This post is about a technology which was developed in Canada, at the University of Toronto.
Some researchers made a decision to look into the area of how to decrease the loss of energy over windows. As this accounts currently for around 40% of the building costs a new idea within this area would be great. And even to be able to control the energy loss would be a great asset.
The solution was found in nature. Animals and plants have developed an efficient system to control their energy loss. The vascular system of each living creature controls the heat of the body by transporting too much heat to the skin surface. This was successfully reproduced on windows.
Therefore a small system of channels was created with an elastomer called polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) where water can flow through. This elastomer was attached to a window and water was pushed through the system. In an initial trial the rate of the flow of the water was 7ml/min with a water temperature of room temperature. The effect was measured with an infrared camera and it was shown that the average temperature of the window was reduced by 7-9°C.
The idea of the research team is to not implement this system on windows, where small and large buildings can be cooled by ca. 6°C, but on solar panels as well. As the efficiency of solar panels drop with increasing temperature this technology might be implied to control the temperature of the solar panel and increase their efficiency.
As the temperature of the water increases while running through the PDMS system it can be used for normal purposes at home or can be stored.
As this technology is subject to research and development no cost estimation is given.
The picture at the bottom illustrates the technology. The original one can be found here: http://i0.wp.com/cleantechnica.com/files/2013/08/image3.jpg
Energy Efficient Window