Nearly zero energy buildings. The importance of automated solar control

    New homes should incorporate the innovation that we are already using in our cars or on our mobile phones, but the technology must be easy-to-use and intuitive. Such technology should significantly help energy efficiency form part of the home to achieve nearly zero energy dwellings.

    The European Union Directive 2010/31/EU has standardised the nearly zero energy building (NZEB) as the new challenge for 2020, by reducing energy consumption, optimising installations, increasing the use of renewables and caring for the environment. Mobile solar control systems could improve efficiency yet further to help achieve an NZEB.

    These automated systems operate even when the house or building is unoccupied ensuring that the solar protection is always in the optimal position for saving energy. When the building is occupied, the protection is positioned for thermal comfort and illumination.

    The saving made by one home depends on four factors: use, orientation, climate zone and constructive solutions. Average domestic consumption is approximately 150 kWh/m2 or some €20/m2. The challenge is to reduce the 150 kWh/m2 to almost zero by 2020. Traditional and innovative constructive solutions have to be incorporated into new homes to achieve the targets set by the EU and standardised under Royal Decree 235/2014 of 5 April with the energy certification.

    Innovation and systems have to adapt to the new needs of homes, offering a flexible solution which is customised to cover the requirements of each household and responds to the new commitments to reduce demand and energy consumption. Read more…

    Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016