Sage Electrochromic Windows get Large Investment from Saint Gobain
As windows and doors have become more energy efficient, one of the newest technologies to stem the loss of energy is electrochromic glass, also known as “smart glass,” which is being used to make electrochromic windows. Faribault, Minnesota's Sage Electrochromics is manufacturing electrochromic windows and skylights that can help commercial buildings significantly reduce their energy load.
Research has shown that electrochromic glass in commercial buildings can reduce energy load by 20 percent for cooling and by up to 60% for lighting. In addition to energy savings, electrochromic glass windows allow for a 25% reduction in the required size of heating and cooling equipment.
How do Sage Electrochromic windows work? A low-voltage current tints the windows in response to incoming light. This process reduces the amount of sunlight entering the building, reduces energy needed for climate control and lighting, and subsequently, saves money. Currently, Sage Electrochromic glass is only available for building windows, but the company is researching future uses for electrochromic glass in applications such as transportation windows, specialty optical products, and large displays.
Sage Electrochromics is not alone in the production of this self-tinting window technology. We just recently reported on two other similar products: Soladigm Electrochromic windows, which recently secured a $40 million loan to build a facility in Mississippi, and RavenBrick's self-tinting windows.
Cnet reports that the Department of Energy has provided Sage Electrochromics with a $72 million loan guarantee, and now a French company, Saint-Gobain, a world leader in building materials, is making a strategic $80 million dollar investment for a 50% stake in Sage Electrochromics. The two companies will share intellectual property and merge their R&D and manufacturing efforts.
The agreement with Saint-Gobain will enable Sage Electrochromics to build the largest and most technologically advanced electrochromic glass manufacturing facility in the world. With a new plant planned for Faribault, Minnesota, larger panes can be produced and production costs will go down, enabling electrochromic windows to be more affordable and more widely adopted.