Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Magnetic liquids improve energy efficiency of buildings

16.01.2018

Materials scientists of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany, develop smart windows for controlled shading and solar thermal energy harvesting

Climate protection and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions have been on top of global development agendas. Accordingly, research and development projects have been conducted on national and international levels, which aim for the improvement of the CO2-footprint in diverse processes.


A prototype of the innovative smart windows for controlled shading and solar thermal energy harvesting is presented by PhD student Benjamin Heiz from the research group of Lothar Wondraczek.

Photo: Jan-Peter Kasper/FSU Jena

Apart from particularly energy-intensive sectors of the industry, the building sector in particular is among the biggest CO2-emmitters: from residential homes, manufacturing facilities and storage depots to big commercial buildings, about 40 percent of the energy consumption within the EU are due to the heating, cooling, air conditioning and lighting of buildings.

Considering next-generation smart windows and façade devices, one aspect of this problem is addressed in the research project Large-Area Fluidic Windows (LaWin) which has been coordinated at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany, since 2015. A new type of such smart windows was now presented in the upcoming issue of ‘Advanced Sustainable Systems‘.

In their paper ‘Large-Area Smart Window with Tunable Shading and Solar-Thermal Harvesting Ability Based on Remote Switching of a Magneto-Active Liquid‘ the Jena materials researchers introduce prototypes of a window that changes its light permeability at the touch of a button, and, at the same time, can be used for solar-thermal energy harvesting (DOI: 10.1002/adsu.201700140). The subject will be featured on the title page of the journal.

Liquids in windows and façades

“Our project‘s key feature is the use of liquids in windows and façades, for example, as heat carriers or to enable additional functions,“ explains Lothar Wondraczek, the project‘s coordinator. “To this end we develop new glass materials, into which large-area channel structures are integrated. These are used for circulating functional fluids.“

In latest prototypes, the liquid is loaded with the nanoscale magnetic iron particles. These can be extracted from the liquid with the help of a magnet. Vice versa, they can be re-suspended by simply switching-off the magnet. “Depending on the number of the iron particles in the liquid, the liquid itself takes on different shades of grey, or it will even turn completely black,“ Wondraczek explains.

“Then, it becomes possible to automatically adjust the incidence of light, or to harvest solar heat which can then be put to further use within the building.” The efficiency in terms of heat gain per area is comparable with that of state-of-the-art solar thermal facilities. But unlike those, the present system can be readily integrated in a vertical façade. Switching between on and off – the release or capture of particles – happens in a separate tank. An electrical connection at the windows is not necessary.

Indoor air conditioning, tunable shading and harvesting of solar heat

“The greatest advantage of large-scale fluidic windows is that they can substitute air conditioning systems, daylight regulation systems and for instance warm water processing,“ stresses Wondraczek, who holds the chair of Glass Chemistry at the University of Jena. Developing cost-effective large-size window glass modules is key.

On the one hand the glass elements need to include the channels, on the other hand they maintain their performance over the whole lifespan of the building. Finally, they have to provide the ability for integration with standard window manufacture technologies in frames of double or triple glazings. With the present prototypes which were manufactured on a scale of around 200 square meters, the research consortium demonstrated that those requirements can be fulfilled.

Over the period of 2015-2017, the project received a grant of 5.9 million Euros from the European Union within the framework of the Horizon-2020-Programme for Industrial Leadership. A further 2.2 million Euro have been added by eleven industry partners who have been members of the consortium. After the end of the first funding period, commercialisation of first applications is planned for this year.

Original Publication:
Heiz, B. P. et al. (2017): A Large-Area Smart Window with Tunable Shading and Solar-Thermal Harvesting Ability Based on Remote Switching of a Magneto-Active Liquid, Advanced Sustainable Systems, DOI: 10.1002/adsu.201700140.

Contact:
Prof. Dr Lothar Wondraczek
Otto Schott Institute of Materials Research
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Fraunhoferstr. 6, 07743 Jena
Germany
Phone: +49 (0)3641 948500
Email: lothar.wondraczek@uni-jena.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.uni-jena.de/en/start.html

Juliane Dölitzsch | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Architecture and Construction:

nachricht Construction Impact Guide
18.05.2018 | Hochschule RheinMain

nachricht New, forward-looking report outlines research path to sustainable cities
24.01.2018 | National Science Foundation

All articles from Architecture and Construction >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>