At last, commercially available ‘smart’, that is, electrochromic windows.
An April 17, 2018 article by Conor Shine for Dallas News describes a change at the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport that has cooled things down,
At DFW International Airport, the coolest seats in the house can be found near Gate A28.
That’s where the airport, working with California-based technology company View, has replaced a bank of tarmac-facing windows with panes coated in microscopic layers of electrochromic ceramic that significantly reduce the amount of heat and glare coming into the terminal.
The technology, referred to as dynamic glass, uses an electrical current to change how much light is let in and has been shown to reduce surface temperatures on gate area seats and carpets by as much as 15 degrees compared to standard windows. All that heat savings add up, with View estimating its product can cut energy costs by as much as 20 percent when the technology is deployed widely in a building.
At DFW Airport, the energy bill runs about $18 million per year, putting the potential savings from dynamic glass into the hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars, annually.
Besides the money, it’s an appealing set of characteristics for DFW Airport, which is North America’s only carbon-neutral airport and regularly ranks among the top large airports for customer experience in the world.
After installing the dynamic glass near Gate A28 and a nearby Twisted Root restaurant in September at a cost of $49,000, the airport is now looking at ordering more for use throughout its terminals, although how many and at what cost hasn’t been finalized yet.
On a recent weekday morning, the impact of the dynamic glass was on full display. As sunlight beamed into Gate A25, passengers largely avoided the seats near the standard windows, favoring shadier spots a bit further into the terminal.
A few feet away, the bright natural light takes on a subtle blue hue and the temperature near the windows is noticeably cooler. There, passengers seemed to pay no mind to sitting in the sun, with window-adjacent seats filling up quickly.
As View’s Jeff Platón, the company’s vice president of marketing, notes in the video, there are considerable savings to be had when you cut down on air conditioning,
View’s April 17, 2018 news release (PDF) about a study of their technology in use at the airport provides more detail,
View®, the leader in dynamic glass, today announced the results of a study on the impact of in-terminal passenger experience and its correlation to higher revenues and reduced operational expenses.The study, conducted at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), found that terminal windows fitted with View Dynamic Glass overwhelmingly improved passenger comfort over conventional glass, resulting in an 83 percent increase in passenger dwell time at a preferred gate seat and a 102 percent increase in concession spending. The research study was conducted by DFW Airport, View, Inc., and an independent aviation market research group.
It’s been a long time (I’ve been waiting about 10 years) but it seems that commercially available ‘smart’ glass is here—at the airport, anyway.
ht/ April 20, 2018 news item on phys.org