Center for Research in Energy Systems Transformation (CREST)
Evaluating energy consumption saving from translucent concrete building envelope
- Author(s): Ahuja, Aashish
- et al.
The translucent concrete (TC) as a building envelope can offset some lighting energy that is consumed within a room in an office. It is constructed from concrete panels which are functionalized by embedding optical fibers during the manufacturing phase to transmit sunlight. From preliminary results, a volumetric fiber ratio of 6% used in the TC panel leads to savings in lighting energy by around 50%. The utility of panels is enhanced if it reduces the heating and cooling requirements of the office room. The sunlight channeled by optical fibers can contribute in heating of room during winter but in summer months, it leads to spike in cooling loads. Also, daylight reduces heat dissipation from lighting installations and positively impacts cooling loads. The conduction through walls allows heat to be removed from the room during morning but transmits heat from ambient environment into the room later in the afternoon and evening. The presented research combines thermal and lighting analyses to search for an optimal fiber volumetric ratio for TC panels that would result in energy savings. The TC panels can cut down energy expenditure by 18% for a fiber volumetric ratio of 5.6% which renders the fabrication process to be practical.