Andlinger Center, Advised by Forrest Meggers and Reza Moini
Evaporative Cooling of Façades with Cement-based Architected Materials: Opportunities, Challenges, and What We Can Learn from Nature
Thermoregulation of buildings is energy intensive and is a significant contributor to climate change. In turn, due to rising temperatures, the use of air conditioning is expected to surge. To address the needs of both mitigating climate change and adapting to its effects, we urgently need to develop new solutions to efficiently heat, and especially cool, our buildings. Our research explores the energy benefits of evaporative cooling of facades and how novel, architected cement-based materials provide an opportunity to maximize cooling performance. This talk highlights the design parameters that govern evaporation rate, with a particular focus on one of them: wetted surface area. Drawing inspiration from strategies employed by nature to transport fluid across large surface areas for evaporation, two distinct architected materials were developed that demonstrate considerable fluid transport capabilities, and consequently, cooling potential. Opportunities to fabricate these architected materials using modern fabrication techniques, including 3D-printing of cement paste, as well as their inherent challenges, will be discussed.
Tomholt holds a Doctor of Design (DDes) degree from Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is currently a Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at the Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment, working with professors Reza Moini and Forrest Meggers. Her research bridges science, technology, and design, and focuses on biologically inspired concepts for building façades with tunable heat transfer capabilities. At Princeton, Tomholt is exploring architectural design rules of biological heat management systems to develop novel 3D-printed ceramic systems with energy-efficient heat transfer for building thermoregulation.
As a Distinguished Postdoctoral fellow at the Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment, Tomholt works with professors Reza Moini and Forrest Meggers to explore novel solutions for 3D-printed ceramic systems with energy-efficient heat transfer for building thermoregulation, inspired by architectural design rules of plant leaves.