Advanced Technologies for Smart Windows.

Project Background and Purpose

Buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of EU CO2 emissions. According to the Energy Efficiency Plan of the European Commission, the largest cost-effective energy saving potential lies in buildings. Directive 2010/31/EU on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) foresees that Member States should draw up national plans for increasing the number of nearly zero-energy buildings and the Commissions’ Lead Market Initiative “Sustainable Construction” aims at the development and growth of the sustainable construction market.

Windows are critical elements to control the energy performance of buildings especially for zero-energy buildings. It is of paramount importance to develop windows which show reduced U-value, weight and costs and certain features to control and harvest energy. Such a window will have a high impact in the window industry and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as long as the window is affordable, can be used for residential and office buildings in every climate zone, for new constructions or in retrofitting of older buildings.

Therefore,

(1) MEM4WIN will introduce a novel IG-Unit for quadruple glazing containing ultra thin glass membranes dedicated as frameless openable windows for direct application in facades. Due to this approach U-values of 0.3 W/m²K can be achieved reducing weight by more than 50% and costs by 20%.

(2) MEM4WIN will implement ink-jet printed organic photovoltaics (OPVs) and fully integrated solar thermal collectors for energy harvesting and micro mirrors for energy control and advances day lighting.

(3) Fabrication costs will further be reduced by replacing conventional and cost intensive materials used for contacts like ITO and silver by graphene. MEM4WIN will introduce production methods like roll-to-plate and ink-jet printing to fabricate contacts for OPVs.