Vanadium Oxide for Window Coatings


A major portion of solar radiation is transmitted directly to building interiors through their windows. During hot summer months and in warm geographic locales, this solar heat gain necessitates increased use of air conditioning, thus placing a further load on the already strained electrical grid and increasing a building’s carbon footprint. Current technologies aimed at addressing this growing problem, most of which are coatings and films, suffer from major drawbacks, including but not limited to a reduction in the transmission of visible light, thereby leading to increased use of artificial lighting, and, because these technologies are static across all temperatures, an elimination of the offset in wintertime heating costs that would otherwise be provided due to solar heat gain. As the industry aims to move towards zero-energy buildings, there is a growing need for dynamic, “smart” window systems that are able alter and/or optimize solar heat gain properties according to temperature while remaining entirely transparent to visible light. A University at Buffalo chemist has developed thermally switchable nanostructured vanadium oxide coatings that block heat gain at high temperatures but permit heat gain at low temperatures, in both cases without having any deleterious effects on the penetration of visible light.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Timothy Dee
Associate Director
University at Buffalo
Sarbajit Banerjee (non-ub)
Luisa Whittaker-Brooks
Christopher Patridge
Peter Marley
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