Building Integrated Solar Thermal (BIST) Technologies and Their Applications: A Review of Structural Design and Architectural Integration

Xingxing Zhang, Jingchun Sh


Solar energy has enormous potential to meet the majority of present world energy demand by effective integration with local building components. One of the most promising technologies is building integrated solar thermal (BIST) technology. This paper presents a review of the available literature covering various types of BIST technologies and their applications in terms of structural design and architectural integration. The review covers detailed description of BIST systems using air, hydraulic (water/heat pipe/refrigerant) and phase changing materials (PCM) as the working medium. The fundamental structure of BIST and the various specific structures of available BIST in the literature are described. Design criteria and practical operation conditions of BIST systems are illustrated. The state of pilot projects is also fully depicted. Current barriers and future development opportunities are therefore concluded. Based on the thorough review, it is clear that BIST is very promising devices with considerable energy saving prospective and building integration feasibility. This review shall facilitate the development of solar driven service for buildings and help the corresponding saving in fossil fuel consumption and the reduction in carbon emission.

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