Developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology, a smart façade can ‘open’ and ‘close’ depending on Sun. Well, it isn’t so simple. It’s made of some disks that work with thermal energy. In this way, they can prevent heat to go in buildings.
The main point of this proposal is that it doesn’t need energy supply. Each element of the smart façade is autonomous:
“We don’t need any power since we can rely solely on thermal energy to control the façade element” says André Bucht, researcher and department head at Fraunhofer IWU.
Disks can be placed in the outer layer of a window. They are made of fabric and thin 80-millimeter-long wires of nickel-titanium alloy that remember their original shape when exposed to heat. When Sun heats them up, they come back to their original position ‘closing’ the façade. When Sun disappears, they open again and the façade becomes transparent.
This nice development could help to save a lot of energy in buildings. It could even prevent AC from working in summer.
But researchers expect to enhance their smart façade in the foreseeable future:
“It might be possible to store solar thermal energy and then release it when needed to heat the interior, for instance at night. Another idea is to coat the flower fabric components with malleable, organic solar cells in order to generate electricity that can be used within the building.”
You can find more information in Fraunhofer Institute website.