Key Commercial Opportunities for Smart Windows
According to NanoMarkets, smart windows market is currently in niche status and smart windows are considered mainly as the ‘playthings of the rich.’ In the construction industry, smart windows are mainly related to the sustainability rating of the buildings. In the automotive industry, these windows are closely related to luxury cars. Although PDLC technology is sold as privacy glass, it is also considered as a luxury product.Nevertheless, NanoMarkets sees tremendous growth prospects for smart windows in the coming years.
Growth Drivers of Smart Windows Market
Smart windows can facilitate cost-effective lighting through improved light management and reduce the use of air conditioning and even heating via enhanced thermal management. Smart windows are increasingly used in automobiles mainly to maintain interiors cool, reduce the use of air-conditioning on sunny days, and allowing as much light as possible to pass through during gloomy days.
Electrochromic Smart Windows
At present, electrochromic materials are offered as both smart electrochromic glass and electrochromic film. There are several reasons which make electrochromic materials ideal for smart windows. Being an active technology, electrochromic windows can be directly controlled by either building automation systems or humans for optimum comfort and energy control. The performance and capabilities of electrochromic materials are well understood because of their widespread adoption in auto mirrors.
The price of electrochromic windows is expected to decline in the coming years. Electrochromic windows exhibit long product life as electrochromic materials are not easily deteriorated by light. Although electrochromic windows need to be powered, this is not a major disadvantage. Electrochromic windows are a highly functional technology that is at, or near, full commercialization. NanoMarkets expects some investment for further development of electrochromic windows.