In the laboratory, the thermal and energetic performance of façade elements such as windows and doors, walls and façade modules can be tested under stationary and dynamic conditions. This experimental inspection is indispensable for the development of computational models and simulations that predict the energetic behaviour of new buildings as accurately as possible.
The measurements are carried out in a calorimeter, a double climate chamber with protection zone, in combination with a solar simulator with continuous light. Temperature, humidity and air speed can be changed in both chambers. In addition, the solar radiation can also be adjusted. In this way real conditions can be recreated, both internally and externally. The calorimeter conforms to standard ISO 8990 and can take test objects up to a size of 3 x 3 x 0.5 m. An extensive system of sensors and measuring devices allows the calculation of various parameters, such as the heat transmission coefficient and the thermal capacity. This makes possible the energetic performance assessment of active and passive façade elements.
Building envelopes can also be used for the generation and exchange of energy. To achieve this it is essential that the behaviour of the finished construction can be regulated and assessed in advance with the conditions found on site. In order to be able to test prototypes for active systems, the laboratory is equipped with a solar simulator and a water circulation system. This can be used to check the heat flow in building envelope components in which photovoltaic panels, solar collectors or surface heating elements are installed.
It is also possible to undertake g-value (Total Solar Energy Transmittance) measurements in the laboratory. The g-value describes the ability of building envelope elements to control the incident thermal energy of the sun. Elements that are either transparent, semi-permeable or equipped with shading systems can be assessed. This test allows the performance of complex and innovative systems to be tested in advance in order to be able to evaluate realistically the energetic efficiency of a new construction project or a renovation, and to optimise individual elements such as solar screens.
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