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Low-cost switchable reflective polymeric solar heat gain control films for energy-efficient smart-window applications

Objective

Buildings are a major end-user of European energy, representing 40% of energy consumption and 1,800 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. Improved energy efficiency within buildings is, therefore, a priority objective in enabling Europe to meet its Kyoto Protocol commitments. Whilst a desirable architectural feature enabling enhanced occupier comfort, windows are recognised as a key weak spot in the building envelope, resulting in heat losses during winter months due to inferior insulating properties, and excessive solar heat gain during summer months, resulting in energy-intensive air conditioning. Such window-related losses represent 10% of a building's energy consumption (4% of Europe’s total energy use).

Whilst super-insulating window designs are commercially available, more limited progress has been made towards cost-effective solar heat gain control (SHGC) technologies. Existing solutions are primarily based on low-cost tinted films that permanently block a proportion of light entering the room (leading to room darkening and negative energy efficiency during winter months). Whilst dynamic (switchable) films have been developed, such materials demonstrate either inferior properties or are cost prohibitive.

Integrating emerging materials science with a cost-efficient polymer-extrusion process, the SOLARGAIN project will develop an innovative low-cost all-polymeric switchable reflective SHGC film. The film will enable dynamic optical properties in response to the changing lighting, heating and cooling needs of the room, and thus improved natural lighting, occupier comfort and enhanced energy efficiency. The SHGC films will be incorporated within:

• A highly-insulated sealed-window-unit design targeting > 90% window-related energy saving
• A retrofit window-film structure targeting > 90% energy savings associated with room cooling

The window systems will integrate photovoltaic and sensor technologies, thereby enabling self-powering and intelligent activation. Achieving cost competitiveness with existing window systems, the SOLARGAIN technology will also demonstrate significant long-term cost savings through enhanced energy efficiency. SOLARGAIN will generate €40 million business growth within a 3 year period, creating 85 new jobs; and has the potential to benefit > 8,000 SMEs operating in wider market sectors.

Call for proposal

FP7-SME-2011
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

BSG-SME - Research for SMEs

Coordinator

EUROFILMS EXTRUSION LIMITED
Address
Ridge House Drive 6
ST1 5TL Stoke On Trent
United Kingdom
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 451 547
Administrative Contact
Nicholas Andrew Smith (Mr.)

Participants (6)

WELLS PLASTICS LTD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 296 143
Address
Emerald Way, Stone Business Park
ST15 0SR Stone
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Gary Ogden (Dr.)
HANITA COATINGS RCA LTD
Israel
EU contribution
€ 247 536
Address
Main Road 1
22885 Hanita
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Shai Ben-Tovin (Mr.)
ALUMINIOS J.P. DEL PINO SL
Spain
EU contribution
€ 164 558
Address
Crta De Toledo Km 69
45000 Los Navalmorales Toledo
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Jesus Pedro Del Pino (Mr.)
JOANNEUM RESEARCH FORSCHUNGSGESELLSCHAFT MBH
Austria
EU contribution
€ 9 430
Address
Leonhardstrasse 59
8010 Graz
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Volker Ribitsch (Prof.)
THE UK MATERIALS TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE LIMITED
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 8 783
Address
Middle Aston House
OX25 5PT Middle Aston
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Andrew Dean (Mr.)
HERMANOS DEL PINO ESPINOSA SL

Participation ended

Spain
Address
Ctra De Toledo 69
45140 Toledo
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Jesús Pedro Del Pino Espinosa (Mr.)