Project Tests Energy Retrofits at 3 Buildings

November 13, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

brickerThe Bricker Project is retrofitting three public buildings in Europe in three different climate zones: Spain, Belgium and Turkey.

The projects are combining different active and passive technologies to achieve energy efficiency, including Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), solar Parabolic Trough Collectors (PTC), aerating windows and a ventilated facade, among other technologies.

For the building in Spain (pictured), the emphasis is on solar and biomass technologies. The project will integrate solar Parabolic Trough Collectors (PTC), a biomass boiler, a heat and electricity cogeneration unit based on Organic Rankine Cycle, an adsorption chiller and a cooling tower. The PTC and the biomass boiler will produce hot oil that will feed the ORC unit. The ORC unit will produce electricity as well as hot water.

The Spanish wing of the project faces two major challenges. First, it combines technologies that have never before been used together. Second, it integrates these technologies into an existing public building. And like the other projects, the retrofit must work around an occupied public building.

In the Turkish building, solar films will be installed on east- and west-facing windows and solar shades on south-facing windows in summer to reduce the air-conditioning load. Heat exchangers that allow incoming cold air to be preheated by outgoing stale heated air, without mixing, will also be installed.

In Belgium, the building will be insulated with a polyisocyanurate rigid foam (PIR) that contains “phase-changing materials” that can adsorb and store thermal energy. In addition, the building will be retrofitted with double-glazed windows that have a built-in solar protective layer. The building is expected to move from an E class energy level to a B class, with savings in electricity and natural gas.

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