Windows are vital elements in the built environment that have a large impact on the energy consumption in indoor spaces, affecting heating and cooling and artificial lighting requirements. Moreover, they play an important role in sustaining human health and well-being. In this review, we discuss the next generation of smart windows based on organic materials which can change their properties by reflecting or transmitting excess solar energy (infrared radiation) in such a way that comfortable indoor temperatures can be maintained throughout the year. Moreover, we place emphasis on windows that maintain transparency in the visible region so that additional energy is not required to retain natural illumination. We discuss a number of ways to fabricate windows which remain as permanent infrared control elements throughout the year as well as windows which can alter transmission properties in presence of external stimuli like electric fields, temperature and incident light intensity. We also show the potential impact of these windows on energy saving in different climate conditions.
- infrared reflector
- liquid crystals
- responsive broadband reflector
- smart windows