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

West Kootenay police take 18 impaired drivers off the road

Eight drivers were criminally impaired, says Sgt. Badry from West Kootenay Traffic Services

Nelson-area man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Trail church asks families to tend the Christmas kettles

Volunteering teaches kids how to be generous of heart, if they can’t be generous of wallet

West Kootenay highways a mess as heavy snowfall continues

‘Roads are very icy, people have to be patient and have to slow down’

Snowfall warning across the West Kootenay

A strong Pacific frontal system had Environment Canada issuing a snowfall advisory early Tuesday

Retired B.C. teacher a YouTube Sudoku sensation

A retired Kelowna teacher has amassed quite the following online by teaching the art of solving a Sudoku puzzle.

Stop ‘renovictions,’ B.C. housing task force says

MLAs call for end to strata bans on renting vacant suites

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Girl, 6, lured from elementary school, sexually assaulted: Vancouver police

Police are seeking dashcam footage from nearby Sexsmith Elementary School in South Vancouver

B.C. Liberals call for outside audit of Speaker’s office, NDP refuses

Auditor General implicated in Darryl Plecas accusations of impropriety

Three victims of ex-ski coach Bertrand Charest suing Alpine Canada

The victims are also seeking $150,000 each in punitive damages

Trudeau names four new senators, filling every seat in the Senate

Trudeau has appointed 49 senators since becoming prime minister and will have the chance to appoint more in 2019

B.C. member of parliament takes feds to task on opioid crisis

‘Too many families are tragically losing parents, siblings and children to the opioid crisis.’

Most Read