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Solar XXI building: Proof of concept or a concept to be proved?

Oliveira Panao, Marta J.N., Gonçalves, Helder J.P.
Renewable energy 2011 v.36 no.10 pp. 2703-2710
air, air temperature, cooling, electricity, energy efficiency, heat, heat exchangers, lighting, renewable energy sources, shade, soil, solar radiation
Solar XXI building is a low energy office building where passive and active solar strategies have been applied to reduce the use of energy for heating, cooling and lighting, combining also an extensive photovoltaic façade for electricity production. Solar XXI opened in 2006 and is considered a high efficient building, close to a net zero energy building (NZEB), where the difference between the energy consumed and that produced is 1/10ᵗʰ of the energy consumed by a Portuguese standard new office building. Its design includes many energy efficiency concepts, such as a high insulated envelope, south sun exposure, windows external shading, photovoltaic panels heat recovery, ground-cooling system, daylighting, stack effect and cross ventilation. The solar gains of the windows and the effectiveness of shading devices were evaluated in order to correlate solar radiation, external and indoor air temperatures. It was also verified that amplitude-dampening of ground-cooled air ranged between 5 and 8 °C, following the trend of the analytical solution for heat diffusion of a cylindrical air/soil heat-exchanger.