As featured in Glass Times 2016
Cutting costs and keeping cool: solar control solutions
Energy efficiency is a hot topic all year round, but it’s not all about keeping a building warm. As summer approaches and temperatures increase, the attention of many building owners turns to reducing temperatures and keeping a building and its occupants cool. There are a number of energy-efficient glazing solutions on the market that can help to achieve this. Leo Pyrah, product manager at Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, explains:
When we consider energy efficiency, we usually think of retaining heat inside a building. However, there are some situations where controlled cooler conditions are preferred. In these instances, solar control glazing can be key in lowering a building’s internal temperature while also helping reduce its carbon emissions.
Using a solar control glass enables architects to incorporate large areas of glazing in a design while reducing excessive heat build-up in summer months by controlling the amount of heat entering the building. This is particularly useful in buildings that would be traditionally air-conditioned, such as office spaces or shops.
As well as helping to reduce costs on air-conditioning, recent developments in solar control glass allow for maximum transmittance of natural light, which again can help reduce a building’s electricity bill on lighting and, as a result, increase its energy performance.
Traditionally, solar control glazing has been more common in the commercial sector. However, growing demand for greater levels of energy efficiency in the home has spurred on the development of a wider range of solar control products that combine functionality with aesthetics and are accessible to a wider variety of end-users.
In response to such demand, here at Pilkington we have made a significant investment in our state-of-the-art off-line coater, which has enabled us to increase the performance and production of our solar control range.
For example, we’ve recently announced the launch of a new solar control product, Pilkington Suncool™ One 60/40.
This is a new off-line coated mid-range solar control product with a low thermal insulation U-value of 1.0 W/m2K. Designed for use in both commercial and high-end residential settings, the solar control helps keep the building cooler in the summer, with the added benefit of reflecting heat back into the property to improve thermal efficiency during the winter months. This allows for a comfortable temperature to be maintained all year round, while also lessening the reliance on artificial heating and cooling systems.
What's more, some solar control products are available in toughened or laminated form for safety and security requirements, and can also be combined with other properties such as noise control.
By investing in research and development to create solar control products that offer different technical qualities, glass manufacturers can provide the industry solutions that allow for much more than reduced energy consumption and that can play a greater role in the overall performance of building’s fabric.