Window and Door May 2012 : Page 40

➤ THE PERFORMANCE ISSUE —New Glass Technologies Promise More Energy Savings solar heat gain and can span the regional requirements best, but often still result in too much light (glare) in wa-terfront or desert environments and too little light and no passive heat for applications in the Northern climate zone and especially Canada. What will emerge in the next three to five years are new and affordable technological advances that will allow leading windows to become smarter and more energy efficient, by adapting to changing environmental conditions–dynamic glazing, or by providing significantly better thermal barriers–such as vacuum insulation. These technologies are already available in various forms of commercialization today, with improvements and new versions in various stages of development or validation. With the anticipated release of the 2014 Energy Star criteria, scientists and engineers are working to make today’s products better to meet the changing standards. A prototype vacuum insulating glass unit or VIG, and a look at the type of view it offers to the outside. vacuum glazing, a technology that has been around for several years but up to now, not cost effective and generally lacking adequate performance and therefore a rarity in North America. Some inroads have been made in Europe and Asia but commercial viability currently remains elusive in all regions of the world. The goal of vacuum glass is to offer insulating performance equal to or better than that of triple-glazing, but ➤  GZXZciYZkZadebZcih^cY^XViZi]ZediZci^Va with only two layers of glass The two [dgi]ZigjZXdbbZgX^Va^oVi^dcd[l^cYdlhl^i] layers of glass will mean better light transmission and a very thin profile kVXjjb\aVhh^cCdgi]6bZg^XVWn'%&)# that resembles a single (monolithic) pane of glass, which architects love and window companies can benefit from by reducing the size of their window frames and profiles. Most importantly, the cost, energy saving and noise reduction benefits This includes: of windows with vacuum glazing will mean that more ➣ Low-E coatings for every climate, elevation and windows can be used in homes and other structures, orientation, including triple-silver, triple-glazing static disrupting the current trend of decreased window to coatings and fourth surface coatings; wall ratios. Recent developments indicate the potential ➣ Specialty coatings to boost U-value, increase fade for the true commercialization of windows with vacuum protection, reduce condensation and significantly im-glass in North America by 2014 with thermal performance prove scratch resistance; exceeding R8. ➣ Technological enhancements, such as advanced Particularly well suited to heating-dominated spacer systems, vacuum insulated glass (VIG), dynamic applications, VIG is expected to be launched first in glass and glazing systems with integrated photovoltaic residential products targeted at Northern climate functionality zones. VIG manufacturing technology is expected to ➣ As manufacturers switch from conventional to high-er performance glazing to save energy, the spacer systems be geared toward custom sizes. In fact, a significant portion of the market for VIG is expected to be in need to be improved as well. For conventional window replacement and remodel oriented products–a segment insulating glass units, the glass layers are held together that almost exclusively needs made-to-order sizes. We by a spacer and sealant system. The use of warm-edge expect residential window makers will be able to use spacers—low thermal conductance spacers that reduce VIG in existing windows to achieve better than current heat transfer at the perimeter of an IGU–will increase performance with what we believe will be minor particularly in cold climates. modifications. Optimal performance and the best aesthetics, however, will come from windows specifically VACUUM GLASS designed around VIG. From an insulation perspective, the silver bullet is 40 | Window & Door | May 2012

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