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A Glass Which Can Selectively Block Heat And Light From The Sun

Question asked by Abhijit Dey in #Coffee Room on Sep 9, 2013
Abhijit Dey
Abhijit Dey · Sep 9, 2013
Rank C3 - EXPERT
You are at your office desk or cubicle working on your recent assignment and as the afternoon fades away, the sunlight falls directly on your face, interrupting your activity. This scenario could be an everyday phenomenon in many offices where sunlight becomes a nuisance for a couple of hours. Though some office buildings may contain glasses that reflect off the sunlight, but they fail to reflect off the heat. This puts pressure on the cooling systems in buildings to maintain a low temperature and hence shooting up the electricity bills. But one startup company has come out with a glass that could do both, blocking the light and heat from the sun.


Heliotrope Technologies from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have developed a glass composite that would be able to selectively block the sun's heat and light from passing through it. Such a glass can be used on buildings where the amount of light and heat coming from the sun could be raised or lowered at will. The main technology in the composite glass is based on how solar radiation can be controlled by applying heat, light and electricity. In a paper published by LBNL, they talked about a new composite glass material which could control the transmittance of light and infrared radiation from the sun. This material had three modes which included fully transparent, transparent with no infrared radiation and finally one which blocked both light and infrared radiation.

Currently the cost for manufacturing the composite glass isn't expensive compared to standard glass panes on windows. And now they are testing out prototypes and focussing on the fabrication technology. With this pace, we could have what they are calling 'Smart Glasses or Windows' in around three years. Imagine the possibilities where you could change the sunlight or the heat from the sun entering the room by only turning a knob!

Source: MIT Technology Review Posted in: #Coffee Room
Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran
Rank A2 - PRO
It sounds good but my question is where will the reflected heat go while the green houses gases will not allow them to pass through them.This again raises the surface temperature of earth.
Jeffrey Arulraj
Jeffrey Arulraj · Sep 11, 2013
Rank A2 - PRO
The glass just reflects heat from not letting it to pass through it

SUrely the surface temperature of the outside the glass will be increased cos of more reflection from the glass

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