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Auto-Tinting Windows

A startup in Silicon Valley has unveiled a smart window which promises green and energy efficient building in the future.

Soladigm (formally called “View”) officially introduced its flagship product auto-tinting window system, which will be displayed to the public at the Greenbuild conference in San Francisco. Previously there have been many attempts to make windows that can change color just like a chameleon in order to adjust light and temperature indoors but these glass products are rarely manufactured and used.

The product is basically an electro-chromatic glass which is highly durable and provides a reasonable payback on energy reductions and eliminating the need for blinds. But saving energy bills (typically a 20 percent reduction in HVAC and lighting) isn’t the only draw, says CEO Rao Mulpuri. “The energy savings are tremendous, but this is much larger than that. It’s a truly intelligent window system that allows for a fantastic user experience,” he says.

The W Hotel in San Francisco is using View’s glass in its lobby in part because of its sustainability efforts. But the glass also allows people to sit in comfort next to the window by reducing glare and heat when tinted and still allowing as much natural light in as possible.

In a commercial place such as a store or hotel, the glass typically gets its directions on how much to tint from occupancy, temperature, and light sensors connected to a building management system. The windows themselves, which are activated by a low voltage, are physically wired to a brick-shaped device, which connects to the hotels’ backbone Wi-Fi networks. This allows a person to manually control the tinting from a switch or a network connected device such as a smart phone or laptop.

The smart window is fabricated with the help of physical vapor deposition techniques, common in the thin-film solar or display industry. It sputters metal oxide gases onto the glass to create a ceramic coating. The finished window includes wiring and a second glass pane. By using a ceramic material it makes the window coating durable, which has previously been a problem for other auto-tinting technologies.

Right now View’s windows cost is 50% more than regular windows. Building designers and architects will undoubtedly love this product because it will make a perfect green building.

Image and article source: www.viewglass.com

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