Spectral investigation of solar energy absorption and light transmittance in a water-filled prismatic glass louver

Yaomin Cai, Zhixiong Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Water-filled prismatic glass louver was proposed to save energy consumptions in buildings because such innovative louvers can harvest solar energy as well as improve daylighting quality rather than “block” sunlight like traditional louvers. To enable this technology the effectiveness of ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) energy harvest and visible (VIS) light transmittance was investigated via Monte Carlo simulations in this case study. The 7-band spectral model for glass and water was evaluated and adopted for several cases of solar spectra of different air mass (AM) coefficients with both direct and diffuse irradiation. Absorption and transmittance in different band regimes as well as in water and glass respectively were differentiated and compared. Practical solar data in Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Golden were utilized to demonstrate the performance of the proposed louver under different locations and realistic conditions. Results show that the device facing normally to direct sunlight can harvest around 51–54% of the total solar energy and transmit 74–76% VIS for daylighting in the range of AM1 to AM3. In particular for AM1.5, VIS transmittance reaches 76% for both direct and diffuse irradiation; UV absorption achieves 80% and 85% and IR absorption reaches 64% and 82% for diffuse and collimated irradiation, respectively. In all the three places tested, the device absorbs about 81% IR and 87% UV, and transmits about 76% VIS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-173
Number of pages10
JournalSolar Energy
StatePublished - Feb 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)


  • Absorption
  • Daylighting
  • Solar energy harvest
  • Spectral
  • Transmittance

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