PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology


PATH: Thin-Film Active Building Envelopes

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

* Steven Van Dessel, Principal Investigator
* Achille Messac, Co-Principal Investigator

Starts: September 1, 2005
Expires: August 31, 2008


In this project, the investigators and their team are studying thin-film active building envelope (ABE) technologies. ABEs constitute a novel enclosure technology that integrates photovoltaic and thermoelectric materials.

In thin-film ABE systems:

Other promising applications include the development of advanced thermal control system for use in future space missions, and use in advanced packaging materials that require thermal control.

An important incentive for developing thin-film ABE systems is that this technology operates entirely on solar energy. Therefore, when used in building applications to control indoor temperature, significant energy savings can be accomplished. This becomes especially relevant considering that a significant portion of the US domestic energy use is used for space conditioning.

The successful development of thin-film ABE technology can therefore offer substantial environmental, economic, and strategic benefits to the United States. In conjunction with recent advances in the area of nano-technology, and bio-technology, this research will also open the theoretical path towards the development of future ABE systems that operate at the scale of molecules.

For additional details about this NSF award.

Content updated on 9/26/2006

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