Highly Insulating Windows with a U-value less than 0.6 W/m2K

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U.S. households rely primarily on three sources of energy: natural gas, electricity, and fuel oil. In the past several decades, electricity consumption by households has grown dramatically, and a significant portion of electricity used in homes is for lighting. Lighting includes both indoor and outdoor lighting and is found in virtually every household in the United States. In 2001, according to the US Energy Information Administration, lighting accounted for 101 billion kWh (8.8 percent) of U.S. household electricity use. Incandescent lamps, which are commonly found in households, are highly inefficient sources of light because about 90 percent of the energy ... continued below

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Rhine, Wendell; Tang, Ying; Dong, Wenting; Trifu, Roxana & Begag, Reduane November 30, 2008.

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Description

U.S. households rely primarily on three sources of energy: natural gas, electricity, and fuel oil. In the past several decades, electricity consumption by households has grown dramatically, and a significant portion of electricity used in homes is for lighting. Lighting includes both indoor and outdoor lighting and is found in virtually every household in the United States. In 2001, according to the US Energy Information Administration, lighting accounted for 101 billion kWh (8.8 percent) of U.S. household electricity use. Incandescent lamps, which are commonly found in households, are highly inefficient sources of light because about 90 percent of the energy used is lost as heat. For that reason, lighting has been one focus area to increase the efficiency of household electricity consumption. Windows have several functions, and one of the main functions is to provide a view to the outside. Daylighting is another one of windows main functions and determines the distribution of daylight to a space. Daylighting windows do not need to be transparent, and a translucent daylighting window is sufficient, and often desired, to diffuse the light and make the space more environmentally pleasing. In homes, skylights are one source of daylighting, but skylights are not very energy efficient and are inseparably linked to solar heat gain. In some climates, added solar heat gains from daylighting may be welcome; but in other climates, heat gain must be controlled. More energy efficient skylights and daylighting solutions, in general, are desired and can be designed by insulating them with aerogels. Aerogels are a highly insulating and transparent material in its pure form. The overall objective for this project was to prepare an economical, translucent, fiber-reinforced aerogel insulation material for daylighting applications that is durable for manufacturing purposes. This advanced insulation material will increase the thermal performance of daylighting windows, while satisfying constraints such as durability, cost, user acceptance, size limits, and environmental safety concerns. The energy efficient daylighting window will consist of a translucent and resilient aerogel panel sandwiched between glass panes in double glazed windows. Compared to the best windows available today, the double glazed translucent windows with 1/2-inch aerogel inserts will have a U-value of 1.2 W/m{sup 2} K (0.211 BTU/ft{sup 2} h F) without any coating or low conductivity fill gases. These windows will be more effective than the windows with an Energy Star rating of U-2 W/m{sup 2} K and could be made even more efficient by using low-e coated glass glazings and inert gas fills. This report summarizes the work accomplished on Cooperative Agreement DE-FC26-03NT41950. During this project, Aspen Aerogels made transparent and translucent aerogels from TMOS and TEOS. We characterized the transparency of the aerogels, reinforced the transparent aerogels with fibers and prepared large translucent aerogel panels and blankets. We also conducted an initial market study for energy efficient translucent windows. A lab-scale process was developed that could be scaled-up to manufacture blankets of these translucent aerogels. The large blankets prepared were used to fabricate prototype translucent windows and skylights. The primary goal of this project was to develop transparent, resilient, hydrophobic silica aerogels that have low thermal conductivities (R-10/inch) to be used to produce aerogel insulated double-glazing windows with a U value of 0.6 W/m{sup 2}K. To meet this objective we developed a process and equipment to produce blankets of translucent, hydrophobic aerogel. We focused on silica, organically-modified silica aerogels (Ormosils), and fiber reinforced silica aerogels due to the appreciable expertise in silica sol-gel processing available with the personnel at Aspen Aerogels, and also due to the quantity of knowledge available in the scientific literature. The project was conducted in three budget periods, herein called BP1, BP2 and BP3.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-03NT41950
  • DOI: 10.2172/966351 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 966351
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc934487

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • November 30, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 12:48 p.m.

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Rhine, Wendell; Tang, Ying; Dong, Wenting; Trifu, Roxana & Begag, Reduane. Highly Insulating Windows with a U-value less than 0.6 W/m2K, report, November 30, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc934487/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.