Will the facades of the future be able to supply heat pumps?

A German organisation is developing a material that could use solar energy to power a heat pump. 

The applied research organisation Fraunhofer presented a new material at the BAU trade fair for architecture and building materials last April in Munich. 
The material, made from ultra-high performance concrete, was named TABSOLAR®. It could be used to equip facades and supply buildings with energy: each panel is interspersed with channels containing a solar fluid. This absorbs heat from solar radiation and ambient air. 
This heat can then be transferred to the circuit of a heat pump using an exchanger. 
The channels are in the form of multiple branches that create a network of evenly distributed channels. 
According to Fraunhofer, this system would be a silent and space-saving alternative to traditional outdoor units. 


TABSOLAR® was first developed using augmented reality software to visualise facades. 
In the next stage of development, a complete prototype will be produced: a facade demonstration will undergo practical testing and monitoring. 


Press release