Thermal performance analysis of a new structured-core translucent vacuum insulation panel in comparison to vacuum glazing: Experimental and theoretically validated analyses

Takao Katsura, Saim Memon, Ali Radwan, Makoto Nakamura, Katsunori Nagano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The notion at which, nowadays, building sector is being recognized to be nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEBs) relies partly on the thermal performance of its fabric insulation. Vacuum glazing (VG) technology attracted the research interest as an option to reduce heat loss through windows. However, the total glazing thermal transmittance (U-value) for VG increases with the use of smaller glazing area due to the edge-seal effects, due to the thermal short-circuit around the edges and the overall construction cost of VG leading to an unaffordable option to deal with energy conservation of buildings. Therefore, this study aims to propose a new structured core transparent vacuum insulation panel (TVIP) to accomplish insulation for the windows without edge sealing effect, with lower cost and can be easily retrofitted to the conventional windows of the existing buildings. To do this, VG and TVIP were constructed and their thermal conductivity were measured using heat flow meter apparatus. In addition, a 3D finite volume model considering the effect of surface to surface radiation, gas conduction, and thermal bridges through the spacer material and sealing material is developed. The model is validated with the experiments in this work and with the data for VG in the literature. The effect of vacuum pressure increase is simulated to mimic the vacuum deterioration problem and the effect of glazing size on the insulation performance of both VG and TVIP were investigated. The results indicate that for a smaller glazing area of less than 30 cm × 30 cm, the TVIP accomplished lower U-value compared with the VG at vacuum pressure of 0.1 Pa and 1 Pa. While, at a vacuum pressure of 10 Pa, the TVIP attained a lower U-value over the entire range of the investigated glazing sizes. Further, the edge-seal effect in the VG is diminished with the use of TVIP. Furthermore, the material cost per unit area of the TVIP is three times less than the cost of VG at laboratory scale. The results of the current study can guide vacuum window designers and researchers to further enhance the performance of TVIP based window to compete for the VG in the markets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-346
Number of pages21
JournalSolar Energy
Volume199
Early online date18 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

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