Lighting and energy performance of solar film coating in air-conditioned cellular offices

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-937
Journal / PublicationRenewable Energy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 2004


In subtropical Hong Kong, the principal objectives of fenestration design include eliminating direct sunlight and decreasing cooling loads. To avoid the problems of glare, excessive brightness and thermal discomfort, occupants may block the windows with internal shading devices, resulting in poor daylighting performance and very small amount of electric lighting energy savings. Recently, the advances in thin film coatings for window glass products provide a means of substantially reducing heat gain without proportionally reducing daylight transmittance. It has been suggested that film coatings together with photoelectric lighting control systems could minimise the electric lighting and cooling requirements without causing undue visual and thermal discomfort to the occupants. This paper presents field measurements on solar control film coatings in fully air-conditioned offices in Hong Kong. Solar heat gains, indoor illuminance levels and the electricity consumption by the fluorescent luminaires were systematically recorded and analysed. Measurements were made for two cellular offices, one with solar control film coating on the window glass and the other without. The findings showed that the solar film coating could cut down energy expenditures for air-conditioned buildings, especially for spaces with large glazing areas subject to substantial amount of direct sunlight. Results are presented and the design implications discussed. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.