VIDEO: UBC researchers create new method for self-tinting windows

Smart windows conserve building energy by switching from clear to tinted, controlling heat and light

UBC chemistry researchers have developed an energy-saving and cost-effective technique for making smart windows.

Smart windows conserve building energy by switching from clear to tinted, dynamically controlling heat and light from the sun, as stated in a UBC media release.

“Conventional windows waste a third of all energy used to heat, ventilate and air condition buildings,” said Curtis Berlinguette, a professor of chemistry, chemical & biological engineering and the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute at UBC. “Smart window technologies offer the opportunity to reduce these energy losses but the main challenge is finding ways to make these windows less expensive.”

Wei Cheng led this project which was part of his postdoctorate at UBC. According to the UBC media release, Cheng found an alternative way to make glass materials that change colour in response to electricity, a technique that was co-developed in Berlinguette’s lab.

The film is transparent, but becomes blue when electric current flows through the film, hence creating the active component of a smart window.

This new method means that windows can be manufactured without high temperatures or the sophisticated vacuum equipment that are currently used to make such devices, reducing the cost, as stated in a UBC media release.

“Our technique creates a uniform dynamic coating without the need for special instrumentation,” said Cheng. “Another advantage of our method is that it is compatible with many different metals and it is scalable. We are excited to potentially fine-tune the dynamic properties of the materials to improve performance even further and make large windows for commercial use.”

Berlinguette and Cheng are committed to prove this method by making larger windows that can withstand extended periods of time.

“A commercial window needs to last many years, and we need to prove our windows can do the same,” said Cheng.

Cheng also noted that they were testing with neutral tints, such as grey instead of blue.

Just Posted

After several storms, Haida Gwaii looks set for Christmas calm

The coast is finally clear and the ferries underway. After a major… Continue reading

Gitdumden checkpoint blocks access to Unist’ot’en camp

Wet’suwet’en clan members say Morice Lake Forest Service Rd checkpoint in effect until further notice.

Tlellagraph: No power, no problem

By Janet Rigg I’ve been out with a concussion for the past… Continue reading

Rainbow Wharf closed to industry, pending repairs

It’s still good for watching sunsets, but for now Port Clements really… Continue reading

On the Wing: Of treaties, feathers and shorebirds

By Margo Hearne It’s a blustery morning. The Green-winged Teal, which returned… Continue reading

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

New B.C. Lions coach DeVone Claybrooks adds eight to coaching staff

DeVone Claybrooks has filled out his staff for the 2019 season

Most Read