Thanks to a team of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) scientists, however, they’ve developed a new glass system that’ll create windows that not only tint themselves without using an external power source, but also acts as a rechargeable battery, i.e. an eco-friendly smart window!
“Our new smart electrochromic window is bi-functional; it is also a transparent battery. It charges up and turns blue when there is oxygen present in the electrolyte – in other words, it breathes.” – Prof. Sun Xiaowei
To achieve the blue tint, a chemical reaction occurs whenever the electrical circuit is broken, between the Prussian Blue sheet and dissolved oxygen from the electrolyte. This, in itself, acts as a self-sufficient battery to maintain the blue tint when ultraviolet rays pierce the window. Once the circuit closes, discharging the battery as a result, the blue tint fades away and turns into a transparent Prussian White.
As noted, the implications to this new kind of smart window are practically endless. What the NTU scientists have achieved is a new means of smart glassware architecture to produce a color via an electric circuit without the use of an external source. Not only will this cut down in energy consumption prices, but the innovations that will arise from this are now possible.
With the right setup, your future smart window could do much more than give a bluish tint, but could provide any other number of colors to your choosing. Advertisers in the future will use this technology to create eco-friendly ads on buildings, or even perhaps in the windows of cars. Future home owners will integrate their entertainment systems within the fabric of this new smart window. Just as Mythbusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman argued quite intuitively, we truly are living in what can only be perceived as the Glass Age!