A window to warm up his house

With the University of Strasbourg, an industrialist is launching solar glass with promising qualities.

“We all have in our house a wall in the sun that will be for nothing! ". This wall, Jean-Marc Robin intends to use it. By replacing it with insulating glass, coupled with a solar energy capture system to produce hot water! Nothing to do with the traditional opaque sensors fixed until then on the roof. The idea has been developed for four years by this industrialist, in partnership with research teams from the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) in Strasbourg. (formerly ENSAIS)

 Solar energy has been around for twenty years. The basic technique has ultimately changed little. Today, we simply manage to capture more and more energy and lose less and less, ”explains Jean-Marc Robin.

Transparent on 40% of the surface

Transparency and isolation are the keys to innovation which is now entering the commercialization phase. It comes in the form of a classic window, cut however in extra-white glass, in front of which runs a copper coil hidden behind dark colored fins. At the rear, reflective silver strips further increase the productivity of the system. A heat transfer fluid circulates in the network which, by heat exchange, then makes it possible to heat the water intended to temper the interior of the dwelling.

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 »The fins, combined with the metal bands, provide 95% absorption of solar energy. »They also play the role of solar shading. “Compared to conventional glazing, the amount of sunshine is generally such that you cannot stick to it. There, the radiation is very attenuated. »While maintaining transparency over 40% of the surface! “In addition, we increase the brightness at the back of the room. "
Conversely, the high quality of insulation chosen for the glazing, prevents heat loss to the outside and provides protection identical to that of a wall.

30% of energy requirements covered

For now, the device is installed on the Climatherm platform at INSA Strasbourg, where it is being 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 is something to dream of. »In a so-called low-energy house, that is to say one which consumes less than 6 liters of fuel per m2 per year, we can consider that a solar glazing of 10 m2 covers 30% of the energy needs. »For an installation cost between 900 to 1100 € per m2.

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

A research center in Friborg, another in Stuttgart, validated the project, which was based on readings from the Nancy weather station. We know that the region does not shine by the quality of its sunshine!

Yet solar glass has kept its promises. Moreover, Jean-Marc Robin confides that he is in contact with public collective housing organizations in the sector, where his invention could well find outlets.

according to the Republican East of 07/03/05

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

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