Article

Energy saving glazing with a wide band-pass FSS allowing mobile communication: Upscaling and characterization

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Abstract

A real case study and characterisation of modern energy efficient windows allowing mobile communication is presented. An earlier study had shown that laser scribing of energy saving coatings allows highly reducing the microwave attenuation (from 30 to 1-3 dB) using a wide band-pass frequency-selective surface (FSS) while preserving the thermal quality of the window. To achieve large-scale production, the laser scribing technique has been further developed. The effect of laser scribing on the mechanical properties of a substrate has been determined through mechanical strength tests. Moreover, the insulating properties of the window have been analysed to ensure the reliability of this technology. As a real case demonstration, an entire train has been equipped with prototype windows. The signal quality has been controlled for a wide band of frequencies and for existing technologies such as long term evolution, universal mobile telecommunication system, multiple input multiple output and for different configurations such as a stationary and a moving train.

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... First, railway cars with their metallic bodies and low emissivity (Low-E) coated glass windows for thermal isolation act as Faraday cages and cause high signal attenuation that need compensation. For the typical frequency range of 800 MHz to 2600 MHz, measurements have shown an attenuation of 25 to 30 dB [1]. Second, a train can transport several hundreds to more than one thousand users. ...
... Modern railway car hulls are typically built of metal, creating a Faraday cage. While the window apertures potentially allow signals to get into the railway car, this effect is negated by the use of socalled Low-E coated glass windows [1]. ...
... Therefore, in order to reduce the life-cycle coupling challenge as much as possible, and to ensure that railway users can readily benefit from cellular infrastructure innovation, we have decided to move away from using on-board equipment. Instead, we have decided to promote and use so-called RF transparent Low-E windows [1] (hereafter RF transparent windows). ...
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Delivering reliable and high-capacity Internet connectivity to high-speed train users is a challenge. Modern railway cars act as Faraday cages and a typical train consist comprises several hundreds of users moving at high velocity. Furthermore, with the global availability of fourth generation (4G) Long Term Evolution (LTE), user expectations have dramatically increased: it is expected to be online anytime and anywhere. Demand for mobile high-capacity is being driven by video and music streaming services, for lower latency and higher availability by gaming, and for more reliability and even uplink capacity by mission critical applications. Finally, the life-cycle of the railway industry is much longer than for telecommunications, which makes supporting 5G challenging. In this paper, we survey the challenges associated with delivering high-capacity connectivity to train users, describe potential options, and highlight how a leading western European operator is tackling these challenges and preparing for 5G and beyond.
... First, railway cars with their metallic bodies and low emissivity (Low-E) coated glass windows for thermal isolation act as Faraday cages and cause high signal attenuation that need compensation. For the typical frequency range of 800 MHz to 2600 MHz, measurements have shown an attenuation of 25 to 30 dB [1]. Second, a train can transport several hundreds to more than one thousand users. ...
... Modern railway car hulls are typically built of metal, creating a Faraday cage. While the window apertures potentially allow signals to get into the railway car, this effect is negated by the use of socalled Low-E coated glass windows [1]. ...
... Therefore, in order to reduce the life-cycle coupling challenge as much as possible, and to ensure that railway users can readily benefit from cellular infrastructure innovation, we have decided to move away from using on-board equipment. Instead, we have decided to promote and use so-called RF transparent Low-E windows [1] (hereafter RF transparent windows). ...
Article
Delivering reliable and high-capacity Internet connectivity to high-speed train users is a challenge. Modern railway cars act as Faraday cages, and a typical train comprises several hundreds of users moving at high velocity. Furthermore, with the global availability of 4G LTE, user expectations have dramatically increased: it is expected to be online anytime and anywhere. Demand for high-capacity mobile is being driven by video and music streaming services, for lower latency and higher availability by gaming, and for more reliability and even uplink capacity by mission-critical applications. Finally, the life cycle of the railway industry is much longer than for telecommunications, which makes supporting 5G challenging. In this article, we survey the challenges associated with delivering high-capacity connectivity to train users, describe potential options, and highlight how a leading western European operator is tackling these challenges and preparing for 5G and beyond.
... As such, despite the reduction in carbon emissions of the building stock by 30% since 1990 in Switzerland due to efficiency measures and renewables integration [9], the cited efforts seem inadequate to reach the carbon neutrality of the building sector worldwide by 2050, the current NZEB stock being estimated at less than 1% of all buildings on Earth [10] (p. 18). ...
... An intensive use of daylight and passive solar gains is achieved within the unit, besides reaching a positive energy balance over the whole year through 'on-site' generation of solar power and heat. The SolAce unit comprises multifunctional facades involving several novel technologies developed by the research group of Nanotechnology for Solar Energy Conversion at EPFL Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory: this includes nanotechnology-based glazing for solar photovoltaic modules [13] and solar thermal collectors [14], innovative micro-structured glazing providing seasonal dynamic management of daylight and solar gains [15,16], and insulating triple glazing with laser-engraved special low emissivity (low-e) coatings for enhanced telecommunication signal transmission [17,18] ( Figure 2d). Advanced building sensing and control technologies interact with façade elements and the indoor environment: fostering human-building interaction (HBI), they provide a user-centric approach favoring users' visual and thermal comfort. ...
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The integrated performance assessment of buildings can orient their design in the early stages. Despite the wide availability of physics simulation-based, data-driven, and hybrid techniques, it is often difficult to rely on a single, appropriate technique to obtain reliable results. A set of methods, each featuring advantages and limitations, help to refine the performance assessment in an iterative comparative process until a comprehensive picture of the building is achieved. The approach was implemented on a nearly zero-energy building, recently built-up as a combined living and office space (e.g., the SolAce unit) on the NEST infrastructure in Dübendorf (Switzerland). The proposed approach showed that the unit reaches high energy performance accordingly requiring optimal cooling management, involving the control of the opening of blinds and windows. A sound convergence between the computer simulations and data-driven analysis were observed, attesting to the overall energy consumption, of around 26 kWh/m2year, in continuous decrease, aiming at an annual energy-positive balance. The unit was ranked first according to the dynamic energy exchange scheme of the energy trading hub within the NEST facility, which features high-level building modules as a testbed of future building technologies. Embodied energy is estimated at 39 kWh/m2year, which is below the commended limits of Swiss eco-building standards. By considering the carbon sequestration of the wood products during their lifespan, the unit is very close to carbon neutrality with the CO2 emitted annually by the unit over its lifetime being compensated by those stored within wood products during the same period.
... In a previous paper, we demonstrated the possibility to transmit a large band of frequencies including the one currently used for mobile communications through a patterned low-e coating [5]. The global thermal performance of the windows was not influenced [6] for a square patch pattern with 4 % of ablated area. This pattern was made by laser scribing using a nanosecond fiber laser. ...
... To answer this problem, a patterned low-e coating was developed [5]. The first prototype windows were installed in a train and perform very well both thermally and for microwaves transmission [6]. In this paper, we present an additional effective pattern and detail the influence of the thickness of the air gap in a window. ...
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