Navigation Links
Bio-inspired design may lead to more energy efficient windows

TORONTO, ON University of Toronto Engineering professor Ben Hatton is turning to nature to find a way to cut down on the energy leaks from windows.

In an article in Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, Hatton and his colleagues at Harvard University describe a novel process to cut down on heat loss during the winter and keep buildings cool during the summer. Their "bio-inspired approach to thermal control for cooling (or heating) building window surfaces" calls for attaching optically clear, flexible elastomer sheets, bonded to regular glass window panes. The elastomer sheets have channels running through them through which room temperature water flows.

The technique has resulted in 7 to 9 degrees of cooling in laboratory experiments and is effective both at small and large scales, Hatton and his colleagues said.

"Our results show that an artificial vascular network within a transparent layer, composed of channels on the micrometer to millimeter scale, and extending over the surface of a window, offers an additional and novel cooling mechanism for building windows and a new thermal control tool for building design," he said.

Hatton noted that windows account for about 40 per cent of building energy costs. To find a solution to the problem, he turned to nature. "In contrast to man-made thermal control systems, living organisms have evolved an entirely different and highly efficient mechanism to control temperature that is based on the design of internal vascular networks. For example, blood vessels dilate to increase blood flow close to the skin surface to increase convective heat transfer, whereas they constrict and limit flow when our skin is exposed to cold."

He said the technique could also be applied to solar panels, increasing their efficiency. He also noted that as the water flows through the panels, it gets hotter, and this hot water could be used to supply heated water to an existing hot water system or to a heat storage system.


Contact: Terry Lavender
University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

Related biology news :

1. University of Tennessee engineering professor looks to whirligig beetle for bio-inspired robots
2. Keck award enables Carnegie Mellon and Stanford to dramatically expand crowdsourced RNA design
3. Report presents designs for study of cancer risks near US nuclear facilities
4. Research is ensuring stormwater systems are designed for the future
5. Scripps Florida scientist awarded $1.5 million to design therapeutics with new RNA approach
6. African scientist, designer partner to fashion anti-malaria garment that wards off bugs
7. Portable diagnostics designed to be shaken, not stirred
8. MIT-designed cooler preserves tuberculosis drugs, records doses
9. Progress in Osteoporosis re-launched with new design, now invites commentary
10. Faster, cheaper gas and liquid separation using custom designed and built mesoscopic structures
11. SACLA draws acclaim for unique XFEL design
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/18/2015)... 18, 2015  As new scientific discoveries deepen our ... other healthcare providers face challenges in better using that ... In addition, as more children continue to survive pediatric ... and old age. John M. Maris, M.D ... of Philadelphia (CHOP) . --> John ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... Nov. 17, 2015 Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: ... development and sale of broadly enabling, pressure cycling technology ... industry, today announced it has received gross proceeds of ... Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing the total amount raised ... more additional closings are expected in the near future. ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions , an innovative ... clinical research, is pleased to announce that it will be ... (PCT) event, to be held November 17-19 in ... view live demonstrations of iMedNet , MedNet,s ... iMedNet has been able to deliver time and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/28/2015)... , ... November 28, 2015 , ... • Jeon Jin ... avian, porcine and rodent control solutions , ... cinnamon oil, works across all sensory modalities including visual, smell, taste and touch, enabling ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... Accutest Research Laboratories, a leading ... Organization (CRO), has formed a strategic ... - Temple Health for joint work ... (Photo: ) , --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... BRUSSELS , November 25, 2015 ... la première fois les différences entre les souches ... de celles des êtres humains . Ces ... comprendre et envisager la prise en charge efficace de ... ent diagnostiqués chez les chats .    --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: ... business and prospects remain fundamentally strong and highlights ... doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation to continue the ... review of the final interim efficacy and safety ... Endpoint in men with heavily pretreated castration- and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: