New Ink-Coated Window Shades Save Energy

May 20, 2015

Ink-coated window shade saves energy

ElectroPolymeric Display (EPD) technology at work – At left is a window with the shade up. At right is the same window with the shade down.

A New Jersey firm has found a way to provide electronic energy-saving shading for windows at very little additional cost. Elliott Schlam, the principal of New Visual Media Group, says his firm has come up with a new take on the traditional window shade – a super-thin sheet of polymer film that’s installed inside insulating glazing units (IGUs).

“All of the dynamic window technologies are basically chemically oriented,” Schlam says. “Ours is an actual physical shade that’s coated with ink. The ink can block infrared light, so it’s very, very energy efficient. It’s available in any color and it offers full privacy, so it has a nice combination of features.”

The shade runs on static electricity, Schlam says, so there’s no motor. When voltage is applied, electrostatic forces cause the shade to roll down. When voltage is removed, it automatically rolls back up.

In 2012, New Visual Media Group received a $1 million grant from the Public Service Enterprise Group, a major utility company in New York and New Jersey, to develop what the company calls its ElectroPolymeric Display (EPD) technology which is used in these window shades.

Schlam, who’s a fellow with the Society for Information Display and an internationally recognized expert in the electronic display industry, says the technology behind the shade was initially developed for large outdoor set-ups such as billboards.

“We came up with a technique to use this very, very thin polymer to make little pixels,” he says. “If you heat-process them, they’ll roll up. Then I became aware that people are making windows bigger and bigger, and they’re covering more of the building. Of course, that has a negative impact on energy. So we said, ‘can we apply this display technology to windows? Instead of thousands of little pixels, can we make really large pixels, window-size pixels?’ We went through this challenge and advanced the technology until we could do that.”

Schlam says affordability is the product’s biggest selling point.

“It’s very, very inexpensive,” he says. “We’re talking like $5 per square foot instead of $50 to $100 a square foot. Electrochromic is quite expensive. We feel this is affordable for anyone and everyone.” [emphasis added]

The products are also energy efficient. According to the company, they have a solar heat gain coefficient of <0.08 and meet ASTM standards E2188, E2189 and E2190.

“We’ve gotten considerable interest,” Schlam says. “We’ve shown it to a number of window and glass companies, and also the automotive market and the aircraft market. We’ve gotten extremely strong interest. I can’t tell you about any business arrangements we have because they’re all confidential at this point, but there seems to be quite a bit of interest.”

We hope to see this product available soon!

Source: USGlass News Network



Dawn Killough

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon.