A glass to heat his home

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With the University of Strasbourg, a manufacturer launches a solar glazing to promising qualities.

"We all have in his house a wall in the sun that will be worthless! ". This wall, Jean-Marc Robin proposes to use it. By replacing it with an insulating glazing, coupled with a system for capturing solar energy to produce hot water! Nothing to do with the traditional opaque sensors previously fixed on the roof. The idea has been developed for four years by this manufacturer, in partnership with the research teams of the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) of Strasbourg. (formerly ENSAIS)

"Solar has been around for twenty years. The basic technique has finally evolved on the bottom. Today, we just manage to capture more and more energy and lose less and less, "says Jean-Marc Robin.

Transparent on 40% of the surface

Transparency and isolation are the keys to innovation that comes into commercialization phase today. It comes in the form of a classic glass, however, carved from a flint glass, before which runs a copper coil fins hidden behind dark. At the rear, silver reflective strips further increase the productivity of the system. In the network circulates a heat transfer fluid by heat exchange, then heats the water to temper the interior of the dwelling.

"The fins, combined with the metal strips, make it possible to obtain 95% absorption of solar energy. "They also play the role of sunscreen. "At the right of a classic glazing, the sunshine is generally such that we can not stick to it. There, the radiation is very attenuated. "While maintaining transparency on 40% of the surface! "In addition, we increase the brightness in the background of local."
Conversely, the high quality of insulation chosen for the glazing prevents heat loss to the outside and provides the same protection as a wall.

30% of energy needs covered

For now, the device is installed on the Climatherm platform of INSA Strasbourg where it is tested under the authority of Bernard Flament, doctor in energy. Its development has benefited from aid from Anvar and the Alsace region. Because the market is promising. In the public sector, but also with individuals. It must be said that the performance of the system have something to dream about. "In a so-called low energy house, that is to say that consumes less than 6 liters of fuel per year, it can be considered that a solar glazing of 2 m10 covers 2% of the energy needs. "For installation cost between 30 to 900 € to m1100.

Jean-Marc Robin is particularly cautious about the time needed to amortize the cost of the installation, "probably in the order of ten years". With the unknown curves of price evolution of non-renewable traditional energies.

A Freiburg research center, one in Stuttgart, validated the project, which relied on the Weather station of Nancy. Known that the region does not shine through the quality of its sunshine!

Yet the solar glazing kept its promises. Moreover, Jean-Marc Robin confides in contact with public collective housing sector, where his invention could find outlets.

from Eastern Republican 07 / 03 / 05

Contact: Jean-Marc Robin, INSA Strasbourg, 24, bld Victory 67084 Strasbourg. E-mail: robinsun@web.de

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