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Posted: March 31, 2010
SAGE Introduces World's Most Energy-Efficient Window Glass
(Nanowerk News) SAGE Electrochromics, Inc. today unveiled the world's most energy-efficient window glass. The new suite of window glass products is the first to marry electronically tintable “dynamic window” technology with high R-value, triple-pane construction. The result is a window that provides greater thermal and visual comfort than any equivalently configured glazing product in the history of the industry.
The new glass innovation comes just a few weeks after the company announced more than $100 million in Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantees and government tax credits, spurred on by the Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program which was established under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Combining unprecedented energy savings with breakthrough improvements in occupant comfort sets a new standard for high performance architectural windows, says SAGE CEO and Founder, John Van Dine. “In terms of true sustainability for the built environment, the bar has been raised significantly,” he said. “In addition to reducing energy usage and making the space more comfortable, productive and enjoyable, we can eliminate costly building features such as mechanized shades and blinds, and exterior add-ons like sunshades. Our windows can also contribute to LEED building credits, and decrease HVAC system size. This not only reduces the natural resources and energy consumed in the construction process, it also decreases the building owner’s investment in the building, making SAGE’s dynamic glazing product a low-cost sun management solution as well.”
Tests show the dynamic, triple-glazed glass has an insulating R-value higher than 8, compared to an R-3 value typical of most low-E double pane glass. Combining super insulation with the glazing’s dynamic tinting capability provides a 16 percent energy improvement over state-of-the-art static triple pane glass with low-E, and better than a 50 percent improvement over single pane glazings. This makes the product an ideal solution for new construction and retrofit primarily in heating-dominated climates where high R-value glazings are needed.
SAGE's dynamic tinting technology uses nanotechnology to produce its glazing, which people can change electronically to manage daylight, as if they were controlling the way transition lenses in sunglasses work. The technology saves building energy by managing natural daylight and solar heat gain, while enhancing occupant comfort and well-being by eliminating glare.
Why the world needs new window glass innovations
Buildings are responsible for 40 percent of the energy consumed in the U.S. – more than transportation or industry – and 38 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials long ago recognized the need for more efficient buildings if meaningful reductions in energy consumption are to be realized. According to researchers at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, highly insulating, electronically tintable windows can save up to five percent of the U.S. energy budget. This potential energy savings is equivalent to over 160 gigawatts of electricity generated annually by fossil fuels, and could result in a 300 million metric ton reduction in CO2 emissions.
Tom Paladino, founder and president of Paladino and Company, a pioneer and leader in the sustainable/green building movement, says that a highly insulating, dynamic window would be an important addition to the nation’s portfolio of sustainable building technologies. “It is very exciting to see the commercialization of a building product as energy efficient as the high R-value window,” Paladino said. “The combination of variable tinting and triple-glazed construction will result in a product with superior thermal properties that can contribute to dramatic reductions in both passive energy usage and peak cooling load.”
The trend toward building designs that incorporate the extensive use of glass continues to grow because people want a view and connection to the outside world. The energy inefficiency of glass, however, has historically challenged architects and builders who seek to create sustainable designs. Moreover, once in the space, occupants usually find that the view they so desired is the source of intolerable glare and heat. They pull the blinds and close off their view, negating the very purpose of the window.
“The only reason windows are put into buildings is for the people inside,” Van Dine added. “The dynamic, triple-pane glass enables building owners to optimize the comfort and productivity of the occupants as well as the energy performance of the building. It’s the best of both worlds.”
SAGE has shipped its first dynamic, triple-pane product, joining a product line of dynamic, double-pane glass that has been on the market since 2004 with hundreds of installations worldwide.
Leaders in electrochromic technology for more than 20 years, SAGE Electrochromics, Inc. develops and manufactures electronically tintable glass products that are available to the international architectural building market. Consistently proven reliable for use in exterior building applications, SageGlass® products help reduce energy bills by controlling solar heat gain and increase worker productivity by allowing additional daylighting, minimizing glare, and enhancing occupant comfort.