February 22, 2024

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Smart windows to lessen Australia’s carbon footprint

The rise of energy consumption in recent decades has led to an increasing demand for renewable energy and energy-saving systems.

A team of environmentally-aware, plasma surface engineering experts at the University of Sydney is focused on responding to the rise in energy consumption by developing a more efficient and effective smart window.

According to a recent press release, the smart window uses thin plasma fabricated coating to efficiently conserve energy by responding to light, heat, and other environmental factors; blocking off the flow of light and heat as required.

Smart Window

The new technology consists of electrochromic coatings made of transparent materials that darken in colour with the application of a small electrical voltage.

The coatings were produced for the first time using a new plasma sputtering technology.

They are made up of a layer of silver that is approximately 10,000 times thinner than the width of a human hair, placed in between two nano-thin layers of tungsten oxide.

Known as the fourth state of matter, plasma is created by adding energy to gas. Plasma is used most commonly in fluorescent light bulbs, neon signs and some television and computer screens.

A new method of tungsten oxide deposition, known as HiPIMS, produces multifunctional coatings composed of only 3 layers of applications in smart windows.

Reducing the number of layers in the coating structure has significant implications for the manufacturing of smart windows.

It simplifies the process distinctly and reduces the cost of the final product.

How does it work?

The plasma deposited material is applied to glass which can then be programmed to varying transparencies that change depending on the season.

The glass responds to the environment by allowing more sunlight to enter a building on cold days, while minimising the in-flow of light on hot, summer days.

The team’s findings open up the possibility of fabricating a new generation of materials that are transparent, conductive, and electrochromic.

The regions of Europe and North America have long been using double and triple glazing windows to insulate against the cold.

Situation Down Under

However, window insulation has traditionally been less popular in Australia.

On average, Australians spend A$ 4.6 billion to keep cool each year. In addition, heating and cooling make up almost 50% of energy costs in the country.

Both have a negative environmental impact.

Previous smart windows coatings were limited to electrically conductive materials.

The coatings developed by Dr Akhavan’s team, meanwhile, can be used to convert any transparent material, including commercial glass and flexible polymers, to one which can change transparency when prompted by an electric signal.

The process is carried out at room temperature and produces almost zero waste.

Hopefully, the new technology will decrease dependency on air conditioning and other methods of electrical heating and cooling.

Doing so will decrease the Australians’ carbon footprint and environmental damage wrought by the burning of fossil fuels.

Investing in sustainable development by applying premium building materials, which can insulate against the weather while reducing dependence on electricity will minimise the impact of climate change.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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