The NTU Singapore scientists invent energy-saving glass that ‘self-adapts’ to heating and cooling demand. The self-adaptive glass developed by NTU Singapore scientists has a unique structure that modulates heating and cooling simultaneously. Credit: NTU Singapore.
However, an international research team led by scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed a material that—when coated on a glass window panel—can effectively self-adapt to heat or cool rooms across different climate zones in the world, helping to cut energy usage.
The Research Developed by NTU and reported in the journal Science, the first-of-its-kind glass automatically responds to changing temperatures by switching between heating and cooling. The self-adaptive glass is developed using layers of vanadium dioxide nanoparticles composite, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), and low-emissivity coating to form a unique structure which could modulate heating and cooling simultaneously.
This newly developed glass, which has no electrical components, works by exploiting the spectrums of light responsible for heating and cooling. During summer, the glass suppresses solar heating (near infrared light), while boosting radiative cooling (long-wave infrared)—a natural phenomenon where heat emits through surfaces towards the cold universe—to cool the room. In the winter, it does the opposite to warm up the room.