Biologically inspired transparent material as an energy system

Alston, ME 2017, Biologically inspired transparent material as an energy system , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Glazed envelopes on buildings play a major role in operational energy consumption as they define the boundary conditions between the climate outside and the thermal comfort inside a building. Glass façades are viewed as an uncontrolled load that sets the operational performance requirements for air-cooling mechanical systems. These façades are determined by code compliant performance levels set by a single prescriptive static, the U value. This is energetically weak, a dynamic IR absorber strategy is needed, since performance requires change by the hour, season, and weather conditions to sync with a warming earth atmosphere. A transparent dynamic IR absorber , will be modulated by temperature-dependance of the absorber by active tailored flows in a microfluidic based platform, than conventional IR static absorbers. Nature’s characterization of materials is a thermally dynamic response in real time to a microenvironment.

This functionality of heat seeking materials would advance a transparent material by energy capture and storage. The hypothesis demonstrates nature’s use of fluidics to direct the structural assembly of a polymer into a thermally functional device, to actively regulate solar radiation as an IR absorber, to lower the polymer device phase transition temperature. This research determines this functionality by hierarchical multi micro-channel network scaling, as a leaf resistor.

Resistor conduit analysis defines flow target resistance through simulation to generate a multi micro-channel network, for enhanced solar radiation absorption. This is demonstrated by precise hydrodynamic control in a network using switching of water flow as a thermal switching medium to regulate heat transport flow. Nature evaluates heat flow transport in real time that is not emulated in current glass façade static performance. The knowledge gap is therefore to advance a transparent material from a static function, to a dynamic IR absorber for solar modulation, and this is demonstrated in this research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments
Depositing User: ME Alston
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2018 11:15
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:37

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