Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Development of a building glazed component with electrically controlled optical properties

Liquid crystals are well known for their electro-optical properties. This project led to the development of a large glazed component for buildings with electrically controlled optical properties which, when integrated into building facades, reduces the solar input in Summer. This technology has significant potential for commercialisation.

In countries with hot climates, the use of air conditioning in buildings is almost always necessary to counter the significant heating effect of solar radiation which passes through windows. The aim of this project was to study, and then develop, glazing which includes an active film, the optical properties of which can be modified by the application of a low voltage. In this way solar radiation in the visible and infra-red parts of the spectrum is reflected, enabling the solar input into buildings to be significantly reduced. Unlike other JOULE supported projects in this field which use inorganic electrochromic materials where the electrochromic layer darkens when encrusted with ion and loses colour when these ions are removed, this project applies liquid crystal technology; a technology applied widely to display techniques, but never yet used for this type of application. A window pane of this nature can be easily integrated into intelligent solar building design and should be capable of reducing energy consumption by 50% compared to standard glass. The goal of the project was for the liquid crystal film to have good optical properties with one or several reflection wavelengths, a maximum reflectivity of 50%, low energy consumption, convenient driving voltage characteristics, possibilities for modulation, substrates with adequate rigidity and dimensions, low degradation and finally, low cost.

Reported by

CEA Commissariat á l'Energie Atomique Centre d'Etudes de Cadarache
13108 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance
13108 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance
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