Analysis of Heating Effects and Deformations for a STAF Panel with a Coupled CFD and FEM Simulation Method


  • Daniel Brandl Graz University of Technology/ Institute of Thermal Engineering
  • Helmut Schober Graz University of Technology/ Institute of Building Construction
  • Christoph Hochenauer Graz University of Technology/ Institute of Thermal Engineering




Solar Thermal Activated Façades (STAF) Panel, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Finite Element Method (FEM), outdoor measurements


Conventional sandwich panels are one of the cheapest and easiest solutions for forming the thermal building envelope of industrial buildings. They are pre-fabricated façade elements, of which millions of square metres have been produced and mounted every year. There is great potential to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions through the solar thermal activation of such a sandwich panel. In the course of the research project ABS-Network SIAT 125, a Solar Thermal Activated Façade (STAF) panel was designed which is to be optimised both thermally and structurally. This study shows a first version of a so-called ‘one way coupled’ thermal and structural analysis of a conventional sandwich panel compared to the STAF panel. For this purpose, the numerical methods of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Method (FEM) are used  together in one simulation environment. Furthermore, results from an outdoor test facility are presented where a first version of a STAF panel is tested under real climate conditions. The CFD model was positively evaluated by comparing measured and computed temperatures.

How to Cite

Brandl, D., Schober, H., & Hochenauer, C. (2018). Analysis of Heating Effects and Deformations for a STAF Panel with a Coupled CFD and FEM Simulation Method. Journal of Facade Design and Engineering, 6(3), 116–131.




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