Research & Innovation

‘Smart’ Windows to Cut Energy Use in Buildings by 20%

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‘Smart’ Windows to Cut Energy Use in Buildings by 20%

‘Smart’ Windows to Cut Energy Use in Buildings by 20%
February 04
09:13 2014

A consortium of three European manufacturers and suppliers of windows and ventilation systems, including an Irish company based in Dublin, has created a new technology for energy efficient heat recovery windows for the renovation of residential and commercial buildings. In winter, windows and ventilation are a significant source of heat loss, particularly in older buildings, and the new windows address this. The smart CLIMAWIN windows also have a self-cooling function suitable for hot weather, reducing the need for expensive air conditioning, making them suitable for all climates.

“Windows are a huge source of heat loss in a building. Our innovation is effectively a passive heat recovery ventilation system. Test results show that a standard building fitted with CLIMAWIN windows only, would improve its energy performance by 18-24%,” explains project representative Brian O’Brien of Solearth Ecological Architecture, Dublin.

ClimawinProfilesHe continues: “In cool climates, CLIMAWIN is designed to improve comfort by pre-warming ventilation air on the north, east and west facades, and by using solar gain on southern facades. For hotter climates, it has a self-cooling function that allows daylight in, but reduces the unwanted solar heat. Through optimising thermal insulation, solar energy gains and daylight control, the window is expected to significantly improve energy efficiency and thermal comfort in both residential and commercial buildings that do not currently have efficient ventilation systems.”

The window was developed by seven partners from four countries – Denmark, Germany, Ireland and Portugal – in an EU-funded research and development project called CLIMAWIN. The high-performance window pre heats incoming ventilation air, powered by solar cells and is regulated automatically from room sensors. It has numerous features which give it clear advantages over existing window and ventilation technologies. These include very high thermal insulation, regulated vents for controlled air intake, a frame of two layers of glazing, air filters, integrated electronics and wireless communications between room sensors and the windows (so retrofit installation can be done without rewiring). There is both a pre-heating and a self-cooling functionality for different climates and a flush/bypass mode for extreme conditions.

The technology was three years in the making and is now being launched commercially by three of the project partners. CLIMAWIN windows will be available across Europe by late-2014. Producers will also be able to buy a licence from the consortium to integrate CLIMAWIN technology into their own production with royalties paid to the consortium. Beyond Europe, the consortium anticipates an important market in the US, Canada and Russia.

Altogether the project partners will have received €1.4million in EU budget money by the end of the current 2nd project.

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