energy efficiency, architecture, smart3

Solar Curtain

Bára Finnsdottir
Supervision: Prof. Christiane Sauer
Cooperation Partners:
Innovationsnetzwerk smart³; Fraunhofer Institut IWU, Dresden
1. Preis Fraunhofer-Ideenwettbewerb, 2016

The project Solar Curtain was developed in cooperation with the innovation network smart³, which develops new applications for smart materials. The innovative sun screen design is
composed of many shielding blossom-like modules made of ripstop nylon fabric, which are attached to a light net structure of braided nylon yarn. If the sun heats up the surface, the modules open up and provide shade to the space behind. Shape memory alloy wires, which react to heat, are joined to each module. When the temperature reaches approx. 30°C, the
wires begin to contract and pull the modules open. When the temperature reduces, the modules return to their original state due to small springs. The modification of the surface, as a consequence of the temperature change, turns the sunshade from a very open,
transparent surface to a closed, protective screen, intended to be installed on a glazed facade to provide shading for interior spaces on sunny days.

Furthermore the student project was transformed into a functional prototype in cooperation with Fraunhofer IWU Dresden and was exhibited at the 2015 Hannover Messe. The prototype can be activated not only by heat, but also by electric signals. A touchscreen is
used as an interface for individual adjustment of the screen. The Solar Curtain recieved the 1st prize of Fraunhofer Innovation Award 2016 for innovative products.

Film demonstrating how the Solar Curtain functions: