Energy-Saving Dynamically Tinted Glass Could Make Most Buildings More Efficient


Photo: SAGE Electrochromics
SAGE Electrochromics Gets $100+ Million
Another day, another announcement by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE). Yesterday, it was $100 million in funding for clean tech energy projects via ARPA-E, and today it's $72 million in loan guarantees which are being added to an existing $31 million tax credit. The beneficiary is SAGE Electrochromics, the inventor of a special glass that can be made tinted by pressing a button.

Photo: SAGE Electrochromics

The money is to help build a 250,000-square-foot facility to manufacture the glass on a large scale.

Such a glass could help better control how much sunlight enters a building, and save on air conditioning, heating and lighting (the low-tech, low-cost alternative is blinds, but this special glass should allow better computer-controlled fine tuning and the ability to let more heat in during cold weather months because blinds can't reduce the reflexivity of the windows once they've been installed).

SageGlass Classic has an unparalleled SHGC value of 0.09 in its tinted state, which is about three times better than that offered by most commercial glazings. In this state, the glass transmits 3.5% visible light. The breakthrough benefit is that when the glass doesn't need to be that dark--for instance, when it's cloudy outside and you want light or it's winter and you want heat from the sun--you can untint the glass and bring the visible light transmission up to 62% and the SHGC up to 0.48. It's like having two types of glass in one window opening.

Reducing solar heat gain directly impacts energy and other expenses associated with operating a building. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that electronically tintable window systems are capable of providing up to :
• 40% savings on energy bills
• 20% savings on operating costs
• 24% reduction in peak demand
• 25% decrease in the size of HVAC systems

This is important considering that buildings are the #1 energy guzzlers in the US.

Via SAGE Electrochromics
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