It seems as if every aspect of our lives has benefited somehow from technological advances. This seems to ring true in even some of the more mundane things in our homes. Everything from paint additives to structural changes have worked together to create a more convenient environment.
One of the more interesting changes we’ve made have been to something that we stare at almost every single day. Few people realize the advances that have been made on the construction and function of our windows. The first windows were, literally, just holes in the walls. They were used for ventilation, and covered in the colder months. In the 14th century, people began using flattened animal horn to let in light while still sealing the opening.
Glass didn’t become common until the 17th century, and even then it was poor quality. Glass was difficult to transport, and often very expensive to replace. As settlers continued to travel across America, they began to use greased paper in place of the window glass. Windows like the ones we use today didn’t become a possibility until plate glass could be mass produced.
Now, we have the ability to integrate technology and design into windows. This has led to some very interesting developments in this everyday tech. All of this is available through the internet. Whether you want to buy timber wood awnings in Melbourne, or smart windows from Silicon Valley- there’s a window tech out there for everyone! Check out some of these more interesting options:
This is the latest in “smart” window technology. The 21st century saw the invention of energy saving windows that change tint based on the amount of sunlight coming in. These windows work entirely independently of your home. They require no additional electricity to function, and they actually generate their own power via built in solar panels. Dynamic glass will block heat loss, and excessive heat gain due to outdoor and solar conditions. This requires less regulation from the HVAC systems, saving the owner both energy and money.
These windows have the ability to provide enough power to pay for themselves in about a year. These are not your typical solar windows. Original solar windows were not entirely see through, and provided a fairly slow return rate on their investment. Scientists began looking at new ways to use windows to generate energy using light. The answer came in the form of an organic liquid polymer. This liquid can be applied to windows with no real disruption in the clarity. It can be applied to every window on every surface outside and inside a building. This liquid can capture the light from every possible angle, and this allows it to generate exponentially more power than traditional solar methods. It doesn’t stop here. When applied to indoor windows, the organic polymer can also collect power from fluorescent and artificial lights. Now that you’re excited to go out and buy these amazing windows- it’s probably a good idea to let you know that the technology is still under development.
Ultra-High Efficiency Windows
This term has been used to describe windows that have undergone a variety of transformations to make them as insulated as possible. Many of these are triple paned with coatings that help to prevent UV infiltration. Companies are constantly working to make their windows just a little bit more energy efficient. Some windows have proven to be nearly as effective as insulated walls at minimizing energy loss. The production of these has become very costly, and unfortunately this cost is carried on to the consumer. Science and the costs of production will need to find a happy medium to help bring a truly energy efficient product to the world.