Turning down the heat with solar control glazing

Turning down the heat with solar control glazing

Featured Article
20 Apr 2020

With summer just around the corner, it is worth to review how advances in glazing technology can help control a building’s temperature and stave off the heat. 

Solar control glazing

When the temperature rises in a building it not only decreases comfort levels it can also increase reliance on air conditioning systems (HVAC), driving up a building’s running cost.

Fortunately, there are glass solutions available that can help to control a building’s temperature and prevent heat build-up.

How can solar control glazing help?

The technology used in the manufacture of glass and glazing solutions is constantly evolving, and has been responsible for a number of innovations over the past decade. One of the most significant developments in this time is solar control glazing.

As its name suggests, solar control glazing prevents excessive temperature build-up in summer months or in climates where the weather is hot all year round. 

Until recently, solar control glazing was most commonly used in commercial settings. However, as homes have become better insulated, more air-tight, and as a result, more susceptible to overheating, solar control glass is likely to become more widely used in the domestic sector. Solar control glass is already fairly common on high end residential projects and this trend is set to continue.  Its use is also particularly beneficial in conservatories and other glass extensions, as large expanses of glass used in such structures can make them vulnerable to an excess build-up of heat. 

Installing solar control glazing can help lessen reliance on costly ventilation and HVAC systems. It can also reduce a building’s carbon emissions and help buildings become more sustainable. With some products such as Pilkington Suncool™ high performance glass range, this is also achieved while maximising levels of natural light and reducing glare, enabling the indoor space to stay bright – without a heavy reliance on artificial lighting – and much cooler than would be the case if standard glass were used.

Solar control glass products are also available in toughened or laminated form for safety and security requirements, and can be combined with other benefits such as noise control. This means such solutions can offer greater value to end users than just reduced internal temperatures.

How does solar control glazing work?

Glass manages solar heat radiation by three mechanisms: reflectance, transmittance and absorptance.

When specifying solar control glazing, the most important parameter to consider is the total solar heat transmittance or g value. The g value is the total amount of solar radiation at near normal incidence that enters through the glass. This includes the proportion transmitted directly through the glass as well as the proportion absorbed by the glass and reradiated inwards. Generally, the lower the g value, the lower the solar gain through the glass.

Further still, solar control glass incorporates near-invisible coatings on the glass which have the dual effect of allowing daylight in, while rejecting solar heat. A product that achieves this is the latest addition to the Pilkington Suncool™ range, Pilkington Suncool™ 71/39, which is an off-line coated high-performance solar control glass with a thermal insulation Ug-value of 1.0 W/m2K. It also combines low emissivity with medium solar control performance. The product is available in annealed or toughenable form, on request on low-iron substrate and also with self-cleaning coating.

Solar control glass with low-e properties can help achieve optimum comfort levels all-year round; keeping the heat in during winter, and the space temperate in summer.

What else?

Creating products that satisfy consumer demand and that create comfortable living and working environments is at the core of our business. Although solar control glazing has already made significant advances in controlling temperature, we’ll continue to invest in research and development to ensure customers have access to the highest-performing products, whatever the weather.