Examples for the performance at the component level are given below:
- development of daylight transport methods suitable for light balancing and anti-bacterial action of ultra-violet light;
- development of photo-catalytic materials active at wavelengths longer than 420 nm to allow activation by visible light to improve air quality by decomposition of NOx and VOC;
- incorporation of both phase-change material and nano-porous vacuum insulation in construction materials utilising gypsum sheets, new building blocks or external thermal insulation composite systems to allow heat storage and insulation in a single component;
- development and incorporation of more cost- and resource-effective nano-porous core materials in vacuum insulation panels.

For the energy-optimisation adaptive sensing and control strategy for buildings that will be developed in the project, the validation will be made in field. The integration of technologies in a large scale demonstrator will prove that it is possible to deliver reduction in energy use by 8 - 38 % in a typical building without compromising the indoor environment.

CLEAR-UP will create impact by enabling substantial savings in operational energy use in Europe's buildings without negative ecological consequences and whilst providing a high quality environment for building occupants. Secondly, by developing new directions for the European construction industry, raising its worldwide competitiveness.

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