Building-integrated solar steel sandwich elements with mineral wool core for industrial and commercial construction

Finn Weiland, M.Sc. (FH)
Tel.: +49 (0)5151-999 523

Solarthermally activated sandwich element.
Steel sandwich panels are well established, cost effective façade components for the construction of structural and functional envelopes in commercial and industrial buildings. In addition to a wide range of architectural design options, these large areas offer potential for solar thermal activation. The efficient thermal use of the solar energy incident on these surfaces is subject of the current research project in cooperation with the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts. In this project, the solar activation is achieved by the integration of a suitable heat exchanger into the sandwich panel. In comparison to previous approaches, alternative solutions to conventional copper registers are investigated and evaluated. The performance of the steel sandwich elements is determined by measurements and FEM simulations. The results of indoor measurements of large-sized test panels show a conversion factor of up to 56 %. Values up to 70% are achievable depending of the color chosen and on the fraction of the activated panel area.
The subsequent system simulations will provide information about the performance and system behavior of the developed solar panels in heat pump-based systems with ground heat exchangers. Previous projects at ISFH show that solar regeneration of ground-coupled heat pump systems can reduce the area of the geothermal heat exchanger significantly. At the same time it provides for a more robust and sustainable system operation. First investigations have shown that the use of solar-activated elements allows a reduction of the borehole length or the number of probes by up to 30 %. Based on the results of the simulation studies, final economic considerations will be carried out.

Research partner

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FOSTA - Forschungsvereinigung Stahlanwendung e.V.

Duration of the project

01.07.2018 – 29.02.2020

Final report

The final report of the project can be found here!


The AiF research project ‘Building-integrated solar steel sandwich elements with mineral wool core for industrial and commercial construction’ is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy under the reference number 19520N on the basis of a decision of the German Bundestag.

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