Your windows are about to get smarter with remote control coatings

Controlling the heat that moves through the windows of a home can save energy and make the home more comfortable. Energy-efficient windows use multiple panes of glass, reflective coatings and inert gases to block the sun's heat. Or you can use drapes and curtains to manage the sunlight.

But a discovery from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found a new way to limit heat gain from windows.

The Lab’s Universal Smart Window Coating would allow occupants to independently control how much heat and light enters a home through its windows -- reducing the need for both air conditioning and artificial lighting.

The Universal Smart Window Coating was invented by a team of Berkeley Lab researchers headed by Delia Milliron of the Lab’s Molecular Foundry. Their technology enables dynamic control over how much of the sun’s heat and light enters a building through its windows.

Unlike competing technologies, the Universal Smart Window Coating can block heat-producing near-infrared solar radiation without blocking visible light. This independent control is unique in the smart-window market and means occupants can have natural lighting indoors without unwanted thermal gain, reducing the need for both air-conditioning and artificial lighting. The same window can also be switched to a dark mode, blocking both light and heat, or to a bright, fully transparent mode.

The Universal Smart Window Coating achieves this control with an inexpensive nanocomposite electrochromic coating developed by Milliron’s group. The low cost, minimal power requirements and responsive user experience of this technology are expected to drive broad deployment and make a significant impact on global energy consumption.

The product will have to be further developed before it's ready for the marketplace.

Read more about energy efficient windows and doors.

Topics: Trends / Statistics, Windows

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