Smart Window Blocks Heat, Generates Electricity

A possible smart window could produce heat and cut electricity costs.

Buildings are going green and so it’s no surprise that researchers are working to develop smarter windows.

Among the smartest is a window designed by researchers at Shanghai University, led by Yanfeng Gao, which does triple duty: It’s transparent, regulates temperature fluctuations and doesn’t require external power to work.

The team’s goal was to find a way to merge a window with the power-generating capabilities of a solar panel, which typically isn’t transparent. Ideally, the researchers wanted to develop a window that would change its optical properties in response to temperature and do it without requiring power.

The answer was vanadium oxide. Gao’s team sandwiched a thin film of vanadium oxide between two layers of polycarbonate, the same material used in strong eyeglasses.

Read the full story here.


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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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