A domestic property loses as much as 200th of its heat through windows. for giant glassy commercial buildings, that figure is a lot higher, leading to big heating bills and inevitable disputes among staff about the thermostat. but researchers have currently found a way to turn standard windows into solar-powered heaters, using energy from the sun to boost window temperature by as much as 15 degrees fahrenheit.
Using nanotechnology, researchers from the University of gothenburg created plasmonic nanoantennas that strongly absorb light and heat the surface they are placed on (which could be anything, though they are most suited to glass). Even when a pane of glass is covered in the nanoantennas it remains transparent and colorless, and almost fully preserves the color spectrum of sunlight.
“We’ve developed a surprisingly simple, cheap, and effective way to remodel regular glass windows into solar-powered heat-screens that could significantly change the thermal balance of living and working areas, particularly if one thinks of the ever increasing amount of big glass surfaces utilized in fashionable design,” lead researcher Alexandre Dmitriev told Phys.org. He added that while the technology’s prominent application is reducing heating prices, the nature of the nanoantennas means that it may have uses in other areas, like radiative cooling and solar-powered thermal isolation. The team is currently working on achieving even larger temperature increases through the absorption of ultraviolet and near-infrared radiation, so it might not be long until the desk by the window is that the prime office spot, even on chilly days.