Developing a Facility for Glazing Performance Testing
Authors: Luther, Mark Brandt; Horan, Peter; van Kan, David Jack
The perception that the results of glazing research are definitively
embedded into current simulation programs could not be further from the
truth. Significant advances have occurred in recent years, including
steady-state thermal analysis, transmission and reflection methods for complex glazing systems, as well as attempts to characterise
thermal comfort near a façade system. Many glazing testing facilities have been built to explore energy transfer, daylighting and shading systems empirically.
However, questions remain. Are the models valid? Can they be improved, simplified, and developed further? Can they replicate empirical data and therefore can they adequately predict the performance of façade systems?
All of these research areas in glazing systems have regenerated the interest to develop a facility for testing in a quasi ‘out-of-the-laboratory’ environment. For this facility we have considered an instrumentation set-up, which couples a need for highly accurate experimental set-up and instrumentation procedures. An empirical methodology is established, achieving accurate data readings, providing validated results.
The facility incorporates the set-up of an on-site weather station and solar tracker. A west facing façade provides for two 1.2m wide x 2.7m high glazing systems; a reference and the test subject. At present typical units are being researched, representing standard clear insulated glazing systems. External and internal air temperatures as well as the various incremental glass surfaces are measured. Experimental approaches applying heat flux meters on the interior surface as well as radiant asymmetry probes (parallel to the surface) are part of this study. A standard comfort meter has been adapted into a façade heat transfer and thermal comfort instrument within the test facility. The present objectives, testing methods, future instrumentation and set-up are discussed in this paper.