Smart Window Technology and Energy Efficiency

Look Wellsaid Vocalid Aihao Mit Technologyreview  When most people hear about “smart windows,” they invariably think of computers. Yet glass has witnessed some remarkable changes thanks to improved technology, which allow windows to enhance the home like never before. By significantly impacting the home’s energy efficiency, smart window technology is transforming the way people think about windows. The following technologies and materials are just a few of the advances in window manufacturing today.

Photochromic Technology

Photochromic materials have been employed in eyeglasses, but they can also be used as window glass where they can respond to light intensity. This type of system can block sunlight effectively during the day so that the home’s cooling system is not over-taxed. While some light is allowed, the photochromic materials effectively block out the intensity so that homes literally remain cooler, and consumers pay less in energy costs.

Electrochromic Technology

This type of incredible technology employs electrical ions that seamlessly shift between clear and blue-gray tints. No visibility is lost in the transfer. Electrochromic smart windows rely on electricity to chemically trigger the color change. This material contains conducting oxide that is sandwiched between two pieces of glass. The oxide layers are wired to a power source that provides the required electricity. Of course, people simply notice the great effect of the tinting as well as reduced energy bills.

Gaschromic Technology

Gaschromic material provides a tinting effect that is similar to electrochromic technology. Instead of relying on electricity, however, it employs a gas reaction to achieve its effect. The result is a window that may be transparent or tinted as required. On sunny days, the tinting helps block the light’s energy from heating up the building or home. Consequently, less energy must be consumed to keep the space cool. Moreover, the HVAC system is spared from having to work overtime. (Source: “Window Technologies: Emerging Technologies- Dynamic Windows”, Efficient Windows Collaborative)

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