Exeter project to develop new energy-saving windows and facades given £1.65 million funding boost

the new technology will significantly reduce energy demand and allow it to be created and installed in the most cost-effective way.

A pioneering new project to develop revolutionary new energy saving windows and facades has received a significant funding boost.

The project, led by experts from the University of Exeter’s Renewable Energy department, has received a £1.65 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC ) under the End User Energy Demand scheme.

Called Smart Composite Material for Advanced Building Fenestration to Enhance Energy Efficiency, the four-year project will aim to undertake ambitious research to develop windows and facades that reduce heat loss and maximise sunlight.

Crucially, the new technology will not only significantly reduce energy demand with each building, but will also allow it to be created and installed in the most cost-effective way.

Dr Asif Tahir, project lead and from Exeter’s Renewable Energy department on the Penryn Campus, Cornwall said: The overarching goal of energy efficacy and visual comfort will be achieved developing new technology based on optimised matrix of multi-fold smart composite in which each elements of composite will bring a unique property to composite to contribute to enhance energy efficiency of windows and facades at an acceptable cost.

“The outcome of this research will enable us to create technological pathways towards achieving energy positive buildings in the UK.”

Currently, energy consumed by buildings for heating, cooling, and lighting needs accounts for more than 40 per cent of their CO2 emissions. However, a substantial portion of energy is lost through window and glass building facades. While windows and facades are currently the least energy efficient part of buildings, they are amongst the most easily-replaceable areas.

The project will look to develop new smart glazing technology for windows and facades to restrict the incoming and outgoing heat, and so reduce each building’s energy footprint. It will look to create a smart, composite material to maximise the energy efficiency of windows and facades.

In winter, the new material will be able to absorb heat from the sun, and transfer and store it for use within the building. It will also prevent heat loss from the building, using a reflective coating to reflect it back inside.

In summer, the same material can be used to regulate the glass transparency to control the indoor temperature, and so reduce the need for air conditioning.

The CoI of the project, Professor Tapas Mallick, also from the Renewable Energy department added: “This is an excellent news for the department which shows our outstanding research in the area of low energy building. Through this funding and our participation into the UK Centre for Research on Energy Demand, led by Oxford University, this provides an excellent opportunity to show our impact on the low energy building research to the national stakeholders.

“This funding will enable us to develop complimentary on-going research on advanced building facades which is also funded by EPSRC through its EUED-Tech 1 scheme.”

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