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 TU Graz researchers want to fundamentally improve concrete diagnostics
29.06.2020 | Technische Universität Graz

nachricht The digital construction site: A smarter way of building with mobile robots
02.06.2020 | Fraunhofer Italia

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: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

Im Focus: AI monitoring of laser welding processes - X-ray vision and eavesdropping ensure quality

With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams. Thanks to a special evaluation method based on artificial intelligence (AI), the detection process is completed in just 70 milliseconds.

Laser welding is a process suitable for joining metals and thermoplastics. It has become particularly well established in highly automated production, for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rising water temperatures could endanger the mating of many fish species

03.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus

03.07.2020 | Studies and Analyses

Efficient, Economical and Aesthetic: Researchers Build Electrodes from Leaves

03.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>