Worldwide energy consumption is continuously increasing. Measures to reduce the energy requirements of industries, buildings, etc. are absolutely necessary. A new type of facade with promising posibilities is being developed by researchers from all over the world. ASTF or Active Solar Thermal Facades can help to diminish energy consumption making use of solar energy. Let’s see some of their characteristics.
ASTF. Making use of solar energy in facades
Researchers of several institutions (University of Hull, University of Nottingham, University of Science and Technology of China, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture and China Academy of Building Research Southwest Institute) have published a research work about this type of promising facades.
According to the authors an ASTF is a special building facade that incorporates a solar thermal absorber into its structure. This combination will create the dual functions for the façade, i.e., shielding and solar energy collection. A typical ASTF process involves:
- Solar absorption and heat gain by the thermal absorber.
- Conductive and convective heat transfer between thermal absorber and surrounding air or other medium.
- Thermal radiation transfer between facade and its surrounding.
The article includes a vast classification of ASTFs depending on building function, thermal collection typologies, transparency, application, as well as heat-transfer medium. Some examples of buildings with ASTF are available within the article.