Self-Tinting Windows Change Tint When they Get Hot
RavenBrick self-tinting windows can reduce energy use by 30-40%
RavenBrick, a Colorado-based clean tech company, recently announced the development of innovative self-tinting windows that will help home and building owners save on energy costs. Windows have long been one of the least energy-efficient parts of any home or office, as they allow for the easy transfer of heat between a building's interior and the outdoors. Although improvements in window design and technology in the last couple of decades have lessened this problem, windows are still one of the main places from which a house loses energy. RavenBrick claims its new self-tinting windows will ameliorate this problem by automatically changing tint when they get hot. The company estimates that these windows could reduce a building's energy use by 30-50% per year.
RavenBrick's self-tinting windows consist of a thermochromic filter placed between two panes of glass. The filter uses an organic polymer that alters its molecular structure when the temperature changes. In this way, the windows automatically block solar heat when the outside temperature is too hot, while delivering solar heat inside when the outside temperature is cold. The windows do not operate on a gradient; they are either completely clear or semitransparent. In addition to reducing heat transfer, RavenBrick's self-tinting windows reduce glare, making it more comfortable for people to sit near them.
In December, Ravenbrick's windows will be installed for the first time at the National Renewable Energy Lab building in Golden, Colorado, and we'll be able to see how these windows perform under real life conditions.
Ravenbrick is not the only company producing self-tinting windows. Other companies, such as Soladigm and Sage are also producing windows using a similar technology. This is definitely a technology to keep an eye on. If it performs as claimed, you may start to see many other manufacturers offering the option of self-tinting windows.