“Low-E” Windows Maximize Buildings’ Energy Efficiency

Low-E stands for low emissivity, and these windows are constructed to minimize heat transfer through the glass. Since windows are essentially huge holes in the walls of a building, choosing a low-E window design that’s appropriate for local climate and architecture can greatly increase a structure’s thermal efficiency, while reducing energy use and utility costs.


Windows That Double As Solar Panels

MIT researchers have announced that they have created “organic solar concentrators” that could make windows become powerful solar panels in as little as three years. The concentrator is mixture of two or more dyes painted onto a pane of glass or plastic. The dyes absorb light across a range of wavelengths, re-emit it at a different wavelength and transport it …


New Glass Can Switch To Become A Mirror

Although windows can naturally heat buildings in the cold seasons, during the summer they can easily overheat a building. To help with this problem, Japanese scientists at AIST recently developed a thin film which can make transparent glass turn into mirrors. The use of such a window in buildings or automobiles could reduce the energy consumed by air conditioners by …


Self-Cleaning Glass: Pilkington Activ Glass

"Pilkington Activ" glass needs little cleaning, reducing consumption of detergent and water. The active glass has a special nano-scale (extremely thin) coating of microcrystalline titanium oxide which reacts to daylight. The reaction breaks down dirt on the glass, and when the water hits the glass the dirt slides off. The chemical used — titanium dioxide is a fairly benign compound …