Content courtesy of TruFrame
Fenestration of the Future – Emerging Window Technologies.
Technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives and it always seems to be changing and evolving. This is also clear to see in the fenestration industry.
Smart technology is becoming more popular with homeowners looking to make their lives easier.
This article takes a look at some of the emerging window technologies that are currently being studied and will add increased benefits to your window system in the future.
Transparent to opaque glass
Currently being used on airplane, companies are currently developing windows that go from clear to opaque at the touch of a button for residential use.
Changing a window from transparent to opaque can help to reduce cooling costs especially in the summer months. Making the window opaque when the sun is shining through can reduce the level of heating coming into the property. It also provides built-in privacy to every window, and there’s a possibility that some homeowners see it as an alternative to curtains or blinds.
However, electrochromic glass technology is still in early development. Currently, present models can take up to several minutes to transition and are only available in small sizes making them inappropriate for residential use.
Solar panel windows
There’s a good chance that you have driven down a street and seen some properties with solar panels fitted to their roof. But what you probably haven’t come across, is a property where its windows are acting as a solar panel.
New solar power technology is currently in development that aims to make it possible for windows to generate electricity through solar, while still maintaining the transparency of the glass. This technology is still in development and it currently only reaches around a 1% solar conversion rate, so it’s quite inefficient. But the researchers at Michigan State University are hoping this can reach 5% or higher.
Should this technology reach higher efficiencies, it’s expected to be particularly useful in high-rise buildings that are predominantly made of glass exteriors.
Smart locking systems
Powered through mobile and WIFi connectivity, smart locks are the latest in home security technology that aims to provide homeowners with greater control whilst increasing security.
A new system coming to market, called Smart Ready, is positioned to enhance security for homeowners in a way that is expected to transform the fenestration industry.
The Smart Ready system acts as a notification system for windows and doors, alerting homeowners to the status of their locks, whether locked or unlocked.
What’s more, it is designed to prevent burglary by being able to notify homeowners of any tampering with the locks, before the would-be intruder manages to break in, therefore helping increase security. In the event that you’re not home, it can text a neighbour to ask them to check on the property.
With homeowners increasingly upgrading their homes with smart hardware, be it light-bulbs, electrical sockets, even kettles, it’s only natural that soon their attention will turn to making smart windows and doors.