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Industrial Development of Water Flow Glazing Systems

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - InDeWaG (Industrial Development of Water Flow Glazing Systems)

Reporting period: 2015-08-01 to 2017-01-31

The European Energy Performance of Buildings Directives (EPBD) emphasized the need to reduce energy consumption in buildings and put forward the rationale for developing Near to Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB). The scope of ZEB from the perspective of the building industry is focused on utilizing renewable energy sources rather than on exemplary building design to minimize energy demand.
The goal of InDeWaG is to develop a disruptive glass façade and glass interior wall system based on cost affordable Fluid Flow Glazing elements (FFG), which gives maximum daylight utilization and interior comfort by means of variable radiant heating and cooling with appealing glass surfaces at energy consumption level of nZEB. Buildings using the new FFG system should achieve a cost reduction of construction and installation of at least 15 %. The objectives of InDeWaG in the first 18 months are summarized below.
1. Design and development of a unitized modular FFG façade system and industrial production technology
An ambitious modular unit facade concept was adopted that has advantages towards an accelerated implementation on the market with concern to easier and decentralized installation, control and maintenance of the units. The InDeWaG technology is defined as a vertical-shaped FFG modular unit consisting of a triple glazing (with one fluid and one argon chamber), a circulator, and a modular aluminium frame that enclosing both. The FFG concept meets the vision of open space and matches the requirements of future office buildings.
2. Modelling and measuring methodology of the physical properties of FFG elements and methodology validation
One of the most important goals is to implement universal mathematical and simulation models of the active FFG to describe and predict ahead its behaviour and performance with concern to spectral, thermal, mechanical and fluid dynamical properties. These models and tools will be available for future development of new FFG product variants and help to speed up development and design phases, and to optimize the FFG unit and its components virtually.
3. Energy management strategies and glazing catalogue for varying climate conditions
The fluid flow glazing system will not only be highly adaptable to different climate situations but also to different needs of energy management. Thus, a guide for the selection of the right glazing type to meet various situations has to be elaborated.
4. Development of an advanced software tool for early stage detailed building planning and its integration into commercial building simulation software
One of the crucial objectives is to expand the state of the art building simulation software with additional modules that can calculate the dynamic thermal behaviour of the FFG. With those extensions, architects will have the possibility to implement the FFG system into their projects.
5. Exemplary building design and validation of industrial implementation at demonstrator level for different climate conditions
To prove the potential of the new technology, the industrialized construction and production processes as well as the exact energy façade performance have to be validated through extensive testing and monitoring of demonstrators under real conditions in different climates: Bulgaria and Spain.
6. Market analysis and dissemination
A market analysis to give the key points to accelerated entering and implementation of the InDeWaG technology on the market for energy efficiency façade has to be developed.
1. Design and development of a unitized modular FFG façade system and industrial production technology
The unitized modular façade design concept and all system components and materials were studied, developed and optimized to meet the requirements of the modular units and to assure the functionality of this advanced glazing system. A circulator incl. heat exchanger, micro pump and control unit was designed to be installed in each separate module and is in engineering process. In addition, the manufacturing technology was optimized and first optical glazing samples were produced with size 20x30cm and 40x40cm as well as first prototypes of bigger dimensions (>1m).
2. Modelling and measuring methodology of the physical properties of FFG elements and methodology validation
Mathematical models and simulation methods for predictive engineering covering all relevant physical processes, heat exchange, fluid flow dynamics, optical and structural behaviour as well as environmental influences, have been developed and validated through different software codes, considering benchmark test cases, and real data provided by measurements. These models and tools were used in the project for virtual development and optimization the FFG unit and its components.
3. Energy management strategies and universal glazing catalogue for varying climate conditions and occupant preferences
Two types of operation modes of the FFG were defined. One is harvesting of energy optimizing the absorption of solar energy in the fluid for later reuse. The second is rejection of energy, minimizing the solar energy absorbed in the glazing. A guide for the selection of the right glazing type to meet various situations and needs has been elaborated. In addition, a glazing catalogue with representative glazing configurations and a methodology to calculate properties of new ones has been developed.
4. Development of an advanced software tool for early stage detailed building planning and its integration in commercial building simulation software
The developed physical and mathematical models have been implemented. Those models describe the change of the thermal conductivity of the glazing due to varying fluid flow rate as well as the energy gain in the FFG and make them available in IDA ICE for calculating different energy strategies for building and district heating. The integration is almost complete and will be further optimized.
5. Exemplary building design and validation of industrial implementation at demonstrator level for different climate conditions
The concepts for both demonstrators: an autonomous mobile demonstrator in Spain and real scale demonstrator with the new 3m high FFG elements and floor surface 7x7m in Bulgaria were designed in detail for construction in the next project period.
6. Market analysis and dissemination
A wide market analysis including research on nZEB definitions and realized projects all over Europe as well as an FFG product definition and competitor analysis has been developed. In addition, various dissemination activities related to the main results achieved have been carried out through participation in congresses and scientific publications.
Due to marketing and architectural design trends, strategic decisions were taken according to the following premises: FFG elements were defined as an industrialized product, where each element is an independent module thus reducing drastically costs of mounting and maintaining.
FFG modules will lead to a significant improvement in the smart glazing façade market bringing technology that can readily adapt in response to changing climatic conditions or occupant preferences. Details of the socio-economic impact are forthcoming after the energy savings in building are studied in detail. However, there is evidence that the InDeWaG methodology will be economic with regard to saving construction and installation costs and reducing the energy demand for heating and cooling.
3D Model of InDeWaG Demo Site
Working principle of fluid flow glazing
Modular Unit FFG Façade System Concept