Research Papers: Energy Systems Analysis

Smart Glass and Its Potential in Energy Savings

[+] Author and Article Information
Kaufui V. Wong, Richard Chan

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
University of Miami,
Miami, FL 33146

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received May 7, 2013; final manuscript received June 2, 2013; published online August 19, 2013. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 136(1), 012002 (Aug 19, 2013) (6 pages) Paper No: JERT-13-1147; doi: 10.1115/1.4024768 History: Received May 07, 2013; Revised June 02, 2013

Smart glass is such that its properties may be changed by application of a potential across it. The change in properties may be engineered to alter the amount of heat energy that can penetrate the glass which provides heating and cooling design options. Therein lies its potential in energy savings. Smart glass may be classified into three types: electrochromic, suspended particle, and polymer dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC). Each of these types has their own mechanisms, advantages, and disadvantages. Electrochromic smart glass is the most popular, currently it utilizes an electrochromic film with an ion storage layer and ion conductor placed between two transparent plates. The electrochromic film is usually made of tungsten oxide, owing to the electrochromic nature of transition metals. An electric potential initiates a redox reaction of the electrochromic film transitioning the color and the transparency of the smart glass. Suspended particle smart glass has needle shaped particles suspended within an organic gel placed between two electrodes. In its off state, the particles are randomly dispersed and have a low light transmittance. Once a voltage is applied, the needle particles will orient themselves to allow for light to pass through. PDLC smart glass works similarly to the suspended particle variety. However, in PDLC smart glass, the central layer is a liquid crystal placed within a polymer matrix between electrodes. Similar in behavior to the suspended particles, in the off position the liquid crystals are randomly dispersed and have low transmittance. With the application of a voltage, the liquid crystals orient themselves, thereby allowing for the transmittance of light. These different smart glasses have many different applications, but with one hindrance. The requirement of a voltage source is a major disadvantage which greatly complicates the overall installation and manufacturing processes. However, the integration of photovoltaic (PV) devices into smart glass technology has provided one solution. Photovoltaic films attached in the smart glass will provide the necessary voltage source. The photovoltaic film may even be designed to produce more voltage than needed. The use a photovoltaic smart glass system provides significant cost savings in regards to heating, cooling, lighting, and overall energy bills. Smart glass represents a technology with a great deal of potential to reduce energy demand. Action steps have been identified to propagate the popular use of smart glass.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Mazurin, O. V., 2005, “Glass Properties: Compilation, Evaluation, and Prediction,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 351(12–13), pp. 1103–1112. [CrossRef]
Granqvist, C. G., 2005, “Electrochromic Devices,” J. Eur. Ceram. Soc., 25(12), pp. 2907–2912. [CrossRef]
Monk, P., Mortimer, R. J., and Rosseinsky, D. R., 2007, Electrochromism and Electrochromic Devices, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Granqvist, C. G., Hultåker, A., 2002, “Transparent and Conducting ITO Films: New Developments and Applications,” Thin Solid Films, 411, pp. 1–5. [CrossRef]
