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Inventor of smart window gets $500,000 grant

An Australian scientist has invented a window that can change the amount of light or heat it transmits, as well as automatically change its colour.

The idea for the window came about because Professor Huijun Zhao, a director of Griffith’s Centre of Clean Environment and Energy, wanted to invent something that offered not only energy savings but reduced the need for air conditioning, artificial lighting and heating.

Professor Zhao’s team, along with Confirmation Australia, has been given a grant of just over $513,000 by the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects. The money will be used to help develop scalable and cost-effective synthesis of functional nanomaterials that make the smart window operate properly.

Zhao says that energy efficiency is especially important in commercial and government buildings, which take up more than half of the energy consumption in Australia. He believes that the windows will be about to save huge amounts of energy and money because “energy wastage can account for more than 50 per cent of the energy consumed for HVAC, especially during the summer and winter”.

The research will also look at how the materials that make the windows function can be included in the glass manufacturing process. This is designed to assist those that produce windows to make sure the glass and frames are more environmentally friendly than current products that are on the market.


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