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2017 International Conference on Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering

Experimental Analysis of Double and Triple Glazed Faades with Different Shading
Devices in Qatar

Albert Al Touma, Djamel Ouahrani


Department of Architecture and Urban Planning,
College of Engineering at Qatar University, Al-Tarfa,
2713, Doha, Qatar
e-mail: albert.touma@qu.edu.qa, djamel@qu.edu.qa

AbstractThe design of fully-glazed faades on buildings has regions [7]. The flow and heat transfer in double, triple and
become very popular, especially in hot regions where the use of quadruple glazed windows have been numerically studied
natural ventilation is not recommended. The integration of and it was found that energy savings up to 67% are achieved
shading devices to faade surfaces has been extensively studied if double pane windows are replaced by quadruple panes in
to mitigate the resulting increase in cooling load due to larger Turkey [8]. This implies that larger savings are anticipated
glazed areas. In this paper, the effect of double and triple- when the pane number is increased in glazed faades.
glazed faades oriented in the south direction with different Moreover, researchers have combined multiple-pane
types of shading devices is analyzed and experimentally- windows with airflow windows by proposing double-skin
quantified over the cooling period in Qatar. The faade and
faades where the cavity between the glazed layers is
shading combinations have been chosen according to actual
naturally or mechanically ventilated to reduce their surface
construction practices in the country. It was found that adding
panes to glazed surfaces is more beneficial than shading temperatures [5], [9], [10].
devices due to the countrys large portion of convective heat Similarly, means of reducing radiation transmission and
gain of the space total cooling load. On the other hand, the heat gain through glazed surfaces using shading devices have
benefits of the blinds lie in reducing the transmitted radiation also been studied. The addition of venetian blinds to the
energy with minimal effect on the heat transfer across the airspace cavity in between the faade surfaces was
faade. investigated and it was found that the cavity and blind
operations may lead to up to 50% savings in the cooling load
Keywords-Convective heat gain; faade; radiation energy [11]. Also, the installation of different solar films on several
and shading devices types of windows was analyzed [12]. It was found that the
use of a solar film on a 12mm single clear window installed
I. INTRODUCTION on the west orientation only reduces the electrical energy
consumption by 4.1%, 1.3% and 10.5% for an office, mall
Large glazed surfaces have become more popular in the and hotel spaces, respectively. In addition, the effect of roller
design of modern buildings as they increase the amount of shades placement on windows with a shading control
daylight and improve the buildings architecture. Yet, among strategy was found to reduce the space cooling demand by
all components of the building envelope, glazed surfaces are 51% [13]. Although these alternative energy reduction
the weakest due to their poor thermal and physical properties practices have shown great significance in reducing the space
that are vulnerable to the outdoor environment [1]. These energy demands, their usage is highly dependent on the
surfaces increase the space loads significantly, raise the weather conditions of the location where they are applied.
occupants sensation of thermal and visual discomforts and Qatar suffers from a hot and humid climate characterized
increase the chances of glare risks [2], [3]. For instance, by high temperature and solar radiation throughout the year
windows have been shown to account for up to 57% of the [14], [15]. In such countries, large glazed surface areas lead
space load in Saudi Arabia for residential buildings that have to considerable increases in the solar heat gains that produce
relatively small window-to-wall ratios [4]. As the use of excessive space cooling loads and hazardous environmental
glazing faades is not fully justified among design engineers impact due to gas emissions [5]. Since each glazing and
[5], more analyses should be conducted to better understand shading system acts differently according to the climatic
their benefits and resulting shortcomings. conditions, no attention has been given to the design of
Many research projects have been conducted to reduce glazing faades in Qatar. The objective of this study is to
the impact of increased load caused by glazed faades. The investigate experimentally the cooling load reductions on
effect of faade orientation was studied and it was found that different combinations of double and triple glazed faades
25% of the cooling energy is saved in hot countries if the with shading devices subjected to Qatari weather conditions.
faade is oriented towards the north, as it is hit by the least This study provides a preliminary solid foundation for
amount of solar radiation throughout the year [6]. A similar further investigation of optimal office fenestration/shading
study was conducted to optimize the faade parameters and system in the hot weather climate of the Arabian Gulf region
orientation with respect to the heating energy demand in cold based on lifecycle cost analysis.

