The Cooperative Research Project FLEX-G started on June 1, 2017 under the federal construction technology initiative named ENERGIEWENDEBAUEN funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (FR 03ET1470A). The main goal of the research project is to investigate technologies for the manufacturing of translucent and transparent membrane roof and façade elements with integrated optoelectronic components. The focus lies on a switchable total energy transmittance (often referred to as the solar factor or solar heat gain and “g-value” in Europe) and on flexible solar cell integration to significantly contribute to both energy saving and power generation in buildings.
Solar modules and a variety of energy management systems are well established in small and large buildings to optimize their energy balance both by generating electrical energy and by minimizing required power for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).
A major trend in modern architecture is the use of large transparent and translucent façade and roof elements to make time spent in these buildings more pleasant due to bright and spacious rooms and appearance. When made of glass, these façades and roofs are functionalized with heat reflecting coatings to minimize their “g-value”.
However, glass is not bendable enough to apply it to vaulted surfaces as design element in representative buildings such as airports, stadiums, event halls or shopping malls. Furthermore, its high weight limits the use of glass for large area roofs or façades without massive, expensive and design-limiting supporting structures.
For these applications, fluoropolymers such as ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) are an alternative to glass providing a long lifetime and resistance to weathering. A noteworthy example for the use of this material is the roof of the largest shopping mall in Europe (the Dolce Vita Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal) with its 5-layer diaphanous cushions comprising 200,000 m² of ETFE.
In contrast to glass, fluoropolymers are difficult to handle in thin-film coating processes. For this reason, roof and façade elements of membranous material are rarely functionalized yet with energy-saving features such as thermal shielding layers or integrated solar modules.
Until now, it was not feasible to optimize the energy budget of buildings featuring membrane roof and façade surfaces. A consortium of nine industrial and research partners has been formed to change that situation by functionalizing fluoropolymer web surfaces with optoelectronic components through thin film coating techniques.
The Project Coordinator, Dr. John Fahlteich, summarizes the research plans as follows: “Membrane façade and roof elements will be functionalized with electrochromic films which allow switching of the transmission of visible light and thermal radiation by applying an electrical voltage. The energy required for that is made available through flexible organic solar cells. Within the project FLEX-G, we aim to develop dynamic processing and deposition techniques in a way that they are applicable not only for flexible, membrane based building envelopes but also for glass-based systems.”
Within the project duration of 3-years, FLEX-G will investigate processes that allow the deposition of electrochromic layer stacks directly on an ETFE film surface. The flexibility of the film enables the use of economical, efficient and high throughput roll-to-roll (R2R) fabrication processes. Finally, a 36 m² large ETFE membrane roof prototype will demonstrate both the electrochromic components for switching the total solar energy transmittance and the flexible organic solar cells for electrical power generation.
With integration of flexible optoelectronic components on vaulted building envelopes FLEX-G will contribute considerably to reducing the primary energy consumption of buildings. This is also in-line with the goal of the German federal government to reduce primary energy consumption in Germany to up 50% by 2050.
The FLEX-G research program (BMWi funding reference 03ET1470A) is a joint effort of:
- Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung angewandter Wissenschaften e.V. represented by:
- FEP Dresden
- ISC Würzburg
- IAP Golm
- Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart
- Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH
- Hightex GmbH
- Lamilux Heinrich Strunz GmbH
- Heliatek GmbH
- ROWO Coating GmbH
- EControl Glas GmbH & Co. KG
- Nowofol Kunststoffprodukte GmbH
Mrs. Annett Arnold
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP
Phone +49 351 2586 333 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Winterbergstraße 28 | 01277 Dresden | Germany | www.fep.fraunhofer.de
Frau Silvena Ilieva | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP
Concrete from wood
05.07.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF
Modular storage tank for tight spaces
16.03.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences
20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences
20.11.2017 | Life Sciences