A Liquid Window That Can Convey Down Vitality Consumption of Buildings By As much as 45%

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Researchers at Nanyang Technological University say they have developed a liquid window pane that can reduce the energy consumption of buildings by up to 45%.

The researchers said the liquid window is cheaper and 30% more energy efficient than commercially available energy efficient glasses. The liquid window is best for use in office buildings.

According to the report, the researchers placed hydrogel-based liquid, a combination of microhydrogel, water, and stabilizer, between sheets of glass to develop the liquid window.

The researchers explained that a hydrogen-based liquid might respond to a change in temperature because it doesn’t become transparent when exposed to heat and blocks sunlight, while when it cools it returns to its clear state. In addition, the high thermal capacity of the water allows the liquid window to store a large amount of thermal energy instead of being transferred into buildings through the glass during the day. The heat is cooled and released at night, they added.

“By using a hydrogen-based liquid, we simplify the manufacturing process by pouring the mixture between two sheets of glass. This gives the window the unique advantage of high uniformity, which means that the window can be made in any shape and size, ”said Long Yi, lead research author and lecturer at the School of Materials Science & Engineering.

As part of the experiment, researchers conducted tests outdoors in Singapore’s hot environment and in the cold climate of Beijing, China.

The researchers said the smart liquid window had a lower temperature (50 ° C) than a regular glass window (84 ° C) during the hottest time of the day in Singapore. While the Beijing test found that the room equipped with the smart liquid window used 11% less energy to maintain the same temperature than the room with a regular glass window, the researchers added.

According to the report, the highest value of stored thermal energy for the liquid window peaked at 2 p.m. compared to 12 p.m. for the normal glass window.

“If this temperature spike shift results in a shift in the time a building needs electricity to cool or heat the building, it should translate into lower energy tariff fees for users,” the researchers said.

The researchers used actual building models and weather data from four different cities to demonstrate that the liquid window has better energy saving capacity than regular glass and low emissivity windows. They also stated that the liquid window could reduce noise pollution by 15% compared to double-glazed windows.

In August 2020, researchers from the University of Michigan set a new efficiency record for color-neutral, transparent solar cells. According to lead researcher Stephen Forest, these organic solar cells are compatible with windows that cover the face of most buildings.

Earlier this year, Australian scientists, led by members of the ARC Center of Excellence for Exciton Research, released a research paper stating that they had succeeded in making semi-transparent perovskite solar cells that generate electricity. This breakthrough could enable windows in buildings and automobiles to generate electricity.

Photo credit: Nanyang Technological University


Harsh is a reporter at Mercom India. Previously, he reported general interest stories at Indian Express. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from the Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication in Pune.

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