High Energy Saving Capacity of Low-E Glass
Low-e or low-emissivity glass is a type of energy efficient glass which is used in windows and doors. Low-e glass saves the energy and money by reducing the heat loss which in turn reduces the energy cost in the building.
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Low-e glass has a microscopically thin, transparent coating - which is much thinner than human hair. Low-e coating reduces the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that can pass through the glass without disrupting the passage of visible light. In winter season, low-e coating reflects the heat back inside the building and reduces the radiant heat through the glass which helps in maintaining heat inside the building. Although, in summer season, the glass allow passing of heat from inside to outside of building in order to maintain the temperature. Low-e glass has an extremely thin layer of silver and other low-e materials which reflects the interior temperature back inside and keep the room warm and cold.
ENERGY STAR certifies the windows which uses low-e glass to improve the energy performance of the home compared to the clear glass storm windows. ENERGY STAR certified windows are designed to allow the right amount of solar heat through the windows to keep home warm and cool in different climatic conditions. ENERGY STAR certified windows can save homeowners with $350 on their annual heating and cooling bills (about 10%) as compared to the single-pane clear glass windows.
High performance low-e glass offers 45% better energy-efficiency in winter and 56% better efficiency in summer as compared to the regular glass, which can help to reduce the energy bills by 25%.
Owing to these energy saving characteristics of low-e glass, the market is expected to grow during the forecast period of 2019-2026.
Growing Demand for Eco-Homes or Sustainable Building
Eco-homes or sustainable building is one of the most important solutions to solve the ecological problems and global warming. Eco-homes or green building is beneficial for environment as most of the buildings use recycled and environmental friendly building materials that provides effective building management systems. Glass is one of the most important materials, which is specialized in energy efficiency. It is used to make the building environment friendly. Low-e glass, an energy efficient glass, is able to reduce the energy loss and reflect the heat or UV rays and is able to maintain the temperature inside the building. Low-e glass can help an eco-home to achieve the great balance between nature and building and block the high amount of solar radiation.
Low-e windows offer the energy-efficient alternative for eco-friendly homes or sustainable building. Low-e windows have a metallic coating which allows only visible light to enter the room and reflects the UV & infrared rays outside. Low-e windows have surprisingly low-maintenance option for the eco-friendly homes. Low-e windows are also durable and provide the eco-friendly solution to the sustainable buildings.
Low-e solar control glass helps to increase the production of renewable source of energy. An energy efficient glass for building can alone help the Europe‘s CO2 emission by 100 million tonnes annually.
Thus, the growing demand for eco-homes or sustainable building is expected to boost the growth of the low-e glass market, as low-e glass is suitable for the eco-homes or sustainable buildings.
High Cost of Low-E Glass As Compared To the Regular Glass
Low-E glass is more costly than regular glass. Low-E windows film installation cost for commercial space is between USD 5 and USD 8 per square foot. Although, recently launched high visible light transmission low-e films (705 visible transmissions) are more expensive, with the installation cost ranging from USD 12 to USD 15 per square foot. Removal of existing dual-pane windows and replacing them with dual-pane low-e glass costs between USD 40 and USD 55 per square foot. Return on investment for these products will be 20-30 years range. The installation cost mentioned above is for only glass replacement only, does not include replacing the windows frame.
Insulated glass is another energy efficient glass with the low-e glass which is utilized for the residential and commercial applications. A Low-E window price will be around USD 14 square foot as compare to the USD 10 per square foot price of insulated glass.
In Hong Kong, a study conducted to determine the cost effectiveness of using high performing glass in residential high rise buildings found that use of double-glass with a low-e film is not economically viable. The study revealed that the use of an expensive advanced glass cannot be justified by the achieved savings in cooling cost.
Hence the research study related to the cost effectiveness of low-e glass and comparison of the low-e glass price to the regular glass proved that the high cost of low-e glass will restrain the growth of global low-e glass market.
New Technologies for Low-E Coatings to Make Glass Ultra-Thinner And Maximizing The Performance
Low-E coatings are the most advance technological coatings for the glass solutions. Low-E coating has two different types- passive low-e coating (Hard-Coat) and solar control low-e coatings (Soft-Coat). Passive coatings are manufactured by pyloric process and solar control low-e coatings are manufactured by Magnetron Sputtering Vapor Deposition (MSVD) process. There is also some advance materials which can be used in low-e coatings that can make the glass technologically advance and maximize the performance.
Transparent conducting oxides can be used as an energy efficient coatings if they have wide bend gap which enables them to transmit light in the visible spectrum and have a high carrier density that can induce the plasma reflection at the beginning (solar control application) or middle (low-e application ) range of near infrared light .
Low-E TCO material provides good visible transparency, decreases the transmission and increases the reflection at longer wavelengths.
Another material Fluorine-Doped Tin Oxide can be used for low-e coatings. Back in 1980, FTO films with the high optical transmission (80%) and infrared reflection (~7% at 2500nm) has been produced on glass surfaces by spray pyrolysis which represented that FTO was a good candidate for low-e coatings. At present, chemical vapour deposition with atmospheric pressure (AVCVP) is mostly used for the production of FTO. Fluorine-Doped Tin Oxide produced by AVCVP could show high charge carrier density (5.7*10^20 cm^-3), visible transmittance (~80%) and reflectance in IR range (80% at 2500) together. With these properties FTO can be an excellent low-e material.
Hence the new coating material for the low-e glass coating can provide better technical advancement for the low-e glass in future.
High Manufacturing Cost of Low-E Glass
Hence, high manufacturing cost is considered as a challenge to the market growth of global low-e glass, during the forecast period of 2019-2026.
Some of the major players operating in this market are AGC inc., Central Glass Co., Ltd., CSG Holding Co., Ltd., Taiwan Glass Ind. Corp., Metro Performance Glass, Qingdao Migo Glass Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Topo Glass Co., Ltd., Beijing Northglass Technologies Co. Ltd, Qingdao Creation Classic Glass Co., Ltd, Nippon Sheet Glass Co., Ltd, Saint-Gobain, Arcon Flachglas-Veredlung Gmbh & Co. KG, GUARDIAN GLASS., JSC "Salavatsteklo, Xiamen Togen Building Products Co., Ltd, SCHOTT Inc. , ROMAG, Qingdao Tsing Glass Co. Limited and Others.
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