Usually, many windows that are used at home have double glasses made from two glass pans to increase the thermal insulation and reduce losses of the energy. That air gap between the glass panes actually helps to reduce energy costs and losses. But the scientists from Singapore believe that this old design could be improved, so what if we filled that gap between the glasses with some special liquid? Would it help people to save more money? And how this a solution could promote the environment protection and sustainability?
The Main Principles of Working
Normal windows let in the sunlight and keep the house warm as they work as an isolation. However, scientists believe that this process could be more efficient, so people could save a lot of money and energy after adopting one more smart option into their lives. Researchers at Nanjing University of Technology have filled the gap between the two glass panels with a special liquid based on a unique hydrogel that can absorb the sunlight. Because of the sunlight, this liquid is getting less and less translucent, as a result, it helps to protect the premises from unwanted temperature rise and reduce the excessive heat inside the room. Researchers say that this technology will help to reduce the electricity costs because people will not have to rely on air conditioning.
However, this is only one part of the advantages of these windows. At night, when the sun goes down, the liquid begins to clear itself again. At the same time, it transfers the accumulated thermal energy to the interior of the room. As a result, such windows act like a battery: during the day when there is more sunlight, it is accumulated, and at night, when the temperature drops, the collected heat is returned to the home. Therefore, such windows act as an air conditioner and a heater at the same time.
Of course, it is not difficult to notice that such windows also have obvious disadvantages. For example, on a sunny day, nothing would be seen through these windows and it would be too dark to work or read inside the room without the artificial light. Also, doctors claim that human beings need the natural lightning, and it helps to increase the productivity.
On the other hand, scientists do not suggest filling all windows with the special liquid. Also, these windows would be suited for office buildings with many windows. Researchers estimate that this technology could reduce office energy costs by up to 45% over the time. In addition, such windows are 15% better at blocking noise. British scientists considered a similar idea, but they wanted to fill the windows with plain water. The water heated during the day would be pumped into the heating system at night and thus maintain a more uniform temperature. So far, the cost of manufacturing such windows is higher than normal windows, so it would take a very long time for such windows to pay off.