2022 Smart Glass Manufacturers: All You Need To Know
Because smart homes require smart windows, the major smart glass manufacturers strongly recommend electrochromic glass windows. Some of you may be familiar with the concept, while others may be unfamiliar.
Smart glass is a sophisticated technology that offers the ease with which you can allow and prevent the sunlight from entering your place. In addition, it does offer a number of other benefits such as privacy. You are here either because you want to learn about this new technology or to read what it has to offer.
Regardless of your reason for being here, we will provide you complete information on what the electrochromic glass manufacturers have to offer. So, without any further delay, let us get started!
Smart Glass: A Comprehensive Guide
The weather can be somewhat unpredictable at times, with the sun rising and then hiding behind a cloud. You’re unsure whether to close your shades or leave them open to create the ideal environment. Getting up from your seat repeatedly to reach for the shades is inconvenient, especially in a professional atmosphere.
It is here where the smart glass window comes into action. The smart glass will transform from light to dark, transparent to opaque and vice versa via a button, voice, or Wi-Fi. The smart glass is wonderfully convenient, extremely simple, and highly environment friendly. So, let us take a closer look.
What is Electrochromic Glass?
To begin, you must understand the fundamentals. As a result, we’ll start with an overview of electrochromic glass. There is no doubting glass’s significance. The incredible material assures that our structure is neither cold, dirty, damp, or gloomy.
On the contrary, it enhances its brightness, lightness, freshness, and beauty. Although glass has many advantages, it also has certain disadvantages. Glass, for example, lets in both light and heat despite your wishes. As a result, buildings become inefficient. How?
Simply said, when more heat enters the building during the summer, you choose more air conditioning, which raises your electricity bill. There is no doubt that this is not only harmful to the environment but would also cost you a small fortune.
Traditional folks used curtains or blinds to keep the heat out. Although they appear sophisticated and elegant, they can be a nuisance in the workplace. However, electrochromic glass has made it all simple and lovely.
Skylights, windows, curtain walls, and facades are all common applications for this electronically tintable glass. The glass is quite effective at changing the windows from transparent to opaque and from dark to clear. It has grown in popularity because it promotes user comfort, maximizes access to the outdoors and daylight, reduces building costs, and allows for architectural design freedom.
Working of Electrochromic Smart Glass
Thanks to technological advancement, we today have several different types of electrochromic glass available. Each serving different or overlapped purposes. For example, there are photochromic sunglasses, these simply turn dark during sunlight.
Likewise, there is glass that would not only darken, but also become translucent. Then you have the option of glasses that become mirror-like. Some would even offer 100 present opaqueness. Every type has a different kind of technology.
However, we will be focusing on a single type of technology here. It is based on the movement of lithium ions. Lithium is famous for its rechargeable ability. There is a chemical inside it, which makes it possible to charge it seamlessly.
Traditional Glass windows used a single vertical glass pane. In the case, of the double-glazed window, it had two panes of glass. These two panes are separated via the air gap. The reason being: it allows soundproofing as well as heat insulation. After all, it is important to keep the heat and the noise out of your working environment or house.
Then, you would have the option of a little smarter windows. These windows use the low heat reflective glass to achieve the above two objectives. This glass has a thin metallic chemical layer. Thus, it is highly effective to keep your house warm during winters and cool during summer.
Smart Glass – Electrochromic Window
The basic working of electrochromic windows is similar to that of the low heat reflective glass windows. However, these windows are way more sophisticated and advanced. Their thin layer of metal-oxide coating is way more complex, uniform, and sophisticated. It has a finer depositing way. The depositing process is similar to that of the integrated circuits manufacturing.
The base or the substrate material of the electrochromic glass can either be plastic or glass. It all depends upon the smart glass manufacturers as well as the requirement of the clients. Of course, there will be a price difference in both these elements.
Next, comes sputtering for the coating of the material. What really happens is that in a precise and accurate way, the material is accumulated onto one another. The side that faces the inside of the building comes 5 ultra-thin layers (double-sandwich).
There is a separator in the middle with two electrodes on each side of it. These electrodes are extremely thin electrical contacts. On either side of the electrons, you will find two transparent electrical contact layers.
The Working Principle of electrochromic Smart windows
The basic functioning idea is heavily reliant on the well-known characteristic of lithium. It signifies that the lithium atoms are positively charged with missing electrons. With the help of the separator, these atoms tend to move between the two electrodes.
The lithium ions are present in the innermost electrode of the clear window. For the production of this electrode, lithium cobalt oxide is employed. When a tiny current is applied, the ions in the innermost electrode will transfer to the outermost electrode via the separator.
Polycrystalline tungsten oxide is used to create this layer. The layer tends to absorb the ions. The soaking of the ion would result in light reflection. As a result, the glass has turned opaque. As long as the voltage is not reversed, the ions will remain in that electrode.
When the current is reversed, the ions return to their original position, causing the window to become transparent once more. You don’t require constant electricity to keep the windows in a given state. On the contrary, a tiny quantity of charge applied only once would be adequate to accomplish and maintain the intended results.
There are some other technologies available as well. Below, we have discussed them briefly.
The smart glass manufacturers use electrochromic material instead of the separator between the electrode layers. When a small amount of current is applied to the electrochromic material it tends to change color. This process is similar to that of photochromic sunglasses. However, they require precise electrical control.
Viologen work electrochromically. The chemical dye is reversible between blue and clear.
Some would use the nanocrystals technology to ensure less or lighter to pass via your smart window. After all, the technology is 1000 times smaller on the atomic scale in comparison to what we usually have the microscopic technology.
As there are different types of windows, thus they are bound to have different configuration types. Nonetheless, most of them do have multiple layers. There are 6 separate surfaces in popular design. There are 2 layers of the Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) polymer present on both sides of the electrochromic layer.
Next, comes the head-toughened glass. This is also present on both sides of the PVB layers. After this, the smart glass manufacturers have the insulating layers, along with the low-e coating and lastly there is the interior glass.
What more is that an electrochromic glass manufacturer can easily customize the electrochromic units in a number of ways. For instance, they can have ones with thicker outer layers, this would enhance the security level. It would also be useful for weatherproofing purposes.
Likewise, you can have less insulation, different types of low-e coating among the many more customization abilities. In addition, you now have the option of controlling your windows via an app installed on your iOS or Android mobile phone.
Some are fully automatic; it means they would darken and lighten without you intervening. The information they gather as to when to become dark and when to become light is via the roof-top pyranometers. These are basically the sun sensors; they will direct the window on how to respond accordingly.
Stick-on Smart Glass Films
So far the smart windows we have talked about are the ones that you have to install as self-contained units. You would have to fit your window with a coated glass. Although it offers great functionality, it is highly expensive.
On the contrary, there is a way to get the smart window technology at a cheaper cost. When we say, cheaper, it does mean a pretty decent price. Instead of using a smart glass, simply such a stick-on electrochromic film.
Of course, there are several other types of window films, you can choose from them as well. WGlass tends to offer highly effective, self-adhesive window films. You can simply stick them onto your existing window and turn that to be a smart one.
Once the film is installed onto your window, you can easily control it via an app, remote, Wi-Fi, or even your voice command.
Technology of Electrochromic Films
These films have technology similar to that of the LCD display. The film uses liquid crystal, these crystals are responsible for letting the light pass as well as to prevent it. They work under precise electronic control. When you turn the current on, all the crystals are uniform. They line up; thus, the light is able to pass seamlessly.
However, when you switch the film off, the crystals would disperse. Now, any light reaching out to them will be redirected randomly. So, the light would not pass anymore. The performance of the film is highly effective.
Research shows that a film can transmit around 98 percent of the light outside. Likewise, they would decrease the light entrance to one-third, once you want to prevent the light from coming inside.
These films are available even for cars. Here are the benefits of these types of films for your car.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Electrochromic Smart Glass Window
- These smart glass windows are highly environment friendly.
- They tend to reflect 98 percent of the light, thus ensuring that the buildings and the house remain cool.
- The ability to retain the cool or the warm state of the buildings makes it highly cost-efficient.
- The electrochromic glasses are electrically operated; therefore, you can effortlessly control them via apps or other smart home systems.
- Some of these smart glass windows are fully automatic, thus they would perform effortlessly with any input from your end. Consequently, ensuring comfortability and feasibility.
- A very little amount of energy is required to turn the state of the windows. This further ensures that the technology is highly energy efficient.
- With a flip of a switch, you can now enjoy complete privacy. Something that is imperative especially in houses or buildings that have a complete mirror front. You won’t now want people outside to have a sneak peek at what is going inside your house or building.
With a glass window that offers so many benefits, it is bound to be expensive in comparison to the traditional glass window. Of course, you can reach out to reliable smart glass manufacturers such as WGlass for more affordable prices.
Nonetheless, smart glass windows are going to be expensive. Also, some window films take time to migrate from transparent to opaque or vice versa. However, the window films, in this case, are efficient. They tend to make the jump in seconds instead of minutes.
There is no denying that the electrochromic smart glass windows are the future. They are highly energy-efficient, and effective. The great thing is that they are available in a wide variety. Thus, you can use the one that is according to your requirements.
For more information on smart glass windows. The leading smart glass manufacturers.