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: Firm combines 3-D printing with ancient foundry method

Related Stories

Is glass a true solid?

Jan 21, 2015

Does glass ever stop flowing? Researchers at the University of Bristol and Kyoto University have combined computer simulation and information theory, originally invented for telephone communication and cryptography, ...

Solar chip monitors windows

Jan 06, 2015

A new kind of radio chip is intended to warn when windows are left open. This way, you can avoid having the heat go out the window on cold days. The sensor also detects break-in attempts early on. The key: ...

What is heat conduction?

Dec 09, 2014

Heat is an interesting form of energy. Not only does it sustain life, make us comfortable and help us prepare our food, but understanding its properties is key to many fields of scientific research. For example, ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

Firm combines 3-D printing with ancient foundry method

Mar 27, 2015

A century-old firm that's done custom metal work for some of the nation's most prestigious buildings has combined 3-D printing and an ancient foundry process for a project at the National Archives Building in Washington, ...

Wearable device helps vision-impaired avoid collision

Mar 26, 2015

People who have lost some of their peripheral vision, such as those with retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, or brain injury that causes half visual field loss, often face mobility challenges and increased likelihood ...

Applications of optical fibre for sensors

Mar 26, 2015

Mikel Bravo-Acha's PhD thesis has focused on the applications of optical fibre as a sensor. In the course of his research, conducted at the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre, he monitored a sensor fitted to optical fibre ...

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.