Published on November 21st, 2012 | by Nicholas Brown1
Dow Corning Developing Impressively Functional & Efficient Windows
Tints block out excess sunlight during the summer, but continue to block it out when it is needed during winter, so Dow Corning is developing a controllable window which enables you to switch between a clear window and a translucent tint with the flick of a switch.
During the winter, you can let in plenty of warm sunlight, and during the summer, you can block it out.
The company intends to achieve this using liquid crystals of silicon which are arranged using an electric current to partially block sunlight, or to let it all pass through.
“Buildings account for 40 per cent of total energy consumption globally, while heating and lighting account for 50 per cent of the energy consumed in a buildings,” Elisabeth van den Berg, global business builder at Dow Corning’s business and technology incubator in Belgium, told BusinessGreen.
“Smart glazing has the potential to decrease by 30 per cent the amount of energy consumed in a building by being properly combined with an automated building management system.”
You have heard of the sunlight blockers such as window blinds/shutters, frosted windows, awnings, and curtains. While all of these offer considerable benefits, such as blocking out heat and protection from flying glass in the case of a broken window, they all block sunlight from getting into the room.
Thin curtains block a little, so the room is still lit during the day but not as hot thanks to the diffused sunlight. Awnings are convenient. These are a very effective solution to hot patios, and they keep direct sunlight out of verandas, too. However, they are also permanent.
Elisabeth van den Berg didn’t indicate when the product will be available, nor what it will cost, but said the technology would provide a prompt return on investment (once available).
Source: Business Green