Solar thermal venetian blinds: Energy-efficient, attractive, transparent

Part of Today in the Lab - Tomorrow in Energy?

Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy? shines a spotlight on research projects under development in the Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs). Learn more about the initiative, read the launch commentary, or explore the TCPs.


What is the aim of the project?

The Arkol project aims to develop a venetian blind for use in highly glazed facades that combines the benefits of conventional venetian blinds and solar thermal collectors.

How could this technology be explained to a high school student?

Heat pipes integrated into the blind slats transfer heat created by the sun to a tube on the side of the facade element. As well as generating renewable energy, the blind can remove excess heat from the façade, thus lowering the cooling demand of the room behind it.

What is the value for society?

  • reduces cooling demand in buildings, which are responsible for over one-third of global final energy use.
  • contributes to high-performance buildings, which only make up 5% of the building stock.
  • provide a solution for both energy savings and architectural design.

At what stage of development is this project?

A first real-size test sample showed the technical feasibility but revealed the need for further development. The follow-up project, DESTINI, will improve and test the energetic performance, based on which an implementation in a real building is planned.

What government policies could bring this from the lab to the market?

  • building codes promoting energy efficiency
  • government funding for demonstration projects
  • strong local government support and collaboration with property owners
Visualisation of a facade with a solar thermal blind and a diagram of the structure of such a blind with a vertical collection duct. Source: Priedemann Façade-Lab.

Visualisation of a facade with a solar thermal blind and a diagram of the structure of such a blind with a vertical collection duct. Source: Priedemann Façade-Lab.


Partners

  • Priedemann Facade-Lab
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems
  • Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability
  • DAW SE
  • KomZet
  • University of Stuttgart

Funder

  • German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

About the Solar Heating and Cooling TCP

The Solar Heating and Cooling Technology Collaboration Programme (SHC TCP) was established in 1977 to promote the use of all aspects of solar thermal energy. SHC TCP’s work is accomplished through the international collaborative effort of experts from countries, industry and the European Union. Contact: secretariat@iea-shc.org