The Peformance Films segment of Solutia Inc. was recently awarded a $356,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant, entitled “Recovery Act: Advanced Energy Efficient Building Technologies,” from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The awarded funds have been earmarked for the continued research, development, and commercialization of high performance, energy efficient retrofit window film technology for commercial and residential buildings.
This technology involves new film coatings and techniques designed to improve energy efficiency in every climate zone, specifically films with low emissivity (low-e) properties, a measurement that indicates the ability of a window to minimize far-infrared heat transmissions—which produces significant improvement in a window’s insulating properties, potentially resulting in energy savings during both the winter and summer. Solutia is the market leader in the development of these films under the EnerLogic trademark.
“The Department of Energy has recognized the value of window films as a retrofit solution to improving energy efficiency,” said Ray Kollar, president and general manager of Solutia’s Performance Films segment. “Today’s consumers have also learned that, just like changing their lighting, window films are an affordable, easy to make choice that can add significant energy savings and real value. As a global leader in film technology, we’ll use this grant to keep pushing the technology forward.”
The grant proposal requested funds to expand research of new high performance window films for commercial and residential buildings. Solutia’s current technology is used in new films that add up to 92%(1) more insulating power to existing commercial and residential windows, resulting in improved energy efficiency throughout the year.
“A building’s energy efficiency starts at its windows,” explains Dave Kaliser, director of product marketing, architectural for Solutia’s Performance Films segment. The proposed work will allow technologies similar to those used in high performance, low- e glass coatings to be incorporated into retrofit window films, while keeping costs in line with current high performance window films.
“The technologies we’re working on include improved coating flexibility and low infrared-transmission coatings,” Kaliser continued. “These easy to install window films can increase energy efficiency year round, with much faster paybacks than traditional window replacement and substantially better energy savings per dollar spent.”
Using the ARRA, the DOE is making investments to build America’s clean energy future, including more than $76 million to support advanced energy efficient building technology projects and the development of training programs for commercial building equipment technicians, building operators, and energy auditors.
1 Based on the percentage improvement in average annual insulating properties of 3mm glass with film compared to the same glass without film.