A Method for Driving the Solar Control Mechanism Selection

University essay from Lunds universitet/Energi och ByggnadsDesign

Abstract: Highly glazed spaces are continuously increasing in popularity due to architectural attractiveness. However, increased use of glass often jeopardizes thermal comfort in several ways and problem of overheating is one of them. A way to face this problem is to appropriately use solar control mechanisms. However, a proper selection of solar control mechanisms from an early design stage is a complex task that often can puzzle experienced building physicists, façade designers and architects. In this project a method was developed, which drives the selection of appropriate solar control mechanisms based on analysis of overheating due to solar heat gains. The aim of the method is to maintain adequate thermal comfort levels in highly glazed spaces. Two thermal comfort models, Predicted Mean Vote and Adaptive Model, were chosen to set the thermal comfort boundaries included in the method. Moreover, in order to make the output of this method more realistic, the effect of direct solar component was considered as an adjustment to the mean radiant temperature. Three different types of solar control mechanisms have been investigated and assessed, those are solar control glass, interior and exterior fabric blinds. The results present the overheating in annual overheating charts colored after the scaled range of temperatures for every hour of the year. As a result of the analysis, the appropriate solar control mechanisms are defined according to their performance in solving particular overheating problem. By that the method suggests solutions and helps the designer to understand the potential improvements that can be realized by implementing solar control mechanisms. The method aims to assist specialists with the selection process of solar control mechanism that respects the architectural vision without compromising the quality of thermal comfort. Due to limitations, only three types of solar control mechanisms were included in this study and a future investigation of angular dependent shading devices would be a valuable addition to the method.

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