AIR Option 1: Technology Translation: Smart Windows for the Improved Energy Efficiency of Buildings
Sarbajit Banerjee Principal Investigator
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This PFI: AIR Technology Translation project focuses on translating the remarkable tunability of the abruptly discontinuous metal-insulator transitions of binary and ternary vanadium oxides discovered upon scaling to finite size and upon incorporation of substitutional/intercalative dopants to fill a critical technology gap in their deployment as dynamic glazing components of thermally switchable fenestration (doors, windows, and glazed skylights). The translated smart window technology has the following unique features: thermally switchable heat-blocking properties without a significant change in visible light transmittance, tunability of the switching temperature to meet the needs of different geographic climates, and voltage-driven induction of heat-blocking properties that provides exemplary savings in air-conditioning costs while allowing natural daylight to be used to light interiors of buildings when compared to the leading competing electrochromic and static metallic coatings in this market space. <br/><br/>The project accomplishes this goal by enabling investigation of scale-up of the synthesis of vanadium oxides, identification of optimal coating deposition methods, and allowing correlation curves and data tables to be compiled relating critical performance metrics to coating thickness and density resulting in a prototype energy efficient window. <br/><br/>The partnership engages a leading manufacturer of home windows, the Technology Accelerator Fund, and the Office of Science, Technology Transfer, and Economic Outreach at the University at Buffalo to provide guidance in the fenestration industry and other aspects such as market adoption, commercialization, and insulating glass unit design as they pertain to the potential to translate the smart window technology along a path that may result in a competitive commercial reality. <br/><br/>The potential economic impact is expected to be ca. $118 Million in the next 4 years, which will contribute to the U.S. competitiveness in this area of green building materials and energy efficient buildings. The societal impact, long term, will be more energy efficient (even zero emission) buildings with a reduced carbon footprint and energy savings that have been estimated by some accounts to be as much as 1.0 quadrillion BTUs.