In TestLab Solar Façades, we characterize transparent, translucent and opaque materials, test building envelope components and evaluate the energy-relevant, thermal and optical properties of complete façades. This encompasses both “passive” façade components like glazing and solar-shading devices, which offer classic functions such as thermal insulation, solar control and daylighting, and also “active” façade elements which convert solar energy into electricity or heat.
TestLab Solar Façades is accredited for determining transmittance, reflectance, g value and U value by measurement and calculation. Our speciality is testing objects which often cannot be characterized adequately by conventional testing methods, such as building components with angle-dependent and polarization-dependent properties, light-scattering materials or structured and light-redirecting elements. The services of TestLab Solar Façades are also used for sectors that are not related to building façades, such as the determination of the Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) for roofing and paving materials.
We have extensive research experience in solar-control systems, building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and building-integrated solar thermal technology (BIST). We have specialized in the mathematical and physical modelling of optical, thermal and PV electric processes in sunlit façades and analysis of their effects on the energy performance of buildings.
BSDF data sets (bi-directional scattering distribution function) are determined goniometrically and are used in simulation programs to evaluate daylight use and glare, e.g. for offices with complex window and solar-shading systems. Studies on user preferences and visual comfort are carried out in rotatable daylight measurement rooms.
The TestLab Solar Facades is recognized as a notified body by the German Institute for Building Technology (DIBt) and is therefore approved for testing building products in the field of energy saving and noise reduction. A precise list of the recognized harmonized product standards can be found in the notification document and in the annex to the accreditation certificate.
In addition, TestLab Solar Facades is the European Regional Data Aggregator (RDA) for the National Fenestration Rating Council NFRC . European glazing manufacturers that wish to address the North American market with their products must have the relevant data sets reviewed by the European RDA and then entered into a data base in cooperation with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory LBNL. European manufacturers should submit the required data sets by email to IGDB@ise.fraunhofer.de. The necessary forms can be downloaded from the LBNL page. Fraunhofer ISE is willing to advise and support manufacturers during the submission process.