Smart glass or electro-chomic glass is a switchable glass orglazing that allows the user to control the amount of heat or light that passes through the glass. It gives you the ability to regulatetemperature and privacy at the flick of a switch. It is a moderninnovation in building glass and can be used in windows, skylights,partitions and sunroofs etc. This Eglass works on the principle ofelectrochromism, which allows certain substance to change color oropacity when voltage is applied. While electricity is required only tochange the effect and not to maintain it. It is produced by laminatingit to one or more glass or polycarbonate sheets.
Smart glass is not in much use yet but the technology has been therefor quite a few years. Some of the recent advancements in smart glassesare:
1. SPD Smart Glass: Suspended particle device has a thin filmlamination of rod like particles suspended in fluid and sandwichedbetween two glasses. It can control the amount of light, heat and glarepassing through the glass when voltage is applied. This product createcomfortable indoor spaces by eliminating solar heat, glare and UVexposure. This helps you to save money on heating and air conditioningdevices.
2. LC Smart Glass: Liquid crystals are dissolved in liquid polymerfollowed by solidification of polymer. This mix is then placed betweentwo glass or plastic. The surface of LC smart glass can be transformedfrom crystal clear to opaque when a burst of charge is applied. Thisprovides you with instant privacy or intimate wide areas.
3. Micro-blinds: Micro – blinds are produced of rolled thin metal onglass. It controls the amount of light passing through in proportionalto the voltage applied.
Smart glass can serve many purposes and can be put to use invarious places. Like, hotel rooms and bathrooms, offices and boardrooms, hospitals, railways, security areas, house exteriors and interiors andyour four wheelers. This can provide the user instant privacy, dimnessand comfort. These glasses also improve the aesthetic view and are easyto maintain. It also protects the user from direct exposure to UV. Smart glass use is very cost effective as it reduces the need forair-conditioning, heating and lightning devices.
Smart glass has its limitation in terms of high installationcharges, electricity usage and life span. There are certain criticalaspects in the functional features as well like the control of speed,degree and the number of different possibilities available for dimnessand heat regulation. While the main drawback of this smart glass, thatis energy consumption to change the mode, can be controlled byintegrating transparent solar panels in the glass, which can thengenerate all the energy that is required to switch the glass fromtransparent to opaque mode.
Smart glass is able to harvest natural daylight better, improves theprivacy and comfort of the occupant, reduces electricity load requiredfor artificial lightning, heating and cooling devices. It alsofacilitates the security system. Thus, Smart glass transforms aconventional building into modern high performance one.
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