Game changer? Chinese scientists create window that generates energy
While allowing us to feel close to the outside world, windows cause heat to escape from buildings in winter and let the Sunâ€™s unwanted rays enter in summer.
This has sparked a quest for â€śsmartâ€ť windows that can adapt to weather conditions outside.
Todayâ€™s smart windows are limited to regulating light and heat from the sun, allowing a lot of potential energy to escape, study co-author Yanfeng Gao of the Chinese Academy of Sciences told AFP.
â€śThe main innovation of this work is that it developed a concept smart window device for simultaneous generation and saving of energy.â€ť
Engineers have long battled to incorporate energy-generating solar cells into window panes without affecting their transparency.
Gaoâ€™s team discovered that a material called vanadium oxide (VO2) can be used as a transparent coating to regulate infrared radiation from the Sun.
VO2 changes its properties based on temperature. Below a certain level it is insulating and lets through infrared light, while at another temperature it becomes reflective.
Sources and more information:
Scientists in China said Thursday they had designed a "smart" window that can both save and generate energy , and may ultimately reduce heating and cooling costs for buildings. While allowing us to feel close to the outside world, windows cause heat to escape from buildings in winter and let the Sun 's unwanted rays enter in summer.
( via rawstory.com )
properREDeye wrote October 27, 2013 2:00:11 PM CET
Seen this already on a tv documentary, it will apparently be used in homes and offices. My guess is it will be a low energy conversion rate if we ever see it at all because there are people who profit inconceivable amounts from our current use of energy, and they will not allow a power paradigm shift while they can still profit from the older versions of making energy, i.e. burning things. My feeling is the patents will be bought by a big energy company, never to be seen again. There are examples of this in so many industries these days that it is stifling our progress in many areas, just to maximise the profit gained from a demographic. It is a masterwork of psychopathic genius that we find ourselves bound by systems like this, but now we realise it we need to act to rectify it and regain momentum in the arena of progress