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Reference Number EP/N007557/1
Title Active-LIVing Envelopes (ALIVE)
Status Completed
Energy Categories ENERGY EFFICIENCY(Residential and commercial) 25%;
RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES(Solar Energy, Solar heating and cooling (including daylighting)) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Physics) 30%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Architecture and the Built Environment) 40%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 90%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 10%;
Principal Investigator Dr A Shukla
No email address given
Engineering and Computing
Coventry University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 April 2016
End Date 30 November 2017
Duration 20 months
Total Grant Value £100,277
Industrial Sectors Construction; Energy
Region West Midlands
Programme NC : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr A Shukla , Engineering and Computing, Coventry University (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Enistic ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Phase Change Material Products Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , TAS Eco systems (0.000%)
Project Contact , Tata Group UK (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract The UK Government is committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% (from the 1990 baseline) by 2050. There is therefore an urgent need for a radical reduction in the UK dependence on fossil fuel based heating in buildings. The vital role of the building envelope in building energy efficiency and thermal comfort has long been recognized, though until recently, all effort and attention has been focused on optimising the insulation and envelope components. It has become evident that new and more innovative ideas and technologies are needed to improve the energy efficiency of existing envelopes. The benefits from such innovative technologies are of extreme importance as the building envelope plays a major role in the energy flow in and out of buildings. The building envelope also offers significant opportunities to exploit solar energy through integrating solar thermal technologies into the buildings.Many different approaches have been adopted to reduce energy consumption in the built environment, including insulation, on-site renewable energy generation and storage. The active generation of energy from building integrated structures has been largely confined to a few countries. Research has shown the potential for active generation of solar thermal energy and its integration into the built environment, but this approach is not widely accepted in industry due to complexity, design criteria and high initial cost.This project develops previous theoretical work on responsive building envelopes by Dr. Shukla, PI of the proposed project. The proposed design incorporates many novel features, and its in-lab performance will be tested and evaluated. The basis of the proposed envelope system utilises a perforated metal profile attached to the exterior of a building, and an underlying layer of heat storage material separated by an air gap. Initial research and simulation suggests that total energy savings in the range of 30-50% can be achieved, depending upon the type of building and set point temperature used in UK buildings. The proposed design operates close to ambient temperature, thus using solar and ambient energy to warm and cool the building envelope more efficiently by minimising losses. The design of the perforated metal profile will provide enough buoyancy force through a temperature gradient across the metal profile to move air through correctly positioned gaps at a very low velocity and so maximise the benefits of the system. For the required heat transfer between air and heated boundary layer of ALIVE, it is vital that the approach air velocity is low. This will also provide enough time for the PCM to store surplus energy that can be released to heat or cool the building as required. The heated boundary layer across the building envelope will also help in minimising heat loss from the building envelope. The proposed building envelope has the potential to significantly reduce the thickness of insulation used in buildings.This project has been developed by the PI after discussion with industry partners working in the area of sustainable building envelope design, active generation of energy from building integrated structures and potential users of the proposed technology that includes housing organisations. The proposed research project will consist of three main elements; numerical simulations and mathematical modelling, indoor testing and electrical simulations to determine optimum performance of the system and environmental and economic assessment of the technology. The use of PCM in the envelope design will also be investigated to determine how the introduction of this material affects heat transfer between the building envelope and the micro-climate created around the building. The project will include a detailed analysis of the proposed system through lab testing, numerical simulation and mathematical modelling to evaluate the performance of the system.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 30/09/15