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ENVISION: Energy harVesting by Invisible Solar IntegratiON in building skins

25 Oct 2018

To achieve the European goal of an energy-neutral built environment in 2050, harvesting of solar energy from all surfaces of buildings should be maximized. TNO coordinates the EU project ENVISION, which aims at developing and demonstrating an integrated renovation concept using all the available building surfaces for thermal and electrical energy harvesting.

For more information go to the ENVISON website

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To achieve the European goal of an energy-neutral built environment in 2050, harvesting of solar energy from all surfaces of buildings should be maximized. Considering that approximately 85% of existing dwellings were built before 1990 with poor insulation (R ≤ 1.6 m2K/W), major renovation will take place in the upcoming period.

The project has received funding from the EU H2020 programme under GA no 767180

Efficiently managing solar radiation on buildings provides an enormous potential, since in EU28 a total of 60 billion square meters of façade surfaces exists, and the current usage of solar radiation on opaque surfaces is still minimal. Together with roofs this would mean a total of 120 billion square meters of potential energy harvesting surfaces.

ENVISION focusses on energy harvesting of the façade. The developed technologies work by absorbing the invisible part of the solar radiation, the near-infrared (NIR) part, constituting roughly the 50% of the solar energy spectrum. Because it is invisible, the NIR radiation can be harvested while retaining visible and aesthetic aspects of the façade.

Within the ENVISION project, together with partners, TNO develops and demonstrates an integrated renovation concept using all the available building surfaces (vertical/horizontal, transparent/opaque) for thermal and electrical energy harvesting.

A real case-study of subsystem prototypes will be tested (façade elements) at the TNO SOLAR-Beat (Netherlands) and at the EDF BESTlabs (France). Technologies will be finally demonstrated in real environment; 1) to demonstrate and study the link to the district network and the grid connection (Italy, University of Genoa Savona Campus), and 2) to demonstrate a real case study of a renovation action (The Netherlands, VESTIA appartment Delft).

The following technologies are developed:

1) Solar heat collectors based on the usage of NIR absorbing coloured coatings
2) Covered solar heat collectors using colored NIR transparent glass
3) Smart ventilated heat harvesting window
4) PV harvesting glass

A large scale deployment potential is guaranteed, because of the modularity and flexibility of the prefab solutions. Easy maintenance is enabled by the 'click-on' façade concept for the non-transparent parts. The patented click-façade solution, allows 'plug and play' of well insulated pre-fab elements combined with the new ‘ENVISION’ façade solutions.

Interested? Please contact us!

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