U.S. Department of Energy Announces Berkeley Lab Funding to Develop Energy-Efficient Window with Smart Automated Shading System

Stephen Selkowitz

The U.S. Department of Energy today announced that it will fund the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to develop a highly insulated energy-efficient window system with a smart automated shading. The project’s principal investigator is Stephen Selkowitz of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD), and leader of the Windows and Envelope Materials Group. Berkeley Lab will receive up to $1.5 million in funding.

Selkowitz noted that this project extends a 30-year partnership with the U.S. window industry to transform the marketplace for more energy efficient products.  “LBNL’s Windows team worked closely with the industry on low-E coatings in the 1980s  to raise the bar on window performance. A novelty at the time, these coatings are now in 60% of all windows sold today.  We hope this new project will stimulate similar interest in “smart windows” and ultimately result in market success that will reduce our energy bills by billions of dollars each year.”

The project will develop a cost-effective, easy-to-install “smart” window that can be programmed to automatically adjust to weather and climate conditions, to utility signals and to occupant needs. This technology will use a smart automated shading system to efficiently capture the sun’s heat in the winter and keep buildings cooler in the summer.

An integral part of the project is to work with the U.S. window industry to ensure that these systems are designed for efficient manufacturing and installation. LBNL’s industry partner in this project is the Pella Corporation, a leading U.S. manufacturer of energy efficient window products.