Dutch TNO unveils a groundbreaking “smart window” technology, epitomizing a significant leap towards sustainable living. This Dutch innovation intuitively adjusts to seasonal shifts, poised to diminish energy consumption in homes.
The Genesis of Smart Windows TNO, along with its partners, embarked on the Sunovate project, resulting in windows that autonomously switch between blocking and permitting solar warmth, a fit for the temperate Dutch climate with its cold winters and warm summers.
SunSmart Technology: From Prototype to Pilot Testing
A pilot launched in January is putting the SunSmart technology to the test under real-world conditions. The initial findings are encouraging, showcasing a window that adapts to temperature changes above 20°C by regulating infrared light passage1.
The Magic Behind the Glass
How Smart Windows Operate The magic lies in the active material within the smart window, which is thermochromic. This means that its optical properties change with temperature. Specifically designed for a temperate climate, the window allows infrared light to pass through when it’s cold, helping to warm the interior.
Conversely, during warmer periods with direct sunlight, the window blocks infrared light, aiding in keeping the indoor environment cool. The transition is automatic and occurs around 20°C, optimizing energy use for both heating and cooling, thus embodying a blend of simplicity, efficiency, and autonomous operation that is poised to revolutionize energy management in buildings.
Energy Efficiency and Climate Goals
This invention steps beyond Dutch borders, addressing the global energy crisis. By optimizing solar warmth utilization, these smart windows could slash the energy needed for heating and cooling. The technology, built on affordable materials, promises a payback period of 5 to 7 years, edging closer to a climate-neutral built environment by 2050.
TNO’s smart window technology is a bright example of how human ingenuity can craft solutions in harmony with nature’s cycle. As the market release, projected within 2-3 years, draws near, it’s an invitation for the global community to support such innovations. By embracing these technological strides, we’re not only cutting down on energy expenditure but also nurturing a sustainable and eco-friendly future.
Discover more inspiring innovations like the smart window technology in our previous feature on the world’s first tidal-powered EV charger.