Innovative Smart Façade Technology Research at UMass Amherst

Innovative Smart Façade Technology Research at UMass Amherst

[MUSIC PLAYING] Thermoelectric materials
are a special type of semiconductor material. To my knowledge,
thermoelectrics have never been used in building facades. The system that we’re
developing and researching can certainly provide heating or
cooling plus energy generation. The thermoelectric
module inside the facade is thermally coupled
directly to heat sinks, one on either side of the facade. So that allows the
thermoelectric module to, in a sense, talk
to the environments on both sides of the wall
and mediate between them. We conducted experiments
in our lab primarily aimed at determining the optimal
operational conditions and efficiency of a
thermoelectric module. I was very surprised by
the overall efficiency. It was pretty efficient
across the board. The benefit of this
particular system is that it can be included
in any building type. Reducing energy
consumption by, let’s say, 50% is doable with the current
technologies that we have. Smart technology, smart
materials, and smart systems can even push the
boundary even more.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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