Scientists invent energy-saving glass that ‘self-adapts’ for heating and cooling

Scientists at NTU Singapore invent energy-saving glass that 'self-adapts' to demanding heating and cooling

Developed by scientists at NTU Singapore, there is a unique structure of self-adaptive glass that controls heating and cooling simultaneously. credit: NTU Singapore

An international research team led by scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed a material that, when coated on glass window panels, effectively heats or cools rooms in different climatic zones of the world. It can be self-adapting, which helps. To cut down on energy use.

Developed by NTU researchers and reported in the journal ScienceThe first glass of its kind automatically responds to changing temperatures by switching between heating and cooling.

Self-adaptive glass developed using layers of vanadium dioxide nanoparticles composite, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), and low-emissivity coating to form a unique structure that can control heating and cooling simultaneously .

The newly developed glass, which has no electrical components, works by exploiting the spectrum of light responsible for heating and cooling.

During the summer, glass suppresses solar heat (near infrared light), while radiation promotes cooling (long-wave infrared) – a natural phenomenon where heat escapes through surfaces toward the colder universe – to warm the room. For cooling. In winter, it does the opposite of heating the room.

In laboratory tests using an infrared camera to visualize the results, the glass allowed a controlled amount of heat to be emitted under different conditions (room temperature above -70 °C), allowing for changing weather conditions. Proven ability to react dynamically.

New glass controls both heating and cooling

Windows are one of the key components in the design of a building, but they are also the least energy-efficient and most complex part. In the United States alone, window-linked energy consumption (heating and cooling) in buildings is estimated to be about four percent of their total primary energy use each year, based on data available from the US Department of Energy.

While scientists elsewhere have developed sustainable innovations to reduce this energy demand – such as using low-emission coatings to prevent heat transfer and electrochromic glass, which is tinted, prevents solar transmission from entering rooms. Control – no solution is capable of modifying both heating and. Cool at the same time, so far.

The study’s principal investigator, Dr. Long Yi of the NTU School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), said, “Most energy-saving windows today deal with part of the solar heat gain due to visible and near-infrared sunlight. Often overlooked radiative cooling in the long wavelength infrared. While innovations focusing on radiative cooling have been used on walls and ceilings, this function becomes undesirable during the winter. Our team used a glass for the first time. demonstrated that it can respond favorably to both wavelengths, meaning it can continuously self-tune to respond to changing temperatures in all seasons.”

As a result of these characteristics, the NTU research team believes that their innovation provides a convenient way to conserve energy in buildings because it does not rely on any moving components, electrical systems, or blocking views to function. does not do.

To improve the performance of windows, the simultaneous modulation of both solar transmission and radiative cooling is important, said co-author Professor Gang Tan from the University of Wyoming, US, and Professor Ronggui Yang from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan. China, which pioneered building energy saving simulation.

“This innovation fills the missing gap between traditional smart windows and radiative cooling by paving the way for a new research direction to reduce energy consumption,” said Prof. Gang Tan.

This study is an example of the groundbreaking research that supports the NTU 2025 Strategic Plan, which seeks to address humanity’s grand challenges on sustainability, and seeks to accelerate the translation of research discoveries into innovations that reduce human impact on the environment. We do.

Scientists at NTU Singapore invent energy-saving glass that 'self-adapts' to demanding heating and cooling

(LR) The NTU research team behind the invention includes School of Materials Science and Engineering Research Fellow Meng Yun, Principal Investigator Dr. Long Yi and Research Fellow Dr. Wang Shancheng. credit: NTU Singapore

Useful innovations for a wide range of climate types

As a proof of concept, the scientists tested the energy-saving performance of their invention using simulations of climate data covering all populated parts of the world (seven climate zones).

The team found that the glass they developed showed energy savings in both hot and cold climates, with an overall energy saving performance of 9.5%, or ~330,000 kWh per year (for powering 60 homes in Singapore for a year). energy required) is low. Compared to commercially available low-emission glass in a simulated medium-sized office building.

The study’s first author is Wang Shancheng, a research fellow and former Ph.D. student Dr. Long Yi said, “The results prove the feasibility of applying our glass to all types of climates as it is able to cut energy use regardless of hot and cold seasonal temperature fluctuations. What differentiates our invention from current energy-saving windows that find limited use in areas with little seasonal variation.”

In addition, the heating and cooling performance of their glass can be customized to suit the needs of the market and sector for which it is intended.

“We can do this by simply adjusting the composition and structure of the special nanocomposite coating layered on the glass panel, making our innovation potentially used in a wide range of heat regulation applications, and not limited to windows. It is,” said Dr. Long Yi.

Providing an independent perspective, Professor Liangbing Hu, Herbert Rabin Distinguished Professor, Director of the Center for Materials Innovation at the University of Maryland, US, said, “Long and colleagues developed the original development of smart windows that respond to near-infrared sunlight and long exposures.” Wave infrared heat. The use of this smart window could be of immense importance for energy-saving and decarbonization manufacturing.”

A Singapore patent has been filed for the innovation. As next steps, the research team is aiming to achieve even greater energy-saving performance by working on the design of its nanocomposite coating.

The international research team also includes scientists from Nanjing Tech University, China.


Smart window material blocks rays without blocking the view


more information:
Shancheng Wang et al, Scalable Thermochromic Smart Window with Passive Radiation Cooling Regulation, Science (2021). DOI: 10.1126/science.abg0291. www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abg0291

Provided by Nanyang Technological University

Citation: Scientists invent energy-saving glass that ‘self-adapts’ to heating and cooling demand (2021, December 16), published on 30 March 2022 https://techxplore.com/news/2021- Retrieved from 12-scientists-energy-saving-glass. –self-optimizing-cooling.html

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