With the increasing awareness of building energy efficiency, indoor environment quality for human wellbeing and working efficiency, efforts have intensified in to inventing intelligent building components. This paper provides a first step in developing a novel multi-effect smart window system, which achieves enhanced energy efficiency and an improved indoor luminous environment by integrating a Transparent Insulation Material (TIM) structure incorporating a Thermotropic material. This system automatically regulates the admittance of solar heat and natural light into the building by responding to a changing environment while taking advantage of the increased thermal resistance and scattered daylight of window integrated TIM. A comprehensive workflow via EnergyPlus and RADIANCE was used to accurately predict the luminous and energy performance of applying the smart window system on a typical south-facing office under selected climates (London, Stockholm, Rome and Singapore). The effect of the optical properties and transition temperature of thermotropic material on building performance was explored in detail. Annual simulation results predict that, with a careful selection of the Thermotropic material properties, installing the TT PS-TIM window system is able to yield up to a 27.1% energy saving when compared with a conventional double glazed window, under the modelled Rome climate. TT PS-TIM windows also provide dynamic daylight control, resulting in increased daylight availability with the percentage of working hours that fall into the UDI500–2000 lx range increasing to 62.3%. The results of this research provide guidance for the next step of the material design and development that seek to balance energy efficiency and solar and daylight control through the use of thermotropic materials.
Sun, Y., Liu, X., Ming, Y., Liu, X., Mahon, D., Wilson, R., …Wu, Y. (2021). Energy and daylight performance of a smart window: Window integrated with thermotropic parallel slat-transparent insulation material. Applied Energy, 293, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2021.116826