Transparent Generator Windows

Apr 16, 2018

Please note: The attached file below contains a paper from the BEST5 conference that is linked to a conference presentation in pdf format. Open with Adobe Acrobat for best results.

Transparent Generator Windows reduce heat loss and heat gain by resisting conduction, convection, and radiation using thermal breaks, low-emissivity films, and window gaps. Contrary to advancing these resistive qualities, a highly conductive gap medium using Al2O3 nanoparticles is dispersed in deionized water to enhance thermal conductivity. The solution harnessed the photothermal properties of Al2O3 nanofluids to trap, store, and transport thermally charged fluids to heat exchangers to preheat air and water, and to generate electricity forming a transparent generator: the Nanowindow. Seven Nanowindow prototypes with varying orders of air and fluid columns were fabricated and tested using distilled water (H2Owindows) to establish a baseline of performance. The top performers were then tested using Al2O3 nanofluids. Nanowindows were coupled with thermoelectric generators generating a rated voltage of 0.31VDC/0.075ADC per 12in2 Nanowindow, an improvement of 38% over baseline. Standardized window performance metrics confirmed Nanowindow U-factors ranging from 0.23 to 0.54, SHGC from 0.43 to 0.67, and visible transmittance coefficient (VT) ranging from 0.27 to 0.38. The proof of concept experiment shifts window gaps from resisting energy to harnessing solar energy. The Nanowindow thus presents a unique opportunity to turn vast glass facades into transparent generators to offset energy demand, and reduce greenhouse gases.
BEST5, fenestration, generator windows

Eric Carbonnier, PhD, Vice President of Sustainability University of Oregon / HMC Architects
G.Z. Brown, FAIA, University of Oregon
Presented at: 
Building Enclosure Science and Technology (BEST5) Conference
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
BEST5 Technical Committee

Community Reviews

No votes yet

Add comment

Log in to post comments