INDOOR AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT, vol.26, no.1, pp.44-59, 2017 (SCI-Expanded)
In this study, a recently developed innovative window technology called vacuum tube window is introduced, and its performance assessment is presented through an experimental and numerical research. The novel design of vacuum tube window consists of evacuated tubes surrounded by Argon as inert gas to eliminate conductive and convective effects inside the window and thus to produce a building element with remarkably low overall heat transfer coefficient (U-value). Heat transfer inside the window was modelled via a reliable commercial computational fluid dynamics software ANSYS FLUENT. The accuracy of simulations was verified by environmental chamber tests. For the vacuum tube diameter of 28mm, an excellent agreement between experimental and numerical data was achieved. For different values of design parameters such as pane thickness, tube thickness, tube diameter and Argon gap, total heat loss and U-value of the vacuum tube window and optimum data were evaluated. Optimum tube diameter was found to be 60mm in terms of thermal performance characteristics, cost, lightness and aesthetic issues. It is concluded that the vacuum tube window is able to provide a U-value lower than 0.40W/m(2)K, which is very promising for both retrofitting of existing buildings and new-build applications.