Materials scientists of Jena University (Germany) coordinate new EU-project on intelligent façades
Windows that change their light permeability at the touch of a button, façades, whose color can be changed according to the sunlight, façades and window parts in which transparent photovoltaic modules are integrated or in which microalgae are being bred to provide the house with its own biofuel: This is what the buildings of the future could feature, or at least something similar.
“Many of these ideas are certainly within imagination end even technological feasibility, today, in particular within the field of façades which may adapt to their environment and thus improve the energy efficiency of modern buildings,” states Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lothar Wondraczek from Friedrich Schiller University in Jena (Germany). “But only a fraction of this potential has been tackled so far, as the relevant materials and production processes are still missing,” he further explains.
A new international research effort, coordinated by Jena’s materials scientist Lothar Wondraczek, is aiming to change this. In the project ‘Large-Area Fluidic Windows – LaWin’ the scientists intend to develop functional façades and window modules, together with an integrated production process to achieve an as to yet unmatched readiness to market.
“This requires close collaboration of architects, materials researchers, and civil and construction engineers. That is why we established a broad, interdisciplinary consortium.” All in all, 14 participants take part in the ‘LaWin‘.-project: Apart from the academic partners at Jena University, Weimar University, Beuth University of Applied Sciences, eleven industrial corporations from Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Czech Republic are involved.
Over the coming 3 years, the European Commission supports the project with about 6 Million Euro within the European framework program ‘Horizon 2020’. The partaking industrial partners will be adding another 2.1 Million Euro to that.
In Jena the project is located at the "Center for Energy and Environmental Chemistry" (CEEC). There, Prof. Wondraczek and his team will work on new glass modules for building façades, which consist of two joint glass layers: one layer made from a very thin and high strength cover glass and one layer of structured glass.
“This structured glass contains microfluidic channels through which a functional fluid circulates. As an example, this liquid will make it possible to automatically adjust the incidence of light or to harvest exterior heat which will then be transported to a heat pump,” Wondraczek explains. The scientists will conduct detailed tests of such façade and window modules to optimize the materials and their functional interaction.
Therefore, ‘LaWin‘ takes will take another step forward, i. e., to outside of the laboratory: Based on the results of their laboratory findings, the scientists plan to implement the innovative façades with reference buildings in order to test them under ‘real’ conditions. “The challenge lies in the large size”, Wondraczek points out.
“As of today, there is no production process for such large-sized glass sheet with integrated micro structures. Moreover, the new glass façades have to be able to be integrated into conventional window and façade systems.” They also have to be cost-effective. After all, a third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU and 40 percent of the energy consumption are due to the heating, cooling, air conditioning and lighting of buildings. Investments in energy efficient buildings are hence the most important levers to significantly reduce the carbon dioxide emissions and to reach the climate goals.
“This is given by the laws of thermodynamics: To save and to efficiently use energy is always more beneficial than to generate it from whichever source,” the Jena materials scientist stresses. The topical area of ‘energy efficient buildings’ is therefore one of eight strategic key areas in which the European commission‘s Public-Private-Partnership (PPP)-Initiative sees important possibilities for a sustainable reinforcement of the European innovation and industrial leadership in the global competition.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lothar Wondraczek
Otto Schott Institute of Materials Research
Friedrich Schiller University of Jena
Phone: +049 (0)3641 948504
Claudia Hilbert | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries
22.03.2017 | Yale University
Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold
22.03.2017 | Rice University
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences