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    New research puts us closer to DIY spray-on solar cell technology

    A new study out of St. Mary's College of Maryland puts us closer to do-it-yourself spray-on solar cell technology—promising third-generation solar cells utilizing a nanocrystal ink deposition that could make traditional expensive silicon-based solar panels a thing of the past.

    The solar devices are fabricated from nanoscale particle inks of the light absorbing layers, cadmium telluride/cadmium selenide, and metallic inks above and below. This way, the entire electronic device can be built on non-conductive glass substrates using equipment you can find in your kitchen.

    In his latest study, published this year in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Townsend, along with Navy researchers, found that ammonium chloride is a non-toxic, inexpensive viable alternative to cadmium chloride for nanocrystal solar cells. Right now, solar technology is somewhat unattainable for the average person," said Townsend. "The dream is to make the assembly and installation process so cheap and simple that you can go to your local home improvement store and buy a kit and then spray it on your own roof. That is why we we're working on spray-on solar cells."

    Townsend plans for further research to increase the efficiency of the all-inorganic nanocrystal solar cells (currently reaching five percent), while building them with completely non-toxic components.


    Read more at:

    Smart automated shading window prototype.

    This prototype has been developed by Pella company. These windows are highly insulating residential windows with integrated sensors, control logic and motorized shades. The default control algorithm in these windows will minimize heating and cooling energy consumption by allowing solar gains when beneficial, and blocking solar gains at other times to reduce cooling loads. It will work autonomously with no special setup or be part of whole building networked system. The glazing package has high SHGC but with low U values.

    Initial design is focused on window manufacturers targeting residential, cold climate applications but it can be modified for all US climates and for commercial sector.

    You can find more information about this prototype in EffiBUILDING database. 

    Improvements in solar cell efficiency by ‘cooling’ the sunlight.

    A team of researchers from Stanford University have devised an ingenious means of boosting the efficiency of solar panels by exploiting a fundamental physics phenomenon. Solar panels lose efficiency as they heat up. Just as the top of your head radiates excess body heat as infrared light, the researchers have developed a translucent overlay comprised of patterned silica that does the same for solar panels. The overlay separates the visible spectrum of light (which generates electricity) from its thermal radiation (aka heat), effectively "cooling" the incoming light, radiating the heat away from the panel while allowing more photons to be converted into electricity. The team, led by Stanford professor Shanhui Fan, recently published their findings in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    "Solar arrays must face the sun to function, even though that heat is detrimental to efficiency," Fan said in a statement. "Our thermal overlay allows sunlight to pass through, preserving or even enhancing sunlight absorption, but it also cools the cell by radiating the heat out and improving the cell efficiency." According to the team's tests, the overlay cooled the panels surface by as much as 22 degrees F and boosted energy production by 1 percent (a sizable efficiency jump in the world of solar energy production).

    New “smart window” material selectively blocks light and/or heat

    In an effort to improve the energy efficiency of building, researchers have sought to develop windows that change transparency to let more light – and therefore heat – through when it's cold, and less when it's hot. Unfortunately, these methods tend to impede the passage of visible light, some by tinting panes and others by complete obscuration. But a team at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin has developed a "smart window" technology that allows the passage of light while blocking heat, or vice versa.

    The team's advancements on their previous research have led to the creation of electrochromic materials that can selectively permit the passage of light, while blocking heat (cool mode) and, conversely, block light while allowing the transfer of heat (warm mode). These new materials allows control of up to 90 percent of NIR and 80 percent of visible light. And since switching between modes takes mere minutes instead of hours, as was the case with the previously-reported material, commercialized products may be closer at hand.

    In order to make this new electrochromic material practical, the researchers structured the components into a single, porous, interpenetrating network. This design provides channels for electronic and ionic change, thereby enabling selective blocking of light and/or NIR through different applied voltages. Milliron and her team demonstrated a proof-of-concept that achieves optical control properties from a single-component film. They are now working toward methods suitable for low-cost manufacturing.

    New Solar Window! Applies see-through electricity generating coatings to glass.

    SolarWindow Technologies, Inc. is a developer of next generation, transparent electricity-generating SolarWindow™ coatings. Exponentially out-performing today’s solar photovoltaic (PV) systems is made possible when engineers apply electricity-generating SolarWindow™ coatings to glass. These see-through liquids create electricity-generating glass windows, successfully prototyped in the most aesthetically appealing colors in demand by building architects. SolarWindow™ coatings generate electricity on see-through glass and flexible plastics with colored tints popular to skyscraper glass. Unlike conventional systems, SolarWindow™ can be applied to all four sides of tall towers, generating electricity using natural and artificial light conditions and even shaded areas. SolarWindow™ uses organic materials, which are dissolved into liquid, ideal for low-cost high-output manufacturing; and is the subject of a patent pending technology.

    SolarWindow™ products are currently under development and not available for sale.

