The market for smart glass, which varies the light transmittance and thermal properties of windows depending on changing ambient conditions and the needs of users and occupants, is set to be worth nearly $700 million by 2020, according to a report by Pike Research.
The market will be dominated by architectural applications, mirroring overall market figures for flat glass globally, which are heavily skewed toward the buildings sector, according to Electrochromic, Suspended Particle, Thermochromic, and Liquid Crystal Glass Technologies for Architectural and Transportation Applications: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts.
Smart glass, which is also referred to dimmable or dynamic glass, offers significant energy efficiency, aesthetic, and user comfort and wellbeing benefits as compared to conventional “static” glazing. Building and automotive design trends are showing a greater use of glass. At the same time, changes in building codes and increased adoption of green building standards point to design challenges in managing heat gain and glare from increased glazing area ratios. Smart glass addresses these various market drivers, Pike says.
Significant new production capacity entering the market in the near term will help drive down production costs and reduce the substantial price premium between static and dynamic glass, contributing to increased market share, the report says.
In other window-related news, door and window manufacturer Andersen Corporation has reduced its energy impact by 22 percent over the last 5 years and realized more than $3 million in energy savings due to energy reduction projects, behavioral changes and changes in production volume from 2007 to 2011, according to the company’s first corporate sustainability report.
Andersen has its own range of smart glass, called Smart Sun Glass. The range is up to 70 percent more energy efficient in summer and 45 percent more efficient in winter compared to ordinary dual-pane glass, the company says, cutting energy bills by up to 25 percent.
Earlier this month, the Empire State Building announced that a major retrofit, which included the installation of super-efficient glass, saved the building $2.4 million in its first year, exceeding efficiency guarantees by five percent.
As well as refurbishing all all 6,500 of the building’s windows, the project also included a chiller plant retrofit, new building controls and a web-based tenant energy management system.