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Advanced Glazing and Window Technologies

Post Time:Dec 10,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:107

Brandon Tinianov, chief technology officer, Serious Materials, Sunnyvale, Calif., discussed Advanced Glazing and Window Technologies at the BETEC Symposium, Dec. 10, at the Washington Convention Center.

“The way I see it, there are three generations of windows: high thermal insulation, dynamic glazings and BIPVs. At present, we’re seeing some high thermal insulation; dynamic glazing will probably come in five years; and BIPVs in the next 10 years,” he said.

A high thermal insulation window has multiple layers: sustainable foam, proprietary triple reverse seal; lites of glass; inert gas fill; suspended film; a high-strength, low conductivity fiberglass frame; and wet glazing triple-fin weather stripping. “There are more available surfaces to work with when there are so many layers: the low-E coating can be tuned; the gas, the spacer, the glass, everything can be played with to improve the performance of the window,” Tinianov said. High-performance frames can be aluminum or vinyl, but fiberglass is being used more and more.

Dynamic glazing can actively change its physical properties, such as visual transmission, thermal/infrared transmission, or both, Tinianov said. It changes properties via electrical/user control, environmental conditions, or both. A good example is electrochromic glass from Sage Electrochromics, Faribault, Minn. Benefits of dynamic glazing include dynamic daylight control and reduction in HVAC loads; concerns include high cost, and somewhat hazy “clear” mode.

There are different kinds of dynamic glazing, Tinianov said:--Passive dynamic glazing offers dynamic daylight control, reduced HVAC load, lower installed cost ($20/sq ft), and use as retrofit. However, concerns include: availability, unwanted activation, service life, and spotty visual field.--Hybrid dynamic glazing switches on per environmental conditions, and off with voltage. It is similar in cost to electrochromic.--IR specific passive glazing offers low cost, pure passive, no controls, no change to Tvis andis available as a retrofit solution. But the product is at least three to five years away from being available in the market.

BIPVs, a third generation of high-performance glazing, only produce 100 watts per square meter. “It’s an interesting product, but not compelling right now,” Tinianov said.

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