Informatietype:
Project
Thema:
Energy
Unit:
Industry

Thermochromic coatings: saving energy through coated windows

It takes a great deal of energy to heat and cool buildings. Applying special coatings to windows enables huge savings. This coating makes use of the Sun’s thermal radiation when heat is needed. It keeps the heat in during winter and out in summer. The switch from one mode to another is fully automatic thanks to the thermochromic coating.

Temperature-based switching

We developed the coating at Brightlands Materials Center. What sets this coating apart from those currently on the market is its much shorter payback time. But the yield is at least as good. Its secret lies in the thermochromic coating, which switches on or off at specific temperatures. Below a certain temperature, the coating admits infrared light, and thus heat. If the temperature rises above a pre-set value, the coating will block any incoming infrared light. This system is cheaper than current electrochromic systems and the glass remains transparent when blocking part of the sunlight.

Less energy and CO2

The fact that the glass does not discolour or darken eliminates a barrier preventing architects from using the system in their designs. And for major renovation projects, the coated glass is an affordable solution for saving energy. Calculations show that it’s possible to save up to 20% of a home’s total energy consumption, or even more. On average, that amounts to an annual saving of more than 600 euros per home. For the Netherlands as a whole, this would cut annual CO2 emissions by 4.5 megatons.

Global market

Many existing ‘smart’ window systems are effective either in hot areas or in cold regions. The thermochromic coating has been designed for temperate climates, which have summers and winters. This makes the product of interest to most of the world. The market for coated float glass, which is worth tens of billions of euros, is growing by around 8% per year. Because the thermochromic coating is cheaper than current coatings, it has great potential.

From lab to prototype

The efficacy of the thermochromic coating has now been proven in the lab. That’s a real breakthrough, as many companies and knowledge institutions have kept getting bogged down because the switching temperatures were too high. The newly developed coating can switch at any desired temperature. For homes, this is between 15 and 25 degrees. The plan is to create a prototype within 2 years that works under real-world conditions. That will pave the way for a market launch.

Interested?

Would you like to invest in the further development of this technology, or perhaps contribute in some other way? If so get in touch and reach out to Rolph Segers.

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Educating AI

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

You can read about how AI is educated in Chapter 1. How can we make clear to AI which goals we want to pursue as humans? Andhow can we ensure intelligent systems will always function in service of society?

Innovation with AI

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

What does that world look like in concrete terms? Using numerous examples, TNO has created a prognosis for the future in Chapter 2. Regarding construction, for example, in which AI will be used to check the quality, safety, and energy efficiency of buildings before they are actually built. Or healthcare, where robots will partly take over caregivers’ tasks and AI will be able to autonomously develop medicines.

Innovating with innovation AI

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

How AI will change research itself is explained in Chapter 3. For example, what role will AI be permitted to play in knowledge sharing? And what will happen when we make machines work with insurmountably large data sets?

David Deutsch on the development and application of AI

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

Peter Werkhoven, chief scientific officer at TNO, joins physicist, Oxford professor, and pioneer in the field of quantum computing, David Deutsch, for a virtual discussion. Deutsch set out his vision in 1997 in the book, The Fabric of Reality. Together, they talk about the significance of quantum computing for the development and application of AI. Will AI ever be able to generate ‘explained knowledge’ or learn about ethics from humans?

Rob de Wijk on the rise of AI in geopolitical context

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

Anne Fleur van Veenstra, director of science at TNO’s SA&P unit, interviews Rob de Wijk, emeritus professor of international relations in Leiden and founder of The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. Rob is also a much sought-after expert who appears on radio and television programmes. What does the rise of AI mean geopolitically and in armed conflicts?