Energy-Efficient Smart Glass in the Works to Replace Curtains

For the typical daydreamer, being able to peer through the window is a must! However, due to climate conditions, there may be window treatments that prevent these dreamers from doing what they do best. Curtains, blinds, shutters, they’re all impediments.

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California and the Autonomous University of Barcelona could soon change this. They’ve created a “Smart Glass” that doesn’t need curtains to keep heat inside during those cold winter months and doesn’t need blinds to keep the heat out during those steamy summer months. Talk about energy efficiency.

Normal glass windows are made of silicone dioxide mixed with sodium oxide, magnesia, lime, and alumina. This smart glass is made of niobate, which is a compound fusing indium and oxygen, mixed with nanometer sized crystals of indium tin oxide. That’s the same stuff used in touch screens to register finger contact.

Once complete, the glass can change from opaque to transparent and be adjusted for different wavelengths of light. Think of the energy savings! Better yet, think of all the money you’ll save on window treatments! Smart glass keeps the heat in or out depending on need, which also translates into energy efficiency savings! Although it’s still being tested and improved upon, this smart glass definitely has a ‘bright’ future ahead.

 

 

Source: MNN

October 1, 2013

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