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Current issue

ELEKTRO 10/2018 was released on September 26th 2018. Its digital version will be available immediately.

Topic: Electrical power engineering; RES; Batteries and accumulators; E-mobility

Main Article
Smart Cities (part 1 – volume 1)

New Type of Smart Windows Use Liquid to Switch from Clear to Reflective

13.12.2017 | The Optical Society | www.osa.org

Researchers have demonstrated prototype windows that switch from reflective to clear with the simple addition of a liquid. The new switchable windows are easy to manufacture and could one day keep parked cars cool in the sun or make office buildings more energy efficient. The technology can also be used to make roof panels that keep houses cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Although glass that uses an applied voltage to switch from clear to an opaque or tinted state is commercially available, its high cost— around $100 per square foot — has hindered widespread use. The new smart windows contain a plastic panel with a pattern of structures that is retroreflective. This means that rather than reflecting light in all directions like a mirror, it reflects light back in the direction it came from like a bicycle reflector.

Smart window

One of the most promising applications for the new switchable glass may be in cars, where it could be used to change the windshield to a reflective state when the car is parked in the hot sun.

Read more at The Optical Society


Image Credit: Keith Goossen, University of Delaware 

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