Mortimer, R. J., “Electrochromic Materials,” Annu. Rev. Mater. Res., 41, pp. 241–268. [CrossRef]
Somani, P. R., Radhakrishnan, S., 2003, “Electrochromic Materials and Devices: Present and Future,” Mater. Chem. Phys., 77(1), pp. 117–133. [CrossRef]
Lampert, C. M., 1993, “Optical Switching Technology for Glazings,” Thin Solid Films, 236(1–2), pp. 6–13. [CrossRef]
Vergaz, R., Sánchez-Pena, J.-M., Barrios, D., Vázquez, C., 2008, “Pedro Contreras-Lallana, Modelling and Electro-Optical Testing of Suspended Particle Devices,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells, 92(11), pp. 1483–1487. [CrossRef]
“Liquid Crystal Glass” Glazette.com. Glazette, November 16, 2012, http://www.glazette.com/Glass-Knowledge-Bank-70/Liquid-Crystal-Glass.html
Coates, D., 1993, “Normal and Reverse Mode Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal Devices,” Displays, 14(2), pp. 94–103. [CrossRef]
Nicoletta, F. P., 2005, “Electrochromic Polymer-Dispersed Liquid-Crystal Film: A New Bifunctional Device,” Adv. Funct. Mater., 15(6), pp. 995–999. [CrossRef]
Lampert, C. M., 2003, “Large-Area Smart Glass and Integrated Photovoltaics,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells,” 76(4), pp. 489–499. [CrossRef]
Hack, M. G., Weaver, M. S., Mahon, J. K., and Brown, J. J., 2001, “Recent Progress in Flexible OLED Displays,” Proc. SPIE 4362, Cockpit Displays VIII: Displays for Defense Applications, 245, September 7.
Huang, L.-M., Hu, C.-W., Liu, H.-C., Hsu, C.-Y., Chen, C.-H., Ho, K.-C., 2012, “Photovoltaic Electrochromic Device for Solar Cell Module and Self-Powered Smart Glass Applications,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells, 99, pp. 154–159. [CrossRef]
Deb, S. K., Lee, S.-H., Tracy, C. E., Pitts, J. R., Gregg, B. A., and Branz, H. M., 2001, “Stand-Alone Photovoltaic-Powered Electrochromic Smart Window,” Electrochim. Acta, 46(13–14), pp. 2125–2130. [CrossRef]
Verrengia, J., 2010, “Smart Windows: Energy Efficiency with a View,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, November 14, 2012, http://www.nrel.gov/news/features/feature_detail.cfm/feature_id=1555?print
Lampert, C. M., 1994, “Towards Large-Area Photovoltaic Nanocells: Experiences Learned From Smart Window Technology,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells, 32(3), pp. 307–321. [CrossRef]
Gabriel, K. M. A., and Endlicher, W. R., 2011, “Urban and Rural Mortality Rates During Heat Waves in Berlin and Brandenburg, Germany,” Environ. Pollut., 159, pp. 2044–2050. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Wong, K. V., Paddon, A., and Jimenez, A., 2011, “Heat Island Effect Aggravates Mortality,” ASME Paper No. IMECE2011-62785, pp. 1–15.
Wong, K. V., and Chaudhry, S., 2012, “Use of Satellite Images for Observational and Quantitative Analysis of Urban Heat Islands Around the World,” ASME J. Energy Resour. Technol., 134(4), p. 042101. [CrossRef]
Wong, K. V., Dai, Y., and Paul, B., 2012, “Anthropogenic Heat Release Into the Environment,” ASME J. Energy Resour. Technol., 134(4), p. 041602. [CrossRef]
Wong, K. V., Paddon, A., and Jimenez, A., 2013, “Review of World Urban Heat Islands: Many Linked to Increased Mortality,” ASME J. Energy Resour. Technol., 135, p. 022101. [CrossRef]
Chang-qing, Y. E., Rong-bo, X., and Hao-yan, L., 2011, “Study of Urban Heat Island and Planning Strategies of Guangzhou City Based on RS and GIS,” Guangdong Landscape Archit., 2, pp. 12–16.
Wei-guang, M., Yan-xia, Z., Jiang-nan, L., Wen-shi, L., Guang-feng, D., and Hao-rui, L., 2010, “Application of WRF/UCM in the Simulation of a Heat Wave Event and Urban Heat Island Around Guangzhou City,” J. Trop. Meteorol., 3, pp. 273–282.