    Interesting article of EffiBUILDING in Energy Efficiency Business & Industry Magazine

    In the next issue of Energy Efficiency Business & Industry Magazine will be included an article of EffiBUILDING database.

    This article contains information about how this innovative tool helps to improve the development of new energy efficient products for buildings and also is giving a 360° overview of the market to everyone who can be interested.

    Take a look to the article and learn more about EffiBUILDING!

    Electrically heated glazed windows

    From one year to the constructive technology solutions become more varied, striking more and more bold and original ideas. From the of modern translucent structure, whether a facade element or window, the user requires not only comfort and ergonomics, but also enhanced functionality.


    Khors Tehnologies Group has developed a new electrically heated glazed windows.

    Can be used as a primary source of heat for space heating or to create a an additional comfort combined with the main heating system. Also can be installed in roof windows, for glazing of balconies and loggias. Climatic windows heated irreplaceable for transparent architecture that require winter gardens, gyms, swimming pools, terraces, pavilions, etc. Electrically heated glazing can be used on as a local heater, If you perform it from an internal partition, screens or panels. Also popular door heated. Electrically heated glazing can be also included in the security system of your home.


    The temperature of the surface of glass can be between 20°С and 50°С, with a power consumption of 150-420 w/m2.

    Minimum dimensions – 200 x 300 mm. Maximum dimensions – 2250 x 3150 mm.

    The thickness of the double-glazed windows – from 24 to 44 mm and more.

    New windows are made: Single chamber, double chamber. Triplex glass, toughened glass, and any non-standard designs are calculated and discussed separately.

    KUME insulating Curtains project

    Kume insulating Curtains it is a rool up curtain that is composed of four distinct layers: a front panel, a moisture barrier, wooden battens and a back panel. Kume curtains lower heat losses through windows by 50 to 70%, and improve comfort by eliminating cold spots and drafts in rooms. In the first home that was fitted with Kume curtains, heating fuel consumption dropped by 25% with respect to previous years.They are inexpensive. The cost of the materials that are needed to make a Kume curtain typically ranges from US$ 10 to 15 per square meter. They are easy to make. Putting together a Kume curtain does not require great manual skills or much time. For example, assembling a 100 by 50 cm curtain takes only one to two hours.


    For further info:


    KS AWPflex wall panel offers a huge range of design options and combinations.

    KS AWPflex offers variable widths of 600, 750 and 900mm, which gives you many design possibilities and combinations. The standard panel length is between 2 and 13 meters and the different widths can be combined. AWPflex is an architectural wall panel with a high performance IPN insulation core.

    The installation is very easy and can be vertical and horizontal. AWPflex panels are classified as B-s1,d0 according EN 13501-1.


    Thermal Insulation

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    Galvanic protection options

    • Hot-dip zinc coated steel with a total of 275 g / m2 of zinc, according to EN 10147:2000. This can be fi nished with a number of coatings – Polyester, Spectrum™, PVDF and Foodsafe finishes.

    Substrate thicknesses

    • Standard external sheet thickness 0.60 mm.
    • Standard internal sheet thickness 0.40 mm.
    • Other thicknesses are available by arrangement with Kingspan.

    External Coating Options

    • Standard Polyester – PES
      Polyester is a universal, economic coating system suitable for
      exterior and interior applications. The nominal coating thickness is
      25 μm.
    • SpectrumTM (Standard) Kingspan Spectrum™ is a 50μm Polyurethane coated semi gloss finish with a slight granular effect. It offers an outstanding durabilityand weather resistance performance, excellent corrosion and
      UV-resistance as well as high color & gloss retention characterstics. Its superior flexibility enables high resistance against mechanical damages. Kingspan Spectrum is available in a wide range of solid
      and metallic colours. Furthermore it is free of clorine, phtalates and plasticizers and 100% recyclable. Further coatings on request.

    Internal Coating Options

    • Polyester coating with a nominal thickness of 15 μm. The standard colour is grey white, (similar RAL 9002).
    • Foodsafe
      The surface of this 150 μm thick polymer coating is non-toxic and resistant to mould, durable and easy to clean. It is chemically inert and safe for continuous contact with unpacked food. The standard colour is white. Consult Kingspan about the availability of other colours. Other coating systems are available by discussion with Kingspan. Plain and coloured aluminium is available on a project specific basis. Contact Kingspan Technical Services.

    Thermobel 0.8 Double glazing: As light as double glazing, as effective as triple!

    Thermobel® 0.8 is the latest addition to its range of high-output double glazings, developed by AGC Glass Europe (formerly Glaverbel). In the field of thermal insulation this new glazing offers the best performance Ug 0.8 (W / m²K) in the market for double glazing. Thermobel® 0.8 for construction and renovation projects the ideal product for people who want a compact, lightweight and super-insulating glazing. Thermobel 0.8's other features – lightweight (one-and-a-half to two times as light as a triple glazing), high level of light transmission (LT= 64%) and excellent solar factor (SF = 43%) – make it an ideal choice for residential applications.