Two up-and-coming glass technologies could see further advancement in the coming years after the Federal Government announced an initiative to “slash” the costs for energy-efficient upgrades in the affordable housing segment of the buildings sector.

Administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, Affordable Home Energy Shot aims to cut energy-related upgrade costs in half within a decade while reducing utility costs for occupants by 20%.

Administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Affordable Home Energy Shot aims to cut energy-related upgrade costs in half within a decade while reducing utility costs for occupants by 20%. The initiative will focus on research, development and demonstration of clean energy solutions that deliver cost savings for buildings, officials say. Windows were among the first components to be mentioned.

The Affordable Home Energy Shot is the eighth and final phase of DOE’s Energy Earthshot initiative. Officials cite greenhouse gas emissions as a primary impetus—nearly a third of which are attributed to 130 million homes and commercial buildings. Officials add those structures consume 40% of the nation’s energy and 75% of its electricity.

“The windows, walls and roofs that protect our families from the elements and keep us healthy and safe are some of the most effective tools we have to lower our utility bills, fight climate change and advance environmental justice,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This Energy Earthshot and the Affordable Home Energy Shot will focus the department’s research and development efforts on the most promising next-generation materials and technologies to make energy-efficient upgrades accessible to all.”

Program officials say they’re exploring innovative retrofit solutions, including “thin triple-pane and aerogel-insulated windows.”

Aerogel is under development as a filling for insulating glass units (IGUs). The material comprises over 99% air, making it a highly effective thermal insulation. Experts say while there have been demonstrations of low-haze products using aerogel, the scale-up process has presented significant challenges. For this reason, the technology is likely several years from becoming commercially viable.

Thin triple, conversely, is a form of insulating glass that uses a layer of thin glass as an inner lite. It’s used among a few door and window manufacturers but has yet to reach full-scale viability.

2 Comments

  1. […] Government update! US Dept of Energy to spearhead research into energy-efficient windows with emphasis on “thin triple-pane” and “aerogel-insulated” windows. Jump to the link below […]

  2. As someone working in transparent aerogels for windows (AeroShield), it’s exciting to see the DOE embrace alternatives to thin triples to hit these advanced targets!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *