Solar cooling evaluation - Façade integration

State-of-the-art solar cooling technologies and assessment for façade integration potential


  • Alejandro Ignacio Prieto Hoces TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
  • Ulrich Knaack TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
  • Thomas Auer TU Munich
  • Tillmann Klein TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment



Increasing cooling demands in buildings call for innovative environmentally friendly systems to cope with remaining loads after the application of passive design strategies. Solar cooling technologies present interesting assets, but their application in the built environment remains greatly limited. Hence, this chapter seeks to assess their potential for widespread application, identifying possibilities and current bottlenecks for the architectural integration of solar cooling technologies in façades

The assessment is based on a state-of-the-art review and discussion of key attributes for façade integration of selected technologies; and a qualitative evaluation of their suitability to respond to main product related barriers for the integration of building services identified in Chapter 4. An overview of the cooling principles behind the operation of the assessed technologies was presented in Chapter 3, so this chapter focuses exclusively on key aspects to overcome barriers related to the technical feasibility, physical integration, durability, performance, and aesthetics of future integrated concepts. 

Results show that the suitability of the assessed technologies varies according to each particular barrier. Hence, no technology currently fits all required aspects. Nonetheless, the use of thermoelectric modules and compact units based on absorption technologies are regarded as the most promising for the development of either integral building components, or modular plug & play systems for façade integration. In any case, this is heavily conditioned to further efforts and explorations in the field to overcome identified challenges and knowledge gaps. 






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