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Industrial Development of Water Flow Glazing Systems

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - InDeWaG (Industrial Development of Water Flow Glazing Systems)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2018-01-31

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 second project period 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. Development of an advanced software tool for early stage detailed building planning and its integration in commercial building simulation software (e.g. IDA ICE)
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.
4. 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.
5. 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
In order to reach the full scale FFG module (3m x1.3m) proper manufacturing technologies had to be identified or newly developed. Within the second project period the manufacturing protocols for all part of the fluid flow glazings were developed, adjusted and expounded in detail. This includes the extrusion of profiles for frame and spacer as well as multiple steps of assembling and sealing of complete modules. Furthermore, it also includes more specific production steps, fluid chamber filling and degasifying. Due to the high complexity of the system, several revisions had to be made and more productions steps became necessary. During this project period, the first full scale fluid flow glazing module could be produced and filled successfully. The production of modules for the façade testing and the demonstrators is ongoing.
2. Modelling and measuring methodology of the physical properties of FFG elements and methodology validation
Mathematical and simulation models for fluid flow glazing were further improved during the second project period in order to enhance the usability for prediction of performance. Based on spectral, thermal, mechanical, and fluid dynamical properties, the physical behaviour of the FFG could be optimised.
3. Development of an advanced software tool for early stage detailed building planning and its integration in commercial building simulation software (e.g. IDA ICE)
The development of an FFG simulation model and its integration into IDA ICE for thermal simulation is a key objective for InDeWaG. 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 finished and the developed mathematical were optimised for multiple energy strategies in different climate zones. Furthermore, the proposed real size demonstrator could already be modelled successfully for the continental climate at its projected location in Sofia.
4. Exemplary building design and validation of industrial implementation at demonstrator level for different climate conditions
A real scale demonstrator with the new 3 m high FFG elements with floor surface of 7 m x 7 m in Bulgaria was designed in detail for construction. The design has been revised thoroughly several times, in order to not only maximise the output of reliable results under real condition operation, but also to meet the stipulations given by the authorities in order to achieve the permission for building. The mobile demonstrator in Spain is in operation since April 2017. The already gathered results are not only crucial for the development of the FFG but also gives valid input for construction and monitoring of the real scale demonstrator in Bulgaria.
5. 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. The current development progress is disseminated to the scientific audience in journal articles and conferences on a regular basis. Furthermore, InDeWaG is presented to stakeholders from glass, façade and construction sector via workshops and trade fairs.
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.