A smart solar window made of thermochromic smart glass has been developed in the Netherlands

A smart solar window made of thermochromic smart glass has been developed in the Netherlands

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 A smart solar window made of thermochromic smart glass was developed in the Netherlands

A research team led by the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research has developed a new solar window technology based on thermochromic smart glass.

Glass can change its infrared transmittance when exposed to sunlight. It does not become noticeably darker as the effect occurs only in the infrared part of the solar spectrum.

The research team used vanadium dioxide (VO 2 ) as the functional material in the pigmented polymer film coating because it changes its crystal structure and hence its optical properties at high temperatures. The thermochromic coating was combined with standard low-emission (low-E) coated glass.

The proposed solar window concept works by blocking heat from the sun in high outside temperatures and absorbing heat in colder weather.

Vanadium dioxide changes its crystal structure at a certain temperature. With this change in the crystal structure, the electrical and optical properties also change, which means that the material absorbs more infrared light in the high temperature crystal phase, and the absorbed solar energy is not transmitted to the building.

In the low temperature crystal phase, most of the infrared light is transmitted and therefore can enter the building. The temperature at which the material switches can be controlled by metal ion doping and can therefore be tuned for optimal energy savings.

Researchers claim that a smart window can achieve energy savings of up to 8% in individual buildings, duplexes and terraced houses. For apartments with large windows, even higher energy savings of up to 30% can be achieved.

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