Are Your Windows Smart and Eco-friendly?
University of Delaware researchers, led by Associate Professor Keith Goossen, have developed low-cost, glass panels that selectively allow and block light. This paves the way for eco-friendly, smart windows that reflect heat in the summer and absorb heat in the winter.
Simple, Brilliant Idea
The idea behind the smart glass is simple. It has two sheets of plastic separated by a thin cavity. Tiny, cube-shaped structures are in the plastic. They make light bounce back to its source. The other chamber between the plastics is filled with methyl salicylate, an inexpensive wintergreen extract that is also used in over-the-counter pain-killers. This liquid has optical properties that match the optical properties of retroreflective plastic. When combined the light can pass through and the system becomes transparent.
Smart Glass, Smart Windows, Smart House, E-Friendly
The smart glass system can switch from transparent letting the light shine in to warm the house in cold weather to reflective to cool it during hot weather. And it can do so 1000 times without degrading. It's light and glass technology on the cutting edge that's also good for the environment and with a lot of potential.
3D Printed and Can Be Scaled Up Commercially
U Delaware scientists 3D printed their prototypes. But they believe it can be manufactured at high volume and low cost using injection molding. They're now testing it over a wide range of temperatures to see how it performs at extreme temp ranges.