OTT HydroMet Supports Groundbreaking HydroSKIN Project

OTT HydroMet experts Katja Weber, Application Development Manager and Torsten Dose, Technical Support Manager recently attended a groundbreaking ceremony for an extremely unique application in environmental monitoring. This cutting edge, innovative engineering project is known as HydroSKIN.

The HydroSKIN Project

HydroSKIN represents a lightweight textile envelope designed for building façades to retain rainwater during heavy precipitation events and to provide evaporative cooling in times of heat. The project is motivated by the constantly increasing climatic loads of urban structures that place complex demands on future building envelopes. The HydroSKIN project is initiated by Architect and Research Associate, Christina Eisenbarth from the University of Stuttgart, Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design.

Design & Functionality 

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A Customized Solution

The University of Stuttgart looked to OTT HydroMet to provide a solution for measuring environmental conditions on the building and the effectiveness of the HydroSKIN. The measuring concept was set up by Walter Haase, Aeronautical Engineer and Postdoc at the University of Stuttgart, Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design. Katja and Torsten configured a customized station with equipment from OTT HydroMet’s vast portfolio of instrumentation and trusted brands of OTT, Sutron, Kipp & Zonen, and Lufft.

The brain of the station is the Sutron XLink 500 datalogger programmed with a customized Python Script for HydroSKIN. Connected to the datalogger is both an OTT Parsivel installed on the side of the building and a Lufft WS200. The Parsivel on the side of the building measures the drop size distribution of the rain drops that move towards the HydroSKIN surface and the Lufft WS200 measures wind behavior. An OTT Pluvio on the roof provides accurate information on the quantity of precipitation. The Lufft WS500 sensor gathers information on wind speed and wind direction, as well as, relative humidity and ambient temperature. Kipp & Zonen pyranometers will provide insight into the impact of radiation on the cooling effect of the HydroSKIN. These parameters in combination are used to describe the overall meteorological landscape around the building.

The Future of HydroSKIN 

Now that the pilot is up and running, Christina and the HydroSKIN team look to gather data on the efficiency of the textile element for both rainwater harvesting and evaporative cooling. They also plan to get a larger test field by equipping one whole level of the D1244 high-rise building with HydroSKIN in combination with a unitized glass façade.

Copy rights are held by the photographer © Sven Cichowicz 

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