Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction


Location and Optimization Analysis of Capillary Tube Network Embedded in Active Tuning Building Wall

Document Type


Date of this Version



F. Niu, Y. Yu* (2016) "Location and Optimizaiton Analysis of Capillary Tube Network Embedded in Active Tuning Building Wall". Energy, 2016, Vol. 97: 36-45.



© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Link is to ScienceDirect


In this study, a building wall with a thermal tuning function is further investigated. This design turns the building wall from a passive thermal system to an active system. A capillary tube network is installed inside the wall to manipulate the thermodynamics and realize more flexibility and potentials of the wall. This novel building wall structure performs efficiently in terms of building load reduction and supple-mentary heating and cooling, and the structure is convenient for applying low grade or natural energy with a wider temperature range. The capillary tube network's location inside the wall greatly impacts the thermal and energy performance of the building wall. The effects of three locations including external, middle and internal side are analyzed. The results indicate that the internal wall surface temperature can be neutralized from the ambient environment when the embedded tubes are fed with thermal water. The wall can work with a wide range of water temperature and the optimal location of the tube network is relatively constant in different modes. Power benefit with the wall changes from 2 W to 39 W when the outdoor air temperature changes, higher in summer than in winter.