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EERE Success Story—Energy-Efficient Smart Windows are Lowering Energy Costs

September 9, 2015 - 12:11pm

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Low-E windows – featuring an energy-saving technology developed at Berkeley National Laboratory– are now found in 80% of homes and 50% of buildings in the United States.

Low-E windows – featuring an energy-saving technology developed at Berkeley National Laboratory– are now found in 80% of homes and 50% of buildings in the United States.

Window innovations developed in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are cutting energy cost for American families, businesses, institutions, and governments every year. With funding from the Energy Department, Berkeley Lab has developed technologies that help prevent energy from escaping out of windows. Lab researchers pioneered new energy-efficient windows, design tools, and window-rating systems, and then worked closely with window manufacturers and the building industry to achieve a greater than 80% market share of windows incorporating Low-emissive (Low-E) coatings in the residential sector, and more than 50% in the commercial sector.

Low-E coatings have evolved into a “technology platform” on which new generations of innovative window designs are being based. Berkeley Lab continues to create innovative window technologies with practical applications in collaboration with industry.

Berkeley Lab researchers developed early design concepts and prototypes for "superwindows"— triple-paned windows with two low-E coatings and krypton gas fill—that actually insulate better than a wall. Lab researchers also have worked on highly-insulating aerogel windows and vacuum windows, both of which are still in the research and development phases. With Berkeley Lab leading the way, the efficient window of the future will be part of smart building systems, dynamically managing sunlight, view, and glare.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) success stories highlight the positive impact of its work with businesses, industry partners, universities, research labs, and other entities.

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