Researchers develop new reversible, green window technology

Mar 03, 2009
The reversible window system technology features two panes: one clear, airtight pane, and a smaller, tinted glass with an opening on top and bottom, which allows air to circulate between the panes. The window panes are fixed to a single frame and can be swiveled easily during seasonal changes -- or even on a daily basis, in response to changing weather. The window system is intended for buildings in sunny regions with distinct hot and cold seasons. Credit: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU, Israel) researchers have developed a new, highly energy-efficient window technology, featuring two reversible panes that will save energy all year round in homes and office buildings.

"The 'Seasons Window' features the only glazing system that permits effective passive heating in winter without glare or high radiant temperature near a window and reduces unwanted solar gains in summer without obstructing the view outdoors," explains Prof. Evyatar Erell, a researcher at BGU's Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research.

The reversible window system technology features two panes: one clear, airtight pane, and a smaller, tinted glass with an opening on top and bottom, which allows air to circulate between the panes. The window panes are fixed to a single frame and can be swiveled easily during seasonal changes - or even on a daily basis, in response to changing weather. The window system is intended for buildings in sunny regions with distinct hot and cold seasons.

In winter, short wave solar radiation is transmitted through the clear glass, and is absorbed by the tinted glass which faces indoors. The interior is heated in two ways: by long wave radiation emitted from the warm tinted pane, and by heating of the air in contact with the warm glass, which flows through the gap between the panes and returns to a room as much a 20°c. warmer. The clear pane -- preferably double-glazed with a low-E (emittance) coating -- traps heat inside the building.

In summer, the glass panes are easily rotated so the tinted glass faces outward and absorbs the warm solar rays. This pane is then cooled by the outside air circulating between the two panes. The clear glass pane, which is on the interior, absorbs unwanted infrared radiation from the warmer exterior pane and helps to reduce a building's cooling loads.

According to co-developer and BGU Prof. Yair Etzion, "The heat lost in houses in various regions depends on both climate and on design and construction." A common indicator is energy required to heat or cool a building, per unit floor area per year, with values ranging from zero to more typical values of 150-300 kilowatts in many older buildings in the United States and Europe. "By converting solar radiation into heat, our new green window solution conserves energy and saves money over time."

The windows will be produced and marketed in Israel by Alubin, an aluminum company.

Source: American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Explore further: Blu-ray disc can be used to improve solar cell performance

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Atomic trigger shatters mystery of how glass deforms

Oct 18, 2014

Throw a rock through a window made of silica glass, and the brittle, insulating oxide pane shatters. But whack a golf ball with a club made of metallic glass—a resilient conductor that looks like metal—and the glass not ...

Making window glass visible – but only to birds

Oct 10, 2014

Ultraviolet patterns can make window glass visible to birds, thus preventing fatal collisions. However, it has now been shown that such windows are not likely to work for all species, but only for birds like ...

Variable glass coatings to stop condensation on windows

Oct 07, 2014

Thin-film coatings impart new properties to glass in applications as diverse as window glazing, solar cells and touchscreens. With the Megatron sputtering system, it is now possible for the first time to ...

Circuits and sensors direct from the printer

Apr 30, 2014

Printers are becoming more and more versatile. Now they can even print sensors and electronic components on 2D and 3D substrates. A new, robot-assisted production line allows the process to be automated.

Recommended for you

Researcher explores drone-driven crop management

21 hours ago

A flock of pigeons flies over the soybean field where J. Craig Williams is standing. He reaches down and rips off a brown pod from one of the withered plants and splits it open. Grabbing a tiny bean between ...

Wireless electronic implants stop staph, then dissolve

Nov 24, 2014

Researchers at Tufts University, in collaboration with a team at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, have demonstrated a resorbable electronic implant that eliminated bacterial infection in mice ...

Scientist develops uncrackable code for nuclear weapons

Nov 24, 2014

Mark Hart, a scientist and engineer in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Defense Technologies Division, has been awarded the 2015 Surety Transformation Initiative (STI) Award from the National ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.