Future buildings to become self-powered

Nowadays, energy consumption and need for new resources of energy production increase day to day. Buildings and industrial plants are major consumers of energy. These days architectures are looking into the various ways to transform building sector from mere energy consumer to self-powered producer and controller of energy. One of the key elements in their transform is to use the combination of photovoltaic (PV) panels and solar thermal collectors systems in order to control energy production / consumption and manage indoor space lightening and air conditioning. This could somehow be in the category of new zero energy buildings. 

Using PV as building materials in Building envelope

PVs are usually used in rooftops, facades, and parasols. Windows are often regarded as a less energy efficient building component with a larger maintenance requirement.

Dynamic tintable or so-called smart windows can change properties such as the solar factor and the transmission of radiation in the solar spectrum in response to an electric current or to the changing environmental conditions themselves [1]. Application of this new type of window is for buildings with large glazing windows, where they could significantly

    • increase energy production
  • decrease energy consumption by reducing cooling loads, heating loads and the demand for electric lighting [1].

For future works, architectures carry out researches in collaboration with physicists. This is to use new materials such as chromic, liquid crystals, and electrophoretic or suspended-particle materials in smart windows. The goal here is to decrease environmental impacts of PV productions [1],[2],[3]. Applying PVs in all areas of the building envelope in addition to windows can make self-powered houses, where the energy consumer has become self-sufficient [4].

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1- https://www.sciencedirect.com

2- https://www.sciencedirect.com

3- https://www.sciencedirect.com

4- https://patents.google.com