Skip to main content

Research Repository

See what's under the surface

Bio-inspired Transparent Microfluidic Platform as Transformable Networks for Solar Modulation

Alston, Mark E.; Pottgiesser, Uta; Knaack, Ulrich

Authors

Mark E. Alston mark.alston@nottingham.ac.uk

Uta Pottgiesser

Ulrich Knaack



Abstract

The glazed envelopes on buildings play a major role in operational energy consumption as they define the boundary conditions between climate and thermal comfort. Such a façade is viewed as an uncontrolled load that sets the operational performance requirements for artificial lighting and air-cooling mechanical systems. This is in contrast to nature, which has evolved materials with the ability to learn and adapt to a micro-environment through self-regulation using materials that are multifunctional, formed by chemical composition in response to solar load. Leaf vasculature formations are of particular interest to this paper. Through leaf maximisation of daylight capture, the total leaf area density and angular distribution of leaf surfaces define the tree structure. This paper will define an approach to simulate nature to advance a microfluidic platform as a dynamic NIR absorber for solar modulation: a transformable network of multi-microchannel geometry matrix structures for autonomous transparent surfaces, for real time flow management of conductivity. This is realised through active volumetric flows within a capillary network of circulation fluidics within it, through it, and out of it for energy capture and storage, the cycle of which is determined through precise management of heat flow transport within a material. This advances transparent façades into an energy system for heat load modulation nested to climate and solar exposure, which is demonstrated in this paper.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2019
Print ISSN 2213-302X
Publisher IOS Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 1
Pages 89-100
Institution Citation Alston, M. E., Pottgiesser, U., & Knaack, U. (2019). Bio-inspired Transparent Microfluidic Platform as Transformable Networks for Solar Modulation. Journal of Facade Design and Engineering, 7(1), 89-100. https://doi.org/10.7480/jfde.2019.1.2785
DOI https://doi.org/10.7480/jfde.2019.1.2785
Keywords microfluidic; thermal transport; absorber; solar; geometry matrix; bio-inspired
Publisher URL https://journals.open.tudelft.nl/index.php/jfde/article/view/2785

Files

Bio-inspired Transparent Microfluidic Platform As Transformable Networks For Solar Modulation (1.2 Mb)
PDF





Downloadable Citations