The trend towards conservation has lead us to develop new technologies that change our lives, and our homes are not exempt of that revolution. The houses of today look different than that of 50 years ago and the products we use in them have evolved too.
Historically speaking, windows have always been one of the weakest points of insulation in our homes and buildings. Traditional glass just does not hold temperatures like a wall does, but windows are evolving too. Single pane windows turn into double pane windows with insulated glass and insulation has greatly improved. With the right windows in your building, you can reduce your heating/cooling costs by around 20%. Now that bar is being raised even higher.
A team out of the University of Texas has developed a commercially viable Smart Glass. The team found that by adding a solution of nanocrystals into the glass before it sets, they could let in visible light while simultaneously blocking heat for warmer days or letting it all in when it’s cold. The nanocrystals in the glass respond to an electrical charge which then changes their optical properties or how they interact with light. They can let in visible light & heat, just the visible light or neither depending on their charge, which you control. This change occurs within a matter of minutes, which can save you money on your heating and cooling in a matter of days.
Smart glass isn’t the only way windows are changing. Skyscrapers are getting on board and turing their windows into solar panels. By taking advantage of the real estate offered on its sides, a 50-story building in the middle of the city can have about six acres of Solar Windows. These six acres of glass could produce of to 1.3 gigawatt-hours of energy.
The windows of the future have arrived. The days of windows that passively sitting in your walls and poorly insulating your home are coming to an end (hooray!). Making your windows work for you, instead of against you & your wallet.
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