By: Ken Howder
This proposal intends to advance experimentally based research for daylighting, thermal control, and window/facade efficiency through the use of an algorithm driven and self-enclosed shading device that can act on a scale from replacing existing windows to full façade possibilities. By combining daylighting, shading, ventilating, and trombe techniques into a single systematic window unit, this study may potentially add to the ever-growing need for more efficient building envelopes. The proposed device is constructed of double-sided louvers fitted with a reflective material on one side and a heat absorbent material on the other. In this manner, the 360 degree rotatable louvers are intended to reflect solar radiation away from the building in warmer weather and absorb heat for entry into the building in colder weather. The louvers will be situated between two glass skins fitted with dampers to allow trapped heat to vent to the exterior or interior of the building depending on the current needs of the occupants. The device will be connected to an Arduino that allows for a custom algorithm to control the hardware in response to sun angles, sensor-measured temperatures, and user-defined preferences of visual comfort. Interfacing the hardware with computer-driven controls may potentially increase a building’s efficiency without the need for direct occupant interaction accustomed to the use of traditional window shading.
These potentialities will be studied and recorded by energy software such as IES-VE to determine the effectivity of this device within a simulated environment. However, a physical prototype is also being produced to test its application in an experimental field setting. The results of the IES-VE simulation are expected to give the study a better understanding of the effective application for the prototype’s use in building applications. Using both simulation and physical prototyping should allow the research to produce deductive facts of the outcome as well as efficiency potential to compare with actual field values.
The objective for this device is to be a self-enclosed unit that can vary in size and shape to replace inefficient windows, specifically on south facing walls. However, if the study proves effective, the applications for this type of construction may be able to expand to its use over full facades and new construction. It is the intent of this research study to examine the potential contained by combining newer technologies such as algorithm and sensor controlled devices with that of traditional architectural techniques for controlling solar radiation within buildings.