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Design and technology solutions for Plus Energy Houses

Climate and cultural based design and market valuable technology solutions for Plus Energy Houses.

The CULTURAL-E project aims to define modular and replicable solutions for Plus Energy Houses (PEHs), accounting for climate and cultural differences, while engaging all key players involved in the building life cycle; to create comfortable, efficient, and affordable indoor environments.

CULTURAL-E will develop technologies and solution sets that are tailorable to specific contexts and energy demands, as well as performing a comprehensive optimization of the value/cost ratio of PEHs. Sets of design-for-assembly technologies will be produced and driven by a careful mapping of European climates, building archetypes, and cultural energy habits; going beyond the positive by maximizing the share of the demand covered by renewable sources (toward Ø emissions in the operational phase).

The CULTURAL-E solution sets are the result of a usercentric design process and aim to achieve and affordably maintain the best indoor environmental conditions. The houses become regenerative for the indoor and outdoor environment in the life cycle, with minor extra costs compared to nZEB, thus guaranteeing a sound return of investment.

E-mobility is dealt through a dedicated management strategy to avoid energy demand peaks coming from the simultaneous fast-charging of multiple vehicles.

Despite an “agnostic approach” to technology selection, CULTURAL-E will enhance the TRL of specific key technologies, such as air movement for summer thermal comfort, natural and mix-mode ventilation, packed and modular HVAC units, industrialized active window systems for natural ventilation and solar control, cloud-based house management system, and user involvement in the continuous building control, optimized envelope (tailored thermal features).

Finally, to increase the replicability of the solutions and the adoption of a “cultural-centric” design, key market players involved in the PEH development are supported by dedicated tools and guidelines that will assist the development of robust, inclusive business models.


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Hussam Jouhara - Having worked in academia and the industry, Hussam has unique expertise in working on applied heat exchangers and energy-related research activities with direct support from research councils and various UK and international industrial partners. He has extensive expertise in designing and manufacturing various types of heat exchangers, including heat pipes and heat pipe-based heat exchangers for low, medium and high temperature applications. His work in the field of heat pipe based heat exchangers resulted in novel designs for recouperators, steam generators & condensers and flat heat pipes. These have been implemented across various industries including, but not limited to: food, electronics thermal management and low to high industrial waste heat recovery and Energy from Waste. Over the last few years, he has successfully managed to achieve new designs for industrial waste heat recovery and many thermal systems that have enhanced the performance of various industrials processes in the UK, Europe and world-wide. He is also an elected member of the Senate of Brunel University London.  Throughout his academic and industrial career, he received over £12.2M research funding from various UK/EU based research councils (RCUK & EU H2020) and from British and European industrial partners. He is a published author of academic books with many filed patents in areas related to heat pipes engineering and manufacturing and Energy from Waste systems. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of both Engineers Ireland (Ireland) and IMechE (UK). Hussam is the founder and the Head of the Heat Pipe and Thermal Management Research Group in Brunel University London.  Major projects as a Principal Investigator in Brunel: Technical Director of: Innovative WAter recoverY Solutions (iWAYS) - H2020 Technical Coordinator of: Heat Pipe Technologies for Industrial Applications (ETEKINA) - H2020 Technical Coordinator of: Prefabrication, Recyclability and Modularity for cost reductions in Smart BIPV systems (PVADAPT) - H2020 Climate and cultural based design and market valuable technology solutions for Plus Energy Houses.  (CULTRAL-E) - H2020 Innovative Polymer-Based Composite Systems for High-Efficient Energy Scavenging And Storage (InComEss) - H2020 Design for Resource and Energy efficiency in cerAMic kilns (DREAM) - H2020 STEP – Heat Pipe Design Challenge for Hot Plasma Cooling - UKAEA High-Power and High-Energy Battery Systems with Integrated Structural Thermal Management for Heavy-Duty Applications - Innovate UK Roadmap for Industry - Academia collaboration between Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Argos Cement Company, Brunel University London and Econotherm in heat recovery in large industrial systems - Royal Academy of Engineering Conceptual Feasibility of a Heat Pipe as a Structural and Thermal Member in an Automotive Battery Pack Design - Innovate UK IMproving Power bAttery Cooling Technologies (IMPACT) - Innovate UK Room Temperature Passive Heat Recovery with Heat Pipe - Innovate UK Controllable bidirectional heat recovery device - Knowledge Transfer Network Erva Mate Drying - Innovate UK Active refrigeration shelf with thermal storage - Innovate UK EDUCATION Ph. D. (Mechanical Engineering), 2004, University of Manchester, UK PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS Institution of Mechanical Engineers (UK): Chartered Member and Fellow (CEng, FIMechE)  CIBSE (UK): Fellow (CEng FCIBSE) Engineers Ireland: Chartered Engineer and Fellow (CEng, IntPE, FIEI)  Institute of Refrigeration (UK): Member (M.Inst.R)  TEACHING CREDENTIALS P. G. Cert. in Higher Education, 2010, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK. Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), 2017, UK  

Related Research Group(s)

Heat Pipe and Thermal Management

Heat Pipe and Thermal Management - Thermal management; Energy efficiency development; Emission reduction; Energy recovery; Heat-pipe technology; Heat exchangers; Fluid dynamics.


Project last modified 21/06/2021