On 27th September 2011, the BBC reported that there had been a development in window design which could have unprecedented benefits for every property owner.
Originally reported in the journal ACS Nano, this new type of window, which has been deemed the “Smart” window by industry professionals, instantaneously adapts as the weather changes. When temperatures are high and the sun is out, the window darkens to cool the interior of the building and when temperatures turn colder, the window become more transparent in order to capture any heat it can from the sun. This astonishing new development was created in South Korea, by scientists from the Korea Electronics Technology Institute and Soongsil University; Ho Sun Lim, Jeong Cho and Jooyong Kim.
Although there are already windows on the market which adapt to the changing weather conditions, they do not do so automatically, and are not cost-effective or environmentally friendly to run. The adaptive windows currently on the market are powered by electricity; there are charged ions in between the panes of glass, which change the window from transparent to opaque when the electricity is switched on. These windows therefore require manual operation by someone within the building. Some of the existing models have also been deemed chemically unstable and quite complex to process and maintain. Such windows can also be expensive to install and run, as they require additional electrical equipment. These disadvantages stop the windows from being a viable option for many organisations, as they can become costly and inconvenient.
The new windows developed by the Korean Scientists will completely revolutionise the adaptive-window industry, and provide countless benefits to those that have them installed. Unlike previous types, these windows contain a special polymer and counterions, a different type of particle to the ions found in previous windows, alongside methanol and other solvents. The differences in components means that the windows can instantly, without intervention from a person, alter between transparent and opaque as the weather changes.
This instantaneous switch has great advantages to property owners. Firstly, it makes the product highly convenient, as the windows do not need to be operated manually, allowing those in the building to enjoy the benefits without distraction from their other tasks.
These windows will also benefit the property owner financially. They are being marketed as a great energy-saving product, as they will make savings on heating, lighting costs and air-conditioning bills.
As the windows dim as the sun shines, they reflect away much of the sun’s rays. This prevents the interior of the building from becoming excessively hot, which therefore saves the property owner additional air-conditioning costs.
In the winter, when the windows are transparent, the clear windows allow as much of the sun’s light and warmth into the building as possible. This means that those inside the building will benefit from the sun, and the heating and lighting facilities of the building will not need to be used as frequently.
The instant effects of these windows allows the building to benefit from energy-saving qualities immediately, and as frequently as possible.
As an energy and cost-saving product, these windows will provide any property owner with countless advantages that can’t be obtained by other windows on the market. The Science Daily commented on the launch of this product, suggesting that this type of window could be installed anywhere, from skylights and windows in homes, to larger windows in conference rooms and offices. The potential uses of this product, and the benefits that coincide with this, could therefore positively effect home owners, as well as commercial property owners; everyone who uses it could make a saving.
This exciting new development for property owners, and those responsible for maintaining the windows on buildings, follows last year’s development in the creation of liquid glass. This fine spray reduces the cost of window cleaning for property owners, as once it is applied it protects them from every-day damages and scratches. At Newlife Cleaning Systems, as we provide window cleaning services to many types of property in many different industries throughout the UK. We find it encouraging that developments such as this are taking place, as they will save the much-needed funds of the many organisations we work with.
The original BBC article can be found at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15076773
The article in Science Daily can be found at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110921132346.htm