In simple terms, smart glass technologies change the amount of light that’s mostly transmitted through translucent, opaque, and transparent materials.
The conflicting design and functional demands are resolved through the technology behind electrochromic glass, for balancing natural light benefits, open floor plans, and views with privacy and energy conservancy.
This guide will help you understand what electrochromic glass is much better.
What is electrochromic glass?
This is definitely not a new technology, it’s also known as dynamic glass or smart glass.
It’s been available on the market for years and can be applied differently. It’s a type of electric tinting glass used for facades, curtain walls, skylights, and windows.
Examples can be found inside hotels, onboard luxury airlines, as well as inside swanky offices. The type of smart glass that can be controlled by a building’s occupants is very popular.
It has the ability to: enhance the comfort of the occupant, maximize access to outdoor views, reduce energy costs, and architects also get more design freedom.
It does this either through controlling the amount of light that passes through the glass, acting as a filter or by either blocking it completely.
This helps with effectively keeping heat either in or out of predominately glass buildings.
Therefore, the energy consumption required for heating and air-conditioning is reduced.
The only drawback of smart glass windows is the price, they aren’t cheap to produce. They’re also not as clear as standard glass, but this might not be the best fit for camera nodules.
How does electrochromic glass work?
Electrochromic glass can come in either plastic or glass forms.
However, the key component is basically the same with both. The transparency of the sheet is controlled by two or more chemical substrates, or sometimes layers applied to the glass.
The layers can be constructed in different ways, including a combination of conducting electrodes and a reflective electrochromic compound, use of electrochromic dyes controlled by current, or use of photochemistry.
With the combination of conducting electrodes, the electrons pass between two electrodes; this is done by reversing the voltage.
The electrons used to react with other chemicals present in the layer, hence they give rise to their reflective properties, which leads to the glass turning opaque.
When the electrons are moved out of the chemical layer, the glass returns to being transparent.
Unlike LCD displays, electrochromic glasses come in varieties. Liquid crystal layers and light polarizing control how much light passes through the glass.
When a voltage change is applied, the orientation of the liquid crystal molecules changes, which leads to light being blocked from passing through them.
Electrochromic glass doesn’t require a log of power to work.
A low voltage is only briefly used to switch it to and from opaque. Another advantage is no power is required to keep the glass in a particular state.
How much does electrochromic glass cost?
The cost of electrochromic glass costs approximately $50-100 per square foot. Compared to regular glass, this is a bit high, since regular glass costs around $10-15 per square foot.
Residential application of smart glass windows
The following are some of the typical uses of smart glass windows in residential areas:
One of the most common applications of smart glass is in hotel bathrooms and shower/wet bathrooms.
It offers stylish discretion. Switchable double glazing is an excellent alternative to blinds and curtains.
These are usually a source of difficulty in bathrooms in terms of style and maintenance.
Another common type used in the bathroom is switchable laminated glass.
It enhances any wet room divider. It stylishly partitions a bedroom or en-suite.
Partitions and doors
You can make use of the glass beyond just your bathroom.
They’re perfect for use all over the house, offering superb privacy. It adds a wow factor to your interior design.
The use of switchable technology helps achieve a desired cutting-edge design. Some applications include placing switchable glass in an automatic glass door.
This technology helps you benefit from instant privacy and thermal performance.
It offers enhanced control and comfort to users.
The switchable PDLC layer is coated on the inner surface of a panel glass and combined with another pannel to create a sealed unit.
The use of a warm edge spacer bar with an air gap filled with argon offers tremendous performance and insulation.
We’re mostly used to controlling items and applications from surfaces.
For most human beings, touching is a natural way of control. Intelligent glass control offers a fully intuitive control experience by simply touching or sliding.
It offers significant benefits, however, people appreciate the improved cleanliness that is due to the antibacterial surface.
You can control windows directly from the glass. You don’t need to separate controllers, cords, or remote controls.
The good thing about intelligent glass control is there’s no limitation for glass sizes. The coating on different glass sizes is allowed.
Everything you need to control can be done directly from the glass; lighting and audio quality are controlled directly from the glass.
When it comes to driving cars, intelligent glass control opens up a lot of possibilities to offer energy efficiency, more comfort, and safety.
Panoramic sunroofs can be dimmed more effectively. Windows can be heated automatically without the use of heating wires. Windows are an increasingly active smart component of both homes, cars, and commercial buildings.
Application of electronically dimmable windows
Dimmable can be used in a lot of different ways in commercial buildings. Some of the uses and benefits include:
- One of the best ways to use electric dimming glass is to reduce the amount of energy used by a building. The electric tinting glass keeps the room cooler, cutting cooling costs.
Many businesses nowadays install electric dimming glass in the workspaces.
- They give offices a modern and professional appearance. They provide a lot of uses and benefits that most managers would appreciate.
- It helps provide privacy. Space can easily be made private simply by the flip of a switch.
- Switchable privacy films are incredibly beneficial since they help reduce the need for more office space. A company doesn’t need to have a lot of conference rooms; private space is acquired instantly.
- The electric dimming glass used on windows helps offer safety. Safety is an important factor. Dimmable windows help keep buildings safe since they can detect whenever a burglary is in progress. They also alert you if there are any maintenance issues that need to be dealt with.
- They’re also used to block harmful UV rays. The dimmable windows help block the sun. They play a part in blocking harmful UV rays from entering an office. When the rays are blocked, the risk of employees getting sick from those rays is reduced.
- The dimmable windows also help reduce the carbon footprint of a business.
Application of dimming windows in homes
Electric dimming glass is an option if you’re looking to upgrade your home to enhance energy efficiency.
They are used in homes for different reasons and offer different benefits. They include:
Heat reduction is one of the common uses of dimming windows at home.
Dimming windows can reduce the amount of heat produced by the sun in your home. When you’re seated close to the window, the smart glass window blocks almost 55% of the heat that comes into the house.
This offers you more comfort inside your home.
Just like in offices, residential film tinting helps protect you and the people you live with when a window breaks.
It makes it hard for the window to shatter after breaking. It also helps keep the small pieces of glass from hiding anywhere around the floor, causing accidents.
Despite being dimmable, you also enjoy clear windows.
It doesn’t mean that your window must be dark, or even look reflective.
The latest technology still gives you all the benefits you require and UV protection.
The dimmable windows help protect your inner fabrics.
The most common use of dimmable windows, as we’ve discussed, is blocking the entrance of harmful UV rays from entering the house.
Almost 99% of the rays are blocked. Furniture is easily damaged by the rays and causes the furniture to start fading.
If you want to give your furniture a longer life, getting dimmable windows is a brilliant choice.
Most utility companies, like those in California, usually offer rebates to customers who add the dimmable window to their premises.
To wrap up
In recent years, smart glass has grown to become widely used and helps make a significant difference.
It can be applied both at home and in offices.
Learning whether electrochromic glass is what you need or not, depends on your specific requirements.
Electrochromic smart glass reduces costs and becomes more prevalent both for cars and buildings.
The benefits that come with smart glass are a lot, including low energy consumption, heat rejection capabilities, as well as safe voltages.