978-1-5090-6338-3/17/$31.00 2017 IEEE 38


II. EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION The four rooms where designed to have the following
combination of faade and shading device (Figs. 2 (a)-(d)):
A. Experimental Setup 1. Room 1: Faade type 1 with external venetian blinds.
Experiments were conducted in the Zero Energy and 2. Room 2: Faade type 1 with external brise soleil.
Emission Laboratory at Qatar University. The laboratory is 3. Room 3: Faade type 2 with intermediate venetian
composed of two chambers with two test rooms in each of blinds (between glass layers).
them, as shown in Fig. 1. Each room has a floor area of 4. Room 4: Faade type 3 with intermediate venetian
7.6m2 and a height of 2.32m, where the glazed faade is
blinds. Note that the variable clearance was set to 15cm
installed facing the south direction. Each room interior walls,
as well as the floor and ceiling, are made of 10cm heavily leading to a total faade thickness of 182mm.
insulated Styrofoam for minimal heat transfer across them.
An electric chiller with a capacity of 12 refrigeration tons
provides both chambers with chilled water to supply the
rooms with the required air temperatures and meet the set-
point requirement; each room is equipped with an air-
handling unit where the chilled water absorbs heat from the
supply air at a predetermined flow rate until the latter reaches
the supply temperature needed to meet the rooms load.

Figure 1. The two chambers of the Zero-Energy and Emission Laboratory.

The experiments were carried out to study four


combinations of glazing surfaces with shading devices. Figure 2. The installation of different shading devices on (a) Room 1, (b)
Room 2, (c) Room 3 and (d) Room 4.
These combinations were chosen according to their
popularity in Qatar and as recommended by engineering TABLE II. LIST OF SENSORS AND MEASURED PARAMETERS INSTALLED IN
consultants. The types of glazed faade that were used along EACH OF THE FOUR ROOMS
with their thermo-physical properties are shown in Table I. Parameter Sensor Accuracy
Note that all clearances mentioned in Table I contain 90% Solar Radiation CMP 11 Pyranometer < 7 W/m2
argon and 10% air. Surface Temperature K-type thermocouples 0.3C
TABLE I. FAADES MATERIALS AND THERMO-PHYSICAL PROPERTIES Room Air Temperature Hygro-thermo Transmitter 0.5C
Faade Type
Parameter Faade Type 2 Faade Type 3
1 The venetian blinds and brise soleil used in the
8mm ESG experiments are all grey un-insulated non-thermal break;
8mm ESG
29mm
6mm ESG Variable they singlehandedly have a high thermal conductivity with
Clearance
16mm Clearance minimal effect on heat transfer; however, their benefits lie in
Material 6mm float glass
Clearance 6mm float obstructing solar radiation. The venetian blinds had zero slat-
12mm
6mm ESG glass 12mm
Clearance to-slat distance when fully-deployed, but where maintained
6mm ESG
6mm ESG at an angle of 90 with the vertical throughout the
Total
Thickness
28mm 61mm - experiment.
Overall Heat All four rooms were equipped with the same set of
Transfer 1.1 W/m2.K 0.6 W/m2.K 1.1 W/m2.K sensors. Three K-type thermocouples were placed at heights
Coefficient of 0.3m, 1.5m and 2.7m and on both the faades internal
Solar Heat and external surfaces. Air temperature sensor and radiation
Gain pyranometer were placed at heights of 1.7m and 1.1m in the
0.16 0.13 0.16
Coefficient
(SHGC) middle of each room to measure the air temperature and
Visual solar radiation intensity reaching the inner space. All of these
18.8% 16.5% 17.9%
Transmittance sensors were calibrated and connected to a computer station

