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Masdar Field Station

The Masdar Institute Field Station is the main experimental facility of the BTRL. It is a stand-alone building with advanced cooling and day-lighting systems, among other remarkable features. It will soon be fitted with building-integrated photovoltaic panels. The prototype day-lighting system is active and relies on two sun-tracking day-light collectors on the roof for collecting day-time sunlight. 

The collectors and the indoor light dispensers were designed and manufactured by Targetti of Italy, while 3M provided the special film that covers the light conduits for minimum loss. Active day-lighting systems use mechanical devices with mirrors to follow the sun and increase light collection. While the effectiveness of passive day-lighting systems depends largely on a building’s position and architecture, active systems are able to achieve a higher and more constant lighting output.

The cooling system includes a water-cooled vapor compression chiller that supplies chilled water to the fan coil units along with a dedicated outdoor air system with enthalpy recovery. Furthermore, the building also has provision for radiant cooling through PEX pipes embedded in the floor and ceiling. The floor and ceiling concrete slabs can also be used as thermal storage by doing night-time pre-cooling to shift the peak load that occurs during the day. A demand control ventilation system maintains indoor air quality with minimum outdoor air intake.

The Field Station is next to Masdar’s deep geothermal plant (2.5 km) and a thermal cooling pilot project is being considered in order to power Yazaki absorption chillers totaling 20 refrigeration tons of capacity, using the hydrothermal resource in view of reducing the building’s electricity use.

  • Autonomous laboratory dedicated to building technology research
  • State-of-the-art HVAC and chilled slab cooling with predictive control
  • Prototype active (tracking) day-lighting system by Targetti/3M
  • Planned: Absorption cooling powered by geothermal energy (2.5 kilometer deep hydrothermal resource already drilled), advanced DX/DOA