Comparative Building Energy Simulation Study of Static and Thermochromically Adaptive Energy-Efficient Glazing in Various Climate Regions.

Mann, D., Yeung, C. P., Habets, R., Vroon, Z., & Buskens, P. (2020).
Energies (Basel), 13(11), 2842.

The building sector contributes approximately one third of the total energy consumption worldwide. A large part of this energy is used for the heating and cooling of buildings, which can be drastically reduced by use of energy-efficient glazing. In this study, we performed building energy simulations on a prototypical residential building, and compared commercially available static (low-e, solar IR blocking) to newly developed adaptive thermochromic glazing systems for various climate regions. The modeling results show that static energy-efficient glazing is mainly optimized for either hot climates, where low solar heat gain can reduce cooling demands drastically, or cold climates, where low-e properties have a huge influence on heating demands. For intermediate climates, we demonstrate that adaptive thermochromic glazing in combination with a low-e coating is perfectly suited. The newly developed thermochromic glazing can lead to annual energy consumption improvement of up to 22% in comparison to clear glass, which exceeds all other glazing systems. Furthermore, we demonstrate that in the Netherlands the use of this new glazing system can lead to annual cost savings of EU 638 per dwelling (172 m2, 25% window façade), and to annual nationwide CO2 savings of 4.5 Mt. Ergo, we show that further development of thermochromic smart windows into market-ready products can have a huge economic, ecological and societal impact on all intermediate climate region in the northern hemisphere.