October 19 , 07
Electrochromic Smart Windows Can Cut Energy Usage by 50%

A new technology which greatly reduces the need for air conditioning in buildings and vehicles is about to go into production in Germany. ChromoGenics, developer of electrochromic technology, has secured finance to scale up the manufacture of its patented glass laminate.

The ultra-thin plastic foils, which can be applied to glass or used as laminates between layers of glass, can vary their degree of transparency, thereby automatically regulating the amount of light and heat radiation that passes through them. When the foils are used in buildings or vehicles, the need for air conditioning is kept to a minimum.

The new investment will provide ChromonGenics with the capacity to manufacture large volumes of its foil based technology at competitive prices.

The application of the technology will provide these sectors with a cost effective solution to the growing requirements for energy consumption reduction and the need for greener and more energy efficient buildings and vehicles.

The technology creates new ways of using windows. In buildings it can help reduce energy consumption in them by up to 50%. Estimates from the International Energy Agency show that 'smart' windows, can radically curtail the cooling needs of buildings and may even make air conditioning superfluous.

Buildings alone use 40% of the energy consumed in the European Union. The marketplace for ChromoGenics technology, which is also applicable to other non window application areas, such as auto-dimming rear-view mirrors, is estimated to be worth $20 billion by 2017. The invention received the Most Promising Technology Award at the 2007 Cleantech Forum XIII in Frankfurt, Germany.

Bengt Ã…kerstrÃm, chief executive of ChromoGenics said: "At a time when carbon foot print reduction is a key priority for property, construction and transportation companies around the world, our technology provides a cost effective solution."