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where data was read in real-time. These sensors accuracies Maximum Standard Maximum Standard
are listed in Table II. Deviation (C) Deviation (C)
Room 1 0.4 1.0
B. Experimental Conditions Room 2 0.6 1.9
The experiments were conducted throughout the cooling Room 3 0.3 1.5
period in Qatar, which is defined as the period of hot summer Room 4 0.5 1.2
conditions when cooling is necessary to ensure indoor air
quality and occupants thermal comfort. In other words, it The results of the total cooling thermal loads caused by
was taken as the period between May and October, inclusive. the faade from May to October, as found for each room, are
The authors conducted several data checks and analysis shown in Table IV.
throughout this period in order to ensure that the collected
data falls within plausible trends. TABLE IV. THE CALCULATED COOLING LOADS FOR THE FOUR ROOMS
Total
III. ANALYTICAL METHODOLOGY Total Convective Total Solar Radiation
Room Cooling
Heat Gain (kWh) Transmission (kWh)
To estimate the space thermal load caused by the facade, Load (kWh)
Room
measuring the indoor air and faade inner surface 1
254.8 15.1 82.2 9.7 337.0 24.8
temperatures, as well as the transmitted solar radiation flux, Room
was deemed necessary. As the experimental rooms were 196.9 15.1 143.9 9.7 340.8 24.8
2
extremely tight and had no internal loads (lighting, Room
248.3 15.1 60.1 9.7 308.4 24.8
equipment or occupancy), the cooling load caused by the 3
Room
faade is estimated to be the summation of the radiation 4
153.9 15.1 80.8 9.7 234.6 24.8
transmitted to the rooms and the convective heat gained from
the faade surface. Assuming that the surface temperature
As seen in Table IV, the total convective heat gain for all
does not change drastically over the faade area, which will
four rooms is always larger than the total radiation energy
be justified experimentally, the convective heat gain is
transmitted through the faade surface. In fact, according to
calculated using Eq. (1):
Qatars location, relatively little amounts of direct and
diffuse solar radiation strike the vertical surfaces oriented
QFacade h AFacade (TFacade TAir ) (1) towards the south during the summer season, which is the
period being studied in this project. On the other hand, all the
where h is the convection heat transfer coefficient between faades selected for this study are among the most recently
the faade and the indoor air and is calculated using a model manufactured and have considerably low solar and visual
developed for mixed convection in mechanically ventilated transmittances (i.e. a maximum of 18.8%) compared to other
rooms [15], [16]. This model uses the faade surface conventional glazing systems. In contrary, the use of double
temperature and the air supply temperature, as well as the and triple glazed faades as well as the installation of the
faade height, as inputs to estimate the convection heat shading devices obstruct heat dissipation, increase the faade
transfer coefficient. surface temperature and consequently raise the total
convective heat gain. Hence, these reasons justify the small
portion of the total load caused by the transmitted radiation
IV. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION energy and the large portion caused by convective heat gain.
The average and standard deviation of the three Regarding the convective heat gain alone, Room 4
measurements taken on both the inner and outer faade proved to be the most energy efficient. As it is a triple-glazed
surfaces were calculated to check if the faade could be faade with a large air-argon layer (five times larger than that
treated as one temperature node in the calculation of of Room 3), heat transfer was highly resisted leading to
convective heat gain. Results of the standard deviations 153.9 kWh of convective heat gain over the whole cooling
throughout the cooling period are shown in Table III. period. On the other hand, as shading devices are un-
As seen in Table III, the maximum standard deviations of insulated, their effect on heat transfer is minimal and their
the inner and outer surfaces during the cooling period were benefits lie only in acting as a shield against radiation
0.6 C and 1.9 C in Room 2. The standard deviation of the transmission. In fact, Rooms 1 and 3 had very close total
temperatures at the inner surfaces of the faade seemed convective heat gain, which proves the minimal effect of
reasonably small to treat them as single temperature nodes in shading devices position placement on heat transfer.
the results and analysis. Note that higher standard deviations In terms of transmitted radiation energy, Room 2 suffered
were seen during the winter period, which do not fall within from a larger transmission leading to an increased cooling
the scope of this study. Hence, the convective heat gain of load. As Room 2 contains fixed brise soleil, their area
the faade could be now calculated according to Eq. (1). covered only a certain fraction of the faade surface, which
causes a moderate radiation obstruction, and consequently, a
TABLE III. MAXIMUM HOURLY STANDARD DEVIATION FOR THE modest reduction in the total cooling load. Moreover, the
EXPERIMENTAL MEASUREMENTS reason behind the difference in transmitted radiation energy
Month Inner Surface Outer Surface between Rooms 1 and 3 is the location of the blind. In Room

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1, the blinds are located outside, which means that a [1] Al Touma, A., Ghaddar, N., & Ghali, K. (2016). Effect of shutter
significant portion of the radiation reflected off the faade deployment on space loads in Saudi Arabia. Unpublished.
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V. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK [4] Al Touma, A., Ghaddar, N., & Ghali, K. (2016). Energy savings of
This study provides novel analysis on the design and windows with shutters in hot and humid climates. Proceedings of the
2nd ASHRAE International Conference on Efficient Building Design:
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