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Double glazing, particularly the film-coated k glass
and argon-filled variety, is fine for the winter
season. But in the summer, buildings so equipped
can become excessively warm.
BorgCo address this challenge with a new range of
fluid-fillable triple glazed units.
The inner pair of panes
form a standard argon-
filled glazing unit.
The space between the middle and outer panes
has two pipes, one in the base and the other at the
In the summer, this gap can be filled from a
concealed reservoir on demand with a neutral
density fluid- for cheapness, probably deionised
water plus pigment and detergents. The liquid is
pumped through the outer panel by thermo-
syphon, assisted by a small pump.
Depending on the mix, the liquid absorbs both
visible light (dimming the room) and infra-red
(preventing excessive heating).
The liquid is circulated to an external dissipator, or
can be used to provide useful amounts of hot
water through a heat exchanger.
When the liquid is no longer required, it is allowed
to drain back into the reservoir; the surfactants and
controlled draining prevent droplets being left on
An option for rinsing with DI water may be
After draining and rinsing, warm dry air from a
dessicator is blown through the panel to remove
moisture and prevent condensation.
|A good idea as long as they clean up without misting or staining. The other issue would be the ramification of homeowners who are a bit tardy draining them before the first big frost. [+] though.
|If you didn't mind custom pressing your glass for
every latitude (and orientation in the most
effective version), it would be fairly easy to make
windows that admitted essentially all light in the
winter and much reduced light in the summer.
|The simple version just has triangular prisms with
one side opaqued, such that if the sun is above a
certain angle, much of the light is blocked. The
more complex version corrects for orientation, so
the sun is blocked for much of the day.
|As far as selectively blocking infra-red, Low-E
windows already do this. It's been determined
that it's generally worth blocking the IR in the
winter because the output from a heated house is
greater than the input from the sun.
|[MechE], unless the sun IS your winter heat source. A well designed house should hardly need any extra heating if the sun is shining.
(At a recent housing expo here, a vendors house was 20degC inside, -5degC and snow on the ground outside. With NO internal heat source at all.)
|// tardy tardy draining them before the first
big frost. //
|The prism idea is nice but it only reflects; no
energy collection. A good passive solution,
|Most passive solar designs accomplish the same
effect by using awnings or similar designs to shade
the window from high angle sun, but allow low
sun. For the highest efficiency, you use
|Passive solar designs, however, are still rare
because they do, to a large extent, require that
the house be built deliberately with that in mind,
and require the house to be oriented in a way
that cannot often be achieved except in rural
|// in the summer, buildings so equipped can become
excessively warm. //
|Here in the barbarian wilds we have windows that open and
let in fresh air. Then again, I'm not sure why I expect the
English to be familiar with the concept of 'fresh air'.
|In conceptual terms, "summer" is often more of a problem ...
|It's the time of year when the entire West Country smells
of fart and tall pale middle-aged Englishmen expose their
buttocks on the shingle at Torquay.