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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2011, Article ID 313952, 9 pages
Research Article

A Scale Model of Tension Structures in Road Tunnels to Optimize the Use of Solar Light for Energy Saving

1Department of Civil Engineering, ETSICCP, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
2Department of Structural Mechanics, ETSICCP, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
3Department of Graphical Expression in Architecture and Engineering, ETSIE, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain

Received 25 May 2011; Revised 30 June 2011; Accepted 13 July 2011

Academic Editor: Jimmy Yu

Copyright © 2011 Antonio Peña-García et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Shifting the threshold zone of road tunnels with semitransparent tension structures has shown itself to be an effective way of saving energy in regards to electricity consumption, maintenance, and construction materials used in the electrical lighting, thus lessening negative environmental impacts. Even though the shape of the tension structure has a major influence on energy savings, the optimal type of structure for each tunnel is often difficult to determine, because experiments using real tunnels are extremely expensive. It is thus necessary to find methods of doing this that are both reliable as well as economical. In this research study, three candidate structures were set up at the portal of a scale model of a real tunnel. The energy savings in each case were analyzed and compared. As a result, it was possible to formulate a new equation that calculates the energy savings in the threshold zone.