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Title: Architectural integration of transpired solar thermal technology in building envelopes and associated technological innovation analysis
Author: Alfarra, Hasan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5350 9767
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis addresses the architectural integration of transpired solar collectors (TSC), as a building envelope technology patented in 1980s to pre-heat ambient air that would be used for space heating. It explores the reasons for low take up of the technology. It further explores the preferences, perceptions and recommendations of architectural integration quality of TSC in buildings. The research analyses the associated technological innovation development at entrepreneurial level in the UK and North America in a variety of terms including knowledge diffusion and research and development. Building-integrated renewable energy is an important response to concerns about climate change and energy poverty. As space heating accounts for 61% of total domestic energy consumption in countries with long cold seasons, the transpired solar collector (TSC) is a promising technology. However, TSC suffers from low take up despite its apparent technical competitiveness. A large-scale questionnaire, an experimental prototype and technological innovation system analysis were used to provide insight into architecturally integrating and developing TSC technology in buildings, and clarifying its potential contribution to pre-heating ambient air. The research outcomes inferred multi-dimensional reasons behind limited adoption of the technology. Respondents were generally aware of TSC technology; however, few were satisfied with available technology. Various preferences determining selection of TSCs were investigated, including: ‘invisible’ integration, planning guidelines for traditional buildings, stage of integration and sustainable factors. Respondents indicated that the ultimate feature considered when sourcing TSC technology was its reliability followed by capital cost. The solar irradiation only needed to exceed 60W/m2 for TSC to generate an output temperature greater than the ambient temperature. A significant temperature increase was observed when solar irradiation exceeded 400W/m2. Output temperature increased to 16ºC above ambient temperature in autumn and 12ºC in winter in the TSC prototype. A comparison of relevant actors, institutions and networks of TSC in the United Kingdom (UK) with North America, found both to be cautious about communication to protect intellectual property: this hampers knowledge exchange and development. Despite TSC take up in North America being restricted by cheap gas prices, end-user feedback reflects a level of satisfaction versus fewer such examples in the UK. Identified barriers included immaturity of technology, reluctance to implement new technology, lack of supply chain and low institutional support. A framework of potential enablers and architectural design guidelines were proposed to breakthrough take up of TSC.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GE Environmental Sciences ; NA Architecture ; TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering