Helen Sanders Discusses the Benefits of Dynamic GlazingSeptember 13th, 2012 by Editor
Helen Sanders, vice president of technical business development for Sage Electrochromics Inc., displayed new innovations in her presentation Dynamic Glazing Case Studies. In the presentation, given in Las Vegas at the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) insulating glass (IG) failure educational seminar, Sanders explains not only the science behind electrochromic and thermochromic glazing, but also the practicality of the products.
Sanders describes dynamic glazings as “glazings that change their transmission properties in response to an external stimulus such as heat, sunlight, gas or electricity.”
One of the main commercial types of glazings is the suspended particle device. Suspended particle devices consist of “particle suspension laminated between plastic film and the laminated between two pieces of glass,” Sanders explains in her presentation. These particles align to provide either a clear or tinted look. “In the off state you have these particles which aren’t well-aligned. Instead of scattering the light they absorb the light and look highly tinted,” says Sanders.
According to Sanders, the commercial applications are limitless because of their “human factor” appeal. As energy concerns rise, dynamic glazings offer a relatively inexpensive solution to controlling temperatures and lighting. “One of the benefits of dynamic glazing is that you maintain that uninhibited view to the outside,” says Sanders.
Monolithic ceramic thin film electrochromic glazing has been the answer for many companies looking to reduce energy usage while increasing the efficiency and aesthetics of a space. The glazing, coated on a single pane of glass, utilizes a low-voltage direct current to move lithium ions in a manner that either blocks or transmits heat and light directed at the pane.
Sanders offers examples of companies with buildings built with either high, extensive windows or full-room sunroofing where extremes of light, heat and glare were often problems that affected either the efficiency or comfort of the space. Solutions presented by this glazing offered a less expensive, more attractive solution, claims Sanders.
Installs for many of these buildings, which include Chabot College in Hayward, Calif., Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., and Putnam Road in Greenwich, Conn., were completed in zones which allow for automatic tinting in sections based on the amount of heat and light directed at the particular area. As the sun changes position, the panels change tint to maintain a consistent level of light and heat in the room. Zoning can be installed in the east to west configuration to reduce lighting and heat, or in north to south sections to reduce the glare of the lighting produced by angles of light.
Sanders says in the presentation that installing dynamic glazings “reduces energy loads, lowers peak demands power requirements, eliminates need for blind/shade maintenance, reduces overall HVAC equipment requirements, maintains occupants’ view and connection to outdoors and enhances buildings’ sale and rental value.”