Giles Leads UM/China Collaborative Research Program on Solar Energy Capture

Harry Giles leads team in UM/China collaborative research program on solar energy capture     

Professor of Practice in Architecture, Harry Giles, is the University of Michigan (UM) principal investigator of a one-year old partnership with fellow UM investigators and researchers from China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University (STJU) who are exploring how new, high-efficiency smart façades – windows can capture solar energy, store and transmit its light, and at the same time control heat transmission day or night, winter or summer. Launched in 2010, the UM/SJTU Collaborative Research Program was created to develop new technologies that reduce global carbon emissions and their impact on the climate. Combined, buildings in the U.S. and China will consume about 46 percent of global building energy by 2030.

The net-zero window façade systems envisioned by Giles will interact with internal lighting and climate controls to collect, store and distribute light. Giles said his team’s research explores new organic photovoltaic and solid-state lighting technologies that provide great potential to harvest and generate light, while maintaining a window’s necessary transparency.

Other U-M faculty involved in this research include Professor Max Shtein, who is examining the organic PVs and their ability to conduct electricity across a large window span, Prof. P.C. Ku who is working on an optical wave-guide technology, Taubman College faculty members Associate Professor Mojtaba Navvab and Assistant Professor Lars Junghans, specialists in lighting simulation and human interface with a building’s environmental controls, are also contributing to the analysis.

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