Ur Place

April 24, 2008

Throw Energy Out the Window With Thermique Heated Glass

Filed under: Engineering — halfevil @ 11:36 am

2008-04-23_105947-Treehugger-picture-window.jpg

Ooooh, there is nothing lovelier than a floor-to-ceiling window, and there are few better ways to waste energy, given the low R-value of most glass. Until now, that is, when you can throw electricity out the window with Thermique. This new invention burns up to 25 watts of electricity per square foot by turning the glass into an electric heater . They say it is more energy efficient because it eliminates drafts, and the conventional heating system doesn’t have to work as hard.” With heated windows, you can lower the set-back temperature for your HVAC system without changing the indoor temperature. The greater the total window area, the more dramatically you can alter the set-back temperature.”

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It used to be that there was a limit on the size of windows in an Aspen ski chalet; it got uncomfortable when the windows got too big and created too much of a draft. Now the hedge fund jockeys can just install this coal-fired glass and have no discomfort at all.

No matter that a good portion of it is just being thrown away to the outdoors, or that the appropriate solution is to use smaller windows that frame the view or get a set of drapes. Now we can hook each picture window up to its own circuit breaker (about what it would need) and enjoy the view.

Thermique-restaurant.jpg

The Thermique page at Sweets Catalog and the company’s website make all kinds of cases for the comfort and efficiency provided by this technology, that it can “provide welcoming warmth without increasing your energy bills.” Yet somehow I can’t believe it, this is such a contradiction of every rule of energy-efficient design. It seems fundamentally wrong in this day and age to solve a design problem by electrifying it.

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