Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Energy efficient hydrogel based smart windows with low cost transparent conducting electrodes

S. Kiruthika and G.U. Kulkarni
Sol Energ Mat Sol C, 163, 231 - 236 (2017)

Indoor light control using thermotropic materials is an active area of research. While active materials are available to switch transmittance with temperature, large area heaters with desired transparency are not easily affordable. In this work, the fabrication of thermochromic devices using inexpensive Sn mesh electrodes (5 Ω/□, transmission, 80%) produced by crackle lithography with hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC) as active material is demonstrated. When laminated and coated on the inner surface of a PET window (8×8 cm2), the mesh served as a transparent heater to cause gelation in HPMC at ~ 40 °C to switch from water-clear transparency to paper-white opaqueness with 1 mm thickness of the active layer. The power consumption was only 0.2 W/cm2. Few drops of a color ink produced interesting effects in this smart window prototype.

Posted by Dr. S. Kiruthika