Novel hydrogel glass windows can keep your home cooler without the cost – Interesting Engineering

Their findings were published in Springer in early August.

This new glass is made up of a layer of hydrogel and a layer of normal glass. This means that a hydrogel coating just a few millimeters thick was layered over the glass and designed to reflect more of the near-infrared light from outside all while allowing more mid-infrared light to escape from inside. On top of that, the glass remains just as clearly transparent to visible light as regular glass.

Regular glass, on the other hand, is designed to allow visible light to pass through and brighten up the room, but its interactions with infrared light – what we feel as heat – are less desirable. The glass allows near-infrared radiation from sunlight to pass through while blocking mid-infrared light from escaping the room, which ultimately heats a building up. During the hotter months, that heat typically pushes people to use air conditioning more often, resulting in higher energy consumption.

The hydrogel glass

In fact, this new hydrogel glass has a slightly higher level of visible light transmission – 92.8 percent of the visible light is let into the room, compared with 92.3 percent in normal glass, per New Atlas.

And in terms of keeping an indoor space cooler, thus minimizing energy consumption to cool it down, the novel glass proved stronger in blocking mid-infrared light – up to 96 percent of the infrared light was emitted into space. To compare, regular glass emits “only” up to 84 percent.


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