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Electrochromic windows under test

Researchers at De Montfort University study energy saving potential of windows that can be darkened electronically

An electronic glazing system that allows windows to be darkened electronically is being tested at De Montfort University.

The system, developed by US-based manufacturer SAGE Electrochromics, is based on a ceramic coating which varies the level of tint when an electric current is supplied, reducing the need for blinds, curtains or shading devices.

Two offices at De Montfort University have become the first commercial buildings in the UK to have the electrochromic glazing installed and researchers from the University’s Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD) will study the windows to ascertain their ability to control direct sunlight and the effects the system has on the use of air conditioning.

Ruth Kelly, a PhD student working on the project said: ‘Electrochromic windows could be retrofitted to many types of building with large areas of glazing, including offices, schools and hospitals, which suffer from glare and overheating.’ She added: ‘Studies have shown that electrochromic glazing could save 23 per cent on daily electricity usage for lighting.’

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