Potential annual daylighting performance of a high-efficiency daylight redirecting slat system
While the primary role of window attachments is often to moderate glare and solar heat gains, they are also able to provide additional daylight to interior spaces. For this purpose, a variety of daylight-redirecting window systems have been developed over the past 150 years. Fixed reflective systems (slats/light shelves) or prismatic systems that rely on total internal reflection work well under specific solar conditions, but generally sacrifice performance over a much wider range of incident solar angles and sky conditions. Dynamic systems – typically reflective slats – are more responsive to sun angles but have not been able to achieve optimal performance for glare and daylight redirection efficiency. A previous investigation into an adjustable, reflective blind concept first conceived of in the late 1970s showed promise but was not reduced to practice due to lack of adequate simulation and analysis tools. In this paper, this concept is further developed and its energy and visual comfort performance evaluated for four mid-latitude, temperate climates using ray-tracing simulation techniques. Results indicate significant potential lighting energy savings when compared with conventional automated reflective blinds (2.1–4.9 kWh/(m2·a), or 14%–42%, depending on climate and orientation) or, especially, manually-operated matte white venetian blinds (1.4–7.9 kWh/(m2·a), or 9%–54%, depending on climate and orientation), while maintaining acceptable or better visual comfort conditions throughout the interior space.