Liquid crystal window technology helping buildings conserve energy
New liquid crystal window technology is projected to helping conserve energy in glass-fronted buildings.
Various measures can reduce a building's energy consumption. Among them is glazing, which can offer energy-saving potential.
EMD Performance Materials has unveiled licrivision technology (liquid crystal window technology, or LCW for short), which optimizes sunlight and thermal radiation to conserve energy.
The innovative technology of the licrivision materials for liquid crystal windows (LCW) can change the intensity of the incoming daylight in seconds, while not impairing the view out of the window. They thus offer architects entirely new design freedom with creative glass facades, with no need for additional shades for glare and sun protection. The reduced heat input through the glass saves significant costs for air conditioning.
As glass buildings proliferate and the size of buildable glazing units increases, architects, construction companies and designers envision transparent and uncluttered structures that combine the functional features required in a high-performance glass façade.
In the western world, buildings account for around 40 percent of total energy usage. A large part of consumed energy goes on lighting (20 percent of total usage) and cooling (15 percent).
In the same way as in liquid crystal displays (LCDs), liquid crystals in windows can be brought into various alignments by applying a voltage to them. This provides a means of controlling the passage of light through the window and regulating the amount of solar energy entering the building. Liquid crystal windows can be tinted to suit aesthetic requirements.
licrivision can be applied to all conventional glass systems and is adaptable to the various international norms and standards in terms of individual size, shape and color.
Worldwide, some 31 percent of carbon dioxide emissions result from maintaining the interior temperature of buildings at a comfortable level. Glass-fronted buildings in particular require a lot of energy to reach and maintain this temperature level.
In modern architecture, large expanses of glass on buildings have become the standard, at least in industrial countries. There are stronger calls for the installation of intelligent and active windows capable of meeting modern design requirements while lowering energy usage.