Volume 7, Issue 10 - November 2006

Technologically Advanced
New Doors, Windows and Skylights Utilize Cutting-Edge Technology

Technology for doors and windows has come a long way over the years, and the windows of today are employing technology we could never have imagined ten years ago. Can you image flipping a switch to change the tint of a window in seconds? The idea of switchable glass is cutting-edge, however it is available for use in residential doors and windows, along with many other innovative products. Take a look at some of the development available for doors, windows and skylights.

CPI Daylighting Knows How to ControLite®
ControLite®, the newest innovation from CPI Daylighting Inc. of Lake Forest, Ill., is an advanced daylighting system that eliminates many traditional skylight problems, the company says.

Windows and skylights can bring in too much sunlight, causing unwanted heat gain and glare. The new all-in-one daylighting system controls the amount of natural light from dark to light without blinds, shades or curtains, according to the company. 

The patented ControLite® design is comprised of a translucent 30mm polycarbonate glazing panel with built-in transparent revolving half-cylinders called intelligent light controllers (ILCs). Each transparent ILC has an opaque, flat upper face, and the position of the ILC in relation to the sun determines the amount of sunlight transmitted through the panel.

ControLite’s design offers automatic or manual operations. 

VELUX Sun Tunnel™ Skylights Deliver Adjustable Pitch Adapter 
VELUX of Greenwood, S.C., has unveiled its latest Sun Tunnel™ skylights that have an adjustable pitch adapter and other features to produce brighter and whiter light output and make the units very easy to install.

Innovative design features are found from the shape of the dome on the roof, through the rigid or flexible tunnels, down to the ceiling light diffuser. 

The adjustable pitch adapter allows rigid or flexible light transmitting tunnels to be installed in a straighter line to the ceiling, resulting in an easy installation. In addition, straight runs reduce the bounce effect of reflected light thereby increasing the intensity of light output. 

The skylights with rigid tunnels feature a highly reflective silver material on tunnel interiors that reflects natural, white light with no color shifts. This is particularly important in early morning and late afternoon low-light conditions. In addition to tunnel reflectivity, the dome shape maximizes the collection of light from all angles, further enhancing overall performance.

A ceiling ring with pre-assembled components offers easy installation and includes a pre-sealed dual diffuser. Diffusers are available in either a standard frosted lens or optional prismatic lens.

XsunX Brings Power to Glass
XsunX Inc. of Aliso Viejo, Calif., a developer of advanced manufacturing systems and cell structures for the solar film manufacturing industry, is offering Power Glass™, a very thin semi-transparent solar cell sandwiched between sheets of clear plastic. The company says that Power Glass turns glass windows in commercial buildings into energy producing systems. 

The business plan calls for commercial applications right now, but it is still unknown as it whether it could be marketed to the residential market in the future.

Power Glass is currently being licensed to manufacturers as a solution for integrating renewable power generating properties with modern architectural glass and building facades. Integrating renewable power generating properties into building materials and onto buildings is known as building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

Change Light with the Flip of a Switch
SwitchLite Privacy Glass™ from Pulp Studio Inc. of Los Angeles is a versatile window treatment that can be used in skylights, home fronts, bedrooms, bathrooms and interior dividers. It delivers a desirable amount of light with total privacy at the flick of a switch, the company says. 

The user can flip on the power for clear glass, and flip the power off for translucent glass. 

The glass can be produced in large quantities if there is the market to consume the quantity, a company representative says. The secret of the transformation is found in a liquid crystal sheet bonded permanently between two layers of glass. In a non-energized state, the liquid crystal molecules disperse light. When voltage is applied, however, these same molecules arrange themselves in a specific direction to permit parallel light to pass through the glass.

Solarbanning Together
The new Solarban® 70XL glass from Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries combines solar control and visible light transmittance with a transparent, color-neutral appearance, according to the company. 

PPG says that commercial buildings utilizing Solarban 70XL can reap unprecedented energy savings. In a standard 1-inch insulating glass unit, Solarban 70XL has a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.27 and a visible light transmittance of 63 percent, according to PPG.

SAGE Gets Tinted
SAGE Electrochromics Inc. says its electronically tintable SageGlass® products have the ability to clear and darken at the push of a button, adjusting to homeowners’ needs. SageGlass products’ dynamic functionality helps reduce energy bills because it controls solar heat gain, minimizes glare on televisions and computer screens, protects against fading of furniture and furnishings and allows for additional daylighting, all while maintaining a view of the outside, according to the company.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that electronically tintable window systems are capable of providing up to 40 percent savings on energy bills.

SAGE produces SageGlass® lites by coating float glass with several layers of transparent ceramic materials. The coated lites are then fabricated into insulating glass units (IGUs). SAGE’s channel partners continue the fabrication by glazing the IGUs into windows and skylights. 

The glass is currently offered in four different colors. 

Another Look into the Future with Project Odyssey
Project Odyssey, led by Andersen Windows and Doors of Bayport, Minn., began as a three-year project started in 2000 by the team of researchers to envision the home of the future and examine the role that windows play in people’s lives. What started as a three year project is still underway six years later.

The company reported that the team found that windows may be an interface for light, air information and security in the future. A few of the innovative concepts the company explored include an invisible insect screen, a micro-ventilation window and a number of multimedia windows. 

We contacted Andersen Windows and Doors for an update and a representative said, “We do not have any new information to share on this. The work associated with it is now part of our ongoing product research and development and for market-related reasons is not something we can discuss. We will keep you posted on new developments when we have them.”

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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.