Normally, water in your windows is NOT a positive thing. It normally appears as condensation between panes of glass, and often means your seal is broken and you’re leaking energy (ignoring the obvious cosmetic issues!)
But a new study has been done on – get this – filling your windows with water deliberately, and circulating that water through a storage tank. No, you can’t see the water in day to day life; apparently it’s invisible. And, apparently, it saves 60% of heating and cooling costs compared to triple pane windows! The inventor(s) call it “Water Filled Glass”, and no, you can’t buy it yet.
The latest study uses a heat pump to condition the water as needed – which, apparently, is not very much. This is because the water basically works as a heat sink, and releases its heat overnight (when possible) and recharges during the day. Obviously dead of winter and peak of summer, that heat pump will be working – but you could set it to pre-condition the water when the weather is better suited in order to reduce costs even further.
What wasn’t mentioned in the article above are the radiation benefits – the mean radiant temperature is an oft-overlooked issue in human comfort, and this cuts down on the “cold window” effect by a lot.
This is a cool tech from Dr Matyas Gutai – and I’m looking forward to seeing it in use – but the obvious concerns are:
- broken windows = system recharge and water everywhere?
- What if the water gets cloudy?
- Heat pump or storage tank issues – full drain and refill?
- VERY hard to retrofit
- Can’t open the windows?
Final thought – why windows? Why not large, low flow, pretty radiant panels? Similar idea but less susceptible to the above. They don’t handle the “cold window” problem, and it seems like the energy savings from these windows are larger – but the application is a lot easier.
What are your thoughts?