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Low Cost Nanostructured Smart Window Coatings

Lead Performer: Heliotrope Technologies - Oakland, CA
Partner: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Berkeley, CA
DOE Funding: $1,150,000 (total for SBIR Phases I and 2)
Project Term: May 2014 - May 2016
Funding Opportunity Announcement: 2013 - Small Business Innovation Research Phase 2 (DE-FOA-0000715)

Project Objective

Residential and commercial buildings represent a prime opportunity to improve energy efficiency and sustainability worldwide. Currently, lighting and thermal management within buildings account for 20% of the United States’ yearly energy consumption. The objective of this Small Business Innovation Research Phase 2 project is to develop a low-cost, near-infrared (NIR) selective, plasmonic smart insulating glass unit (IGU) that reduces building energy consumption by dynamically optimizing solar gain without affecting natural light. During this project, Heliotrope will utilize scalable solution-based techniques to create unique nanocrystal electrochromic layers. The novel electrochromic layers will be initially examined for compatibility and performance, then subsequently used to construct solid-state energy efficient windows. Systematic characterization of the solid-state electrochromic device will establish which components in the system are performance limiting. Upon successful fabrication, Heliotrope expects to achieve enhanced solar modulation at fast switching speeds.

Project Impact

According to Heliotrope, reducing one quad of energy use would yield an average savings of $10.6 billion, while eliminating about 21.5 gigawatts of power produced by fossil fuels and saving nearly 59 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. Heliotrope estimates that the use electrochromic windows in building can achieve a 50% reduction in peak energy demand and a 30% reduction in overall energy use. Still, current electrochromic windows in the market have not reached their market potential due to their high cost (~$50/ft2). Heliotropes nanocomposite electrochromic windows are based on an innovative design that increases lifetime and performance while reducing production cost. Wide scale adoption of this unique technology will not only enhance market penetration for dynamic windows but establish a new benchmark for performance and cost.


DOE Technology Manager: Karma Sawyer
Performer: Guillermo Garcia, Heliotrope Technologies

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