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Water-flow Gazing Curtain-wall and Ground Source Heat Pump as an Energy Saving Strategy in Buildings


  • Department of Architecture, School of Engineering, American University of Ras Al Khaimah (United Arab Emirates)
  • Department of Architecture and Design, Polytechnic School of CEU San Pablo University, Urbanización Montepríncipe, s/n, 28668 Alcorcón, Madrid (Spain)
  • Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, School of Aeronautics and Space Engineering, Polytechnic School of Madrid. Pza. Cardenal Cisneros, 3. 28010, Madrid (Spain)


Background: The thermal challenge raised by the use of traditional air-chamber glazing in contemporary architecture is not coherent with the current goals for buildings in terms of energy efficiency Methods: This paper explores the possibilities of the active water-flow glazing technology in the form of a curtain-wall, and its integration with a geothermal heat exchanger. A simulation is carried out in order to evaluate such installation, and the results of this simulation are then compared to real data collected from a built and functioning example in Spain. Findings: In order to evaluate the energy savings resulted from this installation, the two studies (simulation and real data) are followed by two parallel estimations of energy savings when compared to a theoretical electric energy expense in HVAC of a building with a more conventional building technology. The active water-flow glazing tackles the problem by flowing water through the chamber between glass panes; the windows become solar energy collectors, and a closed water circuit provides the building with the thermal inertia needed to prevent high temperature oscillations. Combining this emerging technology of active waterflow glazing with low-cost heating and cooling strategies such as geothermal exchangers, free cooling and seasonal heat storage would enable maximum use of daylight by a transparent glass façade and, at the same time, achieve Zero Energy Building performance. Applications: When compared to a traditional double-pane curtain-wall connected to an air-water heat pump, a combination of water-flow glazing and ground source heat pump proves to entail substantial energy savings (close to 40%) in a building’s overall cooling costs.


Energy Efficiency, Ground Source Heat Pump, Thermal Inertia, Water-flow Glazing

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