Xiaobol, L., Dan, C., Minghao, L., and Qiang, L., 2011, “Application Research on Monitor of Heat Island Effect in Chongqing Based on HJ-1B/IRS,” J. Geo-Inf. Sci., 6, pp. 833–839.
Shang-ming, D., Hai-feng, A., Bo, D., Hui-xi, X., Ling, Y., and Gang-yi, C., 2009, “An Analysis of Urban Heat Island Effects in Chongqing Based on AVHRR and DEM,” Resour. Environ. Yangtze Basin, 7, pp. 680–685.
Bose, P. K., and Banerjee, R., 2012, “An Experimental Investigation on the Role of Hydrogen in the Emission Reduction and Performance Trade-Off Studies in an Existing Diesel Engine Operating in Dual Fuel Mode Under Exhaust Gas Recirculation,” ASME J. Energy Resour. Technol., 134, p. 012601. [CrossRef]
Singh, B., Kaur, J., and Singh, K., 2010, “Production of Biodiesel From Used Mustard Oil and Its Performance Analysis in Internal Combustion Engine,” ASME J. Energy Resour. Technol., 132, p. 031001. [CrossRef]
Yusaf, T. F., 2009, “Diesel Engine Optimization for Electric Hybrid Vehicles,” ASME J. Energy Resour. Technol., 131, p. 012203. [CrossRef]
Dincer, I., 2002, “Technical, Environmental and Exergetic Aspects of Hydrogen Energy Systems,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 27(3), pp. 265–285. [CrossRef]
Xiong, Q., Li, B., Xua, J., Wang, X., Wang, L., and Ge, W., 2012, “Efficient 3D DNS of Gas–Solid Flows on Fermi GPGPU,” Comput. Fluids, 70, pp. 86–94. [CrossRef]
Xiong, Q., Li, B., Chen, F., Ma, J., Ge, W., and Li, J., 2010, “Direct Numerical Simulation of Sub-Grid Structures in Gas–Solid Flow—GPU Implementation of Macro-Scale Pseudoparticle Modeling,” Chem. Eng. Sci., 65, pp. 5356–5365. [CrossRef]
Xiong, Q., Li, B., Zhou, G., Fang, X., Xu, J., Wang, J., He, X., Wang, X., Wang, L., Ge, W., and Li, J., 2012, “Large-Scale DNS of Gas–Solid Flows on Mole-8.5,” Chem. Eng. Sci., 71, pp. 422–430. [CrossRef]
Ma, J., Ge, W., Xiong, Q., Wang, J., and Li, J., 2009, “Direct Numerical Simulation of Particle Clustering in Gas–Solid Flow With a Macro-Scale Particle Method,” Chem. Eng. Sci., 64, pp. 43–51. [CrossRef]
Xiong, Q., Li, B., Chen, F., Ma, J., Ge, W., and Li, J., 2010, “Direct Numerical Simulation of Sub-Grid Structures in Gas-Solid Flow-GPU Implementation of Macro-Scale Pseudo-Particle Modeling,” Chem. Eng. Sci., 65, pp. 5356–5365. [CrossRef]
Xiong, Q., Deng, L., Wang, W., and Ge, W., 2011, “SPH Method for Two-Fluid Modeling of Particle–Fluid Fluidization,” Chem. Eng. Sci., 66, pp. 1859–1865. [CrossRef]
Xiong, Q., Li, B., and Xu, J., 2013, “GPU-Accelerated Adaptive Particle Splitting and Merging in SPH,” Comput. Phys. Commun., 184, pp. 1701–1707. [CrossRef]
Ge, W., Wang, W., Yang, N., Li, J., Kwauk, M., Chen, F., Chen, J., Fang, X., Guo, L., He, X., Liu, X., Liu, Y., Lu, B., Wang, J., Wang, J., Wang, L., Wang, X., Xiong, Q., Xu, M., Deng, L., Han, Y., Hou, C., Hua, L., Huang, W., Li, B., Li, C., Li, F., Ren, Y., Xu, J., Zhang, N., Zhang, Y., Zhou, G., and Zhou, G., 2011, “Meso-Scale Oriented Simulation Towards Virtual Process Engineering (VPE)-The EMMS Paradigm,” Chem. Eng. Sci., 66, pp. 4426–4458. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Electrochromic smart glass design [3]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Suspended particle glass: (a) no voltage applied and (b) voltage applied [8]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Polymer dispersed liquid crystal smart glass design: (a) no voltage and (b) voltage applied [9]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Photovoltaic electrochromic smart glass [14]




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In