Façade panels with an invisible thermal solar collector for energy

Publieke samenvatting / Public summary

No one wishes to have aesthetic unpleasant solar collectors attached to their housing. Even though, improving energy efficiency of housing is crucial in view of scarcity of fossil energy fuels and ecological impact of energy consumption. This in view of achieving the European goal of an energy-neutral built environment in 2050, which requires harvesting and storage of solar energy to be optimized. Decentralized heat storage and collection is considered an indispensable element to facilitate the desired flexibility in the energy system and realize the EU energy ambitions and the NL priorities in the “Warmte Visie” of Minister Kamp. As two third of the building stock in 2050 currently exists, thermal collection and thermal storage should be compact and easy to be installed. As a consequence, renovating the currently existing building stock (approximately 85% of the dwellings was built before 1990 with poor insulation (R =< 1.6 m2K/W)) will take place in the upcoming period. In that period solutions consisting of aesthetically pleasant prefab façade panels, e.g. with an integrated solar collector, can be easily installed in the process.

This projects aims to demonstrate façade panels with invisible thermal solar collector to increase application and energy harvesting (FITS4E). These colored façade collectors, with a solar absorption of more than 50% (for white) up to 90% for some colors (for example red), can be applied in several applications, e.g. for preheating of tap water, input for heat pumps or ground well regeneration. This becomes increasingly important as a revolution is expected in the use of heat pumps, shown by the estimated sharp increase expected towards 2020.

Korte omschrijving
In 2014 the project ‘FITS’ started that focusses on developing a façade that works by harvesting at least the invisible part (the near-infrared (NIR) part) of solar radiation (roughly 50% of the solar energy). Using specially developed nanoparticles the absorption of colored panel was proven to be over 50% (white) and even 90% absorption compared to black was achieved for red. A big success, ready to move towards performance testing and demonstration.

This project demonstrates the façade panels with an invisible thermal solar collector for increased energy harvesting. ‘FITS4E’ focusses at application development, system design, performance testing, demonstration and dissemination, appending the scope of ‘FITS’. Real life situations will be investigated to show the full potential. The performance of the panel will be tested for a full year in the outdoor testing facility of SEAC. Insulation and moisture transport will be monitored to ensure a performance of normal façade panels are met.

Different ‘user application’ conditions will be simulated and energy performance determined. To show the potential FITS4E-panels will be demonstrated in three demonstrators (in Almere, Amsterdam and Eindhoven).