Technology Review – Smart Glass

3E group’s experts review the latest innovations in energy, water, and innovations in glass technology. This feature focuses on what smart glass is, its benefits, and the current users of this type of technology.


What is smart glass?

Smart glass also called “switchable glass”, is a glass or tint which alters its light transmission properties when light, heat, or electricity is applied. Its basic principle is: it changes from clear to dark and vice versa. Different wavelengths of light are blocked while allowing for some light to pass through the glass. Smart glass can be controlled manually or automatically.

Its main benefit is that you don’t have to spend money on curtains or blinds anymore. The window will adjust the level of its tint according to your preference. This reduces HVAC usage and cost while improving the occupants’ comfort. Wall-mounted touch panels or mobile apps are often used to control smart glass or windows. This gives you control with a tap of your finger.

How does it work?

Smart glass is made from a layer of electrochromic coating which enables it to manage the amount of heat or light passing through the glass. It has built-in a sensor that measures sunlight and transmits real-time information about ambient sunlight via cloud. The glass turns darker to reduce the heat and glare, as it senses excessive amounts of sunlight. Conversely, it becomes clearer as sunlight becomes weaker. This allows for more light to pass through the glass.

In addition, you can control the smart glass’ opacity through a mobile app or a wall-mounted touch control panel. You may also opt for apps with voice control to control your smart glass. This type of technology is a holistic system, which is compatible with your building management system. It will remember your preferences and predict the most comfortable settings accordingly.

Benefits of using smart glass

Smart glass can reduce HVAC costs, eliminating the need to install blinds and curtains and increase energy efficiency. It significantly improves an occupant’s thermal and visual comfort by controlling heat gain and glare.

In any working environment, natural light helps improve employees’ performance and productivity. It also helps their general well-being and reduces the chances of burnout.

In hospitals and care facilities, natural lighting helps with the healing process.

In museums, smart lighting helps to preserve artworks.


Who uses smart glass?

Smart glass is already used in tertiary education, healthcare buildings, hospitals, office buildings, cultural institutions and retail outlets across Europe and North America. In fact, smart glass is also utilised for CABS or climate-adaptive building shells for energy efficiency and improving indoor environment quality. We are confident that the potential market will be promising in Australia.

3E group offers end to end technology solutions to achieve energy savings and reduce carbon emissions. For sustainable innovative solutions tailored to your organisation, call us at 1300 55 77 64 or request a free call back service.


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