By Jose Mario D.
The glass in windows and doors is designed to provide outward view while at the same time protecting us from external conditions. Interestingly, the transparent material still finds plenty of applications as a basis for the house’s entire facades. According to a study, we are a stay inside generation. The study surveyed about 16,000 people over 14 countries in North America and Europe and found that around 90 percent of people spend near to 22 hours inside every day. Doors and windows, in particular, play a crucial role. They are the pieces that connect to at least three of the four elements – air, earth, water, and light that we need for life. The windows or glass façades also protect us from the adverse effects of the outside world, such as wind, heat, cold, noise, exhaust fumes, and uninvited guests. However, as some innovations show, glass functions can be extended considerably.
These four examples show you the new options that glass installed in windows, doors, or mirrors offers:
1) Dynamic Remote Controlled Smart Glass
Dynamic glass refers to glass & windows, which change their light control’s state and appearance in response to external stimulation. The stimulus may be tension, heat, or sunlight. Dynamic glass is generally produced with two or more laminated glass layers with an interlayer of the active or switchable film between. Dynamic glass can change from clear to a private or tinted variable to darken a room or building. This makes the occupants more comfortable, connects them to the outside if desired, and saves energy by reducing HVAC and interior lighting systems’ demand. Dynamic Remote Controlled Smart Glass offers:
Whiteout privacy and light diffusion instantly switchable
Darkening, tinting, and light control of variable room on request
Sunlight-responsive, eco-adaptive self-tinting glass for room dim and light control
2) Turning Windshield Into a Digital Dashboard Glass
Improved transparent display technology based on a fluorescent emissive projection system transforms a whole glass window or windshield into a motion display panel without affecting the glass view. This new technology acts as an electronic display screen for an entire vehicle windshield or glass window building. Fluorescent phosphorus nanostructures embedded in the windshield glass matrix display show various information, such as opaque images, or data. Technology applications include storefront glass windows, glass panel hi-def video displays, and other high-contrast projection displays.
3) Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) Transparent Solar Glass
Inventive power-generating windows can generate 50 times more power per building than conventional solar panels. In contrast to traditional and opaque PV technology, BIPV can be easily used as a coating to a glass window or plastic surface and generate electricity instantly, even in artificial light and shade. The technology can produce more power at a lower cost and remain unaffected by high temperatures so that optimal operation does not require ventilation.
4) Switchable Glass
Windows that switch from transparent to opaque with the touch of a button are being developed for residential use to help reduce the cost of cooling in summer months and for year-round privacy.
Electrochromic technology currently allows windows to tint on demand and has been used for several years in aircraft windows. Present models take a transition time of up to seven minutes and don’t get dark enough for widespread residential use.
Researchers at the University of Stanford are working on an improved version. Within three minutes, their prototype shifts from bright to dark. The new research involves the use in the glass of an electrolyte gel combined with a transparent conductor. When applied with an electrical voltage, the glass changes from transparent to opaque. A negative charge causes ions to form a solid metal, and darkening of the glass. A positive charge dissolves the metal and returns to clear glass. The electrical voltage is required only to alter the opacity of the window. Once unplugged, the window will remain in the same state until re-applying electricity.
Glass is already a fascinating material: it is transparent but full of possibilities. The four innovations are, of course, just a small part of it. After all, they’re limited to the role of glass in windows, doors, facades, and mirrors. You wouldn’t have been capable of reading this without glass at all. Without a fiber optic cable infrastructure, the dear World Wide Web would be so slow that it probably could not have established itself in this form at all.