Extending the Lifespan of Smart Windows

10/14/2015 |

New technology recharges energy-saving performance of window designs

A schematic of smart window design. PHOTO CREDIT: UPPSALA UNIVERSITY View Larger

The lifespan of electrochromic windows could be greatly increased with a construction process that can reinvigorate their energy saving and light transmission control abilities. With the adoption of smart windows currently hampered by their limited lifespan, a new construction method outlined in Nature Materials shows that the energy saving and light controlling capacity of windows can be reacquired by running a weak electric current through the device.

The improved design uses a series of thin layers stacked on top of each other, with two layers of tungsten oxide and nickel oxide separated by an electrolyte layer. The process of recharging an exhausted window to its original high capacity takes about an hour and could potentially vastly improve the profitability and attractiveness of smart window technology.

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