Architectural Integration and Design of Solar Thermal Systems
Although solar thermal systems are technologically mature and cost effective, they have not yet been sufficiently used in building design to play an adequate role in the reduction of fossil fuel consumption. One main hindrance to adoption is the generally low architectural design quality of the building integration of these thermal systems.
As confirmed by the example of photovoltaics, improvement of the architectural quality of building integrated systems can increase the use of a solar technology even more than price reductions or technical advances. Solar thermal collectors have to be mounted very close to the point of consumption – i.e., on the building itself – which stresses the urgency of the architectural integration issue.
Starting from a definition of architectural integration quality and related criteria, this book is intended to help both architects and manufacturers improve their design work. Architects are given recommendations to optimize integration quality and make the best out of the generally limited flexibility and low formal quality of presently available collectors. Manufacturers, on their side, are offered a set of guidelines for the development of new multifunctional and flexible products conceived from the outset for building integration, thus improving the market offer.