March 25 2008 / by Venessa Posavec / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Energy Year: 2009 Rating: 8
Guardian Industries, an architectural and automotive glass manufacturer, recently unveiled a new prototype glass product that could provide some big energy gains when integrated into the homebuilding process. The windows of your house may soon actually supply energy via passive solar gains instead of leak it.
The vacuum-insulated glass (VIG) panel consists of two glass panes, one of which is covered in low-e coating. When vacuum sealed together, the panel effectively eliminates both convection and conduction of heat. The most impressive aspect of the product is its potential level of insulation (or R-value). The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. Most low-e glass comes in between R-2 and R-4, but this revolutionary glass promises a whopping R-12 to R-15 rating – the equivalent insulation of your home’s exterior walls.
Expected to hit the market in 2009, the energy benefits of this glass could be huge. Stephen Selkowitz, head of the Building Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, was quoted as saying “If you could convert every window [in the U.S.] to this performance level, you would save homeowners about $15 billion each year.”
We’re still a few years away from solar powered windows, so in the meantime we can look forward to products like this one, offering a practical and scalable solution for better energy efficiency.