'Liquid window' harnesses light and heat to save energy in buildings
(Reuters, 5 Nov 2020) Rising demand for cooling and heating in commercial buildings has pushed up their carbon emissions - could temperature-sensitive windows help?
A newly developed "liquid window" can block sunlight to keep a building cool but also absorb heat to be gradually released during the day or night to cut energy costs, scientists said.
The window, invented by researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU), uses a hydrogel-based liquid between glass panels and was found to reduce energy consumption in buildings by up to 45% compared to traditional glass windows.
It was also about 30% more energy-efficient than commercially available energy-efficient glass, as well as cheaper, said the NTU scientists who spent almost a decade on the project.
"Previously people only talked about blocking the sunlight in the summer and letting the sunlight come in in the winter, but nobody talked about heat storage - we're the first to do this," said lead researcher Long Yi.