Facts and figures

  • Full name: Multi-functional light-weight WALL panel based on ADAPTive Insulation and nanomaterials for energy efficient buildings
  • Acronym: ADAPTIWALL
  • Duration: 48 months
  • Start date: 1 September 2013
  • Total budget: 5.05 M€
  • EC Funding: 3.35 M€

Performance testing of lab-scale Adaptiwall

A crucial part in the development of the ADAPTIWALL concept is the actual integration of the adaptive material components, developed in the individual work packages, into an adaptive panel. For characterization and performance testing different types of tests have been performed on different prototypes:

  • Thermal performance under real conditions on four prototypes assembled in Algete (Madrid), showing the results after the complete monitoring period from October 2015 to June 2016. These small scale prototypes were used to compare 4 different configurations of the panel. Different switching protocols were used for this.
  • Fire performance test on a complete panel following EN 13501-1 test protocol was conducted in Bilbao by subcontracted company on a single prototype to assess the fire performance and estimate the panel fire rating.
  • Mechanical characterization of the PCM aggregates lightweight concrete including compressive strength flexure and anchoring strength analysis.

Thermal performance

The thermal performance testing was conducted for the combination of the adaptive insulation, concrete buffer and glass façade. 

Protypes at Algete

Figure 1: Prototypes installed in Algete demo-park

The figure below shows a typical thermal response of the Adaptiwall prototypes during 3 days of solar radiation on the panels. The purple line clearly show the loading and unloading of the buffer demonstrating that the Adaptiwall concept works; i.e. it is able to harvest solar energy!

 Thermal response ADAPTIWALL

Figure 2: Typical thermal response ADAPTIWALL integrated Adaptiwall prototype

Fire safety performance

Fire testing focused on the external layers of the panel; i.e. all elements from the external cladding to the load bearing concrete buffer. Fire tests were performed according to UNE EN 13823: 2012 on an L-shaped prototypes.

Fire-safety testing 

Figure 3: Fire-safety testing

Based on the tests performed the Adaptiwall panel was classified (provisionally) as only having a very limited contribution to fire and a weak to medium contribution to smoke production. This means that Adaptiwall fulfills most of the classifications set in the individual EU-countries for refurbishment of residential buildings.

Mechanical performance

For mechanical characterization tests were conducted on the loadbearing element; i.e. the lightweight concrete buffer. Tests were performed, according to EN-12390, on:

  • small specimens for concrete characterization; and
  • (thermal performance) prototypes for buffer characterization

Mechanical testing ADAPTIWALL concrete

Figure 4: Mechanical testing of ADAPTIWALL concrete

Based on these performance tests it can be said that the Adaptiwall concrete shows mechanical properties that lie in between normal C20/25 concrete and lightweight LC20/22 values. The next step in the development of the Adaptiwall concept is the upscaling from prototypes to demonstrator panels. Part of this upscaling concerns the integration of the THEX into the panel. Furthermore the results of the performance testing are used to optimize and further develop the Adaptiwall concept. Goal of the demonstrator panel measurements is to validate the energy saving ambitions of the Adaptiwall concept.