MAE faculty members receive $7.33 Million for a Collaborative Research Project in 2016-17

A research team led by Prof. Christopher Chao (PM/PI), Baoling Huang, Shuhuai Yao, Huihe Qiu and Edwin Tso has been awarded the Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) of $ 6.18 million from the Research Grans Council (RGC), together with an equipment matching of $ 1.15 million from the University for a three-year project named "Study of Cooling Effect by Surface Treatment and its Application to Smart Green Buildings". Other collaborators include Prof. Kin-Man Yu from the Department of Physics and Materials Science of the City University of Hong Kong and Prof. Man-Pun Wan from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering of the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

More than 30% of electricity consumption in the residential and commercial sectors is for space conditioning in many countries and areas, including Hong Kong. Reducing the energy consumed in space conditioning is an essential requirement for a smart green building. This project aims to design and develop a smart green wall panel, of which it combines a plasmonic structured passive radiative cooler and a superhydrophobic-based vanadium oxide thermochromic smart window. The smart green wall panels can be retrofitted to existing buildings as well as being installed in new ones, providing a solution for building thermal management (i.e. controlling the solar heat gain to the buildings, thus reducing indoor air temperature, HVAC energy consumption and the electricity demand). Overall, the smart green wall panels not only have energy-saving potential, but will also enhance health and comfort, making buildings both greener and smarter. The outcomes of this project will dramatically change building styles and constitute a breakthrough in research in built environments and building technology.