Low-E (low emissivity) coatings were developed to help control the climate within a building. Whether it is to keep heat out in the summer or retain heat in the winter, low-E technology has revolutionized windows and the way we live our lives today. With our patented technology, Ubiquitous Energy has engineered a transparent solar technology to harness sunlight energy without compromising the thermal performance advantage provided by using low-E windows. Now, you can truly get the best of both worlds from solar panels and windows. Get the clean, renewable energy of a solar panel while keeping the aesthetic beauty of an energy efficient low-E window.
But why is low-E technology so important?
Low-E windows help reflect heat and improve a window’s thermal performance, which lowers heating and cooling costs, while still letting natural light inside the building.
But what is a low-E window?
When we talk about emissivity, we are talking about how well a material radiates heat. In general, highly reflective materials, such as shiny metals, have a low emissivity, while darker colored materials, such as dark roofing tiles, have a high emissivity. We could reflect solar heat if we replaced our windows with a reflective mirror, but this would not make a very good window as it would not be transparent. Now this is where low-E coatings come into the mix. Low-E glass has a thin, transparent coating that selectively reflects infrared energy (heat) while letting the visible light through to remain transparency. So, once we have this low-E coating, our windows are able to better maintain the temperature environment inside the building. In the winter, the interior heat energy tries to escape to the cold outside, but the low-E coating reflects much of the heat back to the inside, thereby reducing the heat loss through the glass and reducing heating bills. In the summer the reverse happens, and solar heat is rejected by the window, keeping the inside of the building cooler, reducing electricity bills for air conditioning.
What is the difference between a low-E coating and Ubiquitous Energy’s UE Power™ coating?
UE Power™ is a transparent solar coating that generates electricity and is applied directly to glass in the same way that low-E coatings are applied to glass today. Where a low-E coating will just reflect the infrared energy away, UE Power™ both reflects some heat away AND uses some of that incident infrared energy to generate clean, renewable electricity from sunlight. Hence, UE Power™ windows are inherently low-E windows AND also solar panels. Because we’ve taken great care in ensuring our technology seamlessly integrates with standard window manufacturing processes, UE Power™ is scalable like low-E and looks and feels like standard windows. We see this technology as a solution to transforming a building material that is already being installed, window glass, into a building material that will also generate clean renewable energy.
Why install UE Power™ in your home or building?
Now more than ever, builders and homeowners are looking for ways to be more energy efficient and ideally have buildings that can become more self-sustaining with their own power generation. Traditional solar panels can be installed on the roof and will generate power for the building from the sun. Now with the installation of transparent solar windows, the sides of the building can be utilized to generate even more power and enable savings through low-E like thermal control. This allows architects and builders to use glass in the way it is supposed to be used, as a means of letting in daylight to help our wellbeing and see the outside world, while getting the added benefit of electricity generation from UE Power™. As building occupants, we want to be able to enjoy the outdoors from within our comfortable climate-controlled space, and this can be achieved with UE Power™ windows while knowing that renewable energy generation is invisibly happening right in front of our eyes.