Inhabitants of modern megacities, who spend most of their lives indoors, torn mainly between an office and an apartment, are in dire need of sunlight. This is especially true for our northern latitudes, where the gentle radiant sun pleases the sky with its presence for a very short time. Meanwhile, sunlight is vital for normal human well-being. Omnipresent scientists have noticed that, for example, in supermarkets with all-glass facades that increase the natural light of the sales area, there is the highest buying activity, in similar office buildings the productivity of employees is highest, and in hospitals, patients recover faster. It is not surprising that in housing construction, structures are increasingly being used that make it possible to make windows as large as possible, sometimes replacing a wall panel.
But after all, huge windows that easily let in the sun’s rays can just as easily pass heat from the room in the opposite direction. Therefore, the choice of glass should be determined not only by aesthetic considerations, but also by the optical and energy characteristics of the glazing and its biological effect. By imparting certain properties to the glass (creating different types of glass), it is possible to regulate the flow of solar energy entering the room.
Nowadays, when energy resources are constantly becoming more expensive, and there is more and more talk about the widespread installation of individual meters for gas and electricity, the problem of energy saving is becoming increasingly important. The past winter, with its abnormal frosts, further exacerbated this issue..
In the cold season, through a window with ordinary glazing, up to half of the heat generated by heating is lost from the room, and the space directly next to the window has a lower temperature compared to the rest of the room. Experts call this phenomenon the “cold wall effect”. Misting, and often icing of glasses with a sharp drop in the ambient temperature is another negative property of conventional glazing.
There are several ways to lose heat:
– Thermal conductivity of the glass itself. In this case, it is possible to reduce heat loss by increasing the amount of glass in the window system. For example, in some 9 and 16-storey houses built at the end of the last century, wooden frames with 3 sheets of glass were installed..
– Heat loss due to air convection. This problem was solved by creating a sealed glass unit.
– Infrared radiation, which accounts for up to 70% of heat loss. In this case, the only way to reduce heat loss is to use energy-saving glass, on one of the surfaces of which a special coating is applied.
Currently, two types of coatings are used: the so-called K – glass – “hard” coating and i – glass – “soft” coating. Hard coating is the very first and oldest technology that pioneered the topic of energy efficiency in glazing. Soft flooring is the most advanced development and also cheaper than hard flooring.
The process of obtaining low-emission glass is more than laborious and requires the highest qualifications from the manufacturer. That is why there are only a few companies in the world that produce energy-saving glass in large volumes. I would especially like to note the Glaverbel company, which in October last year launched a glass plant in the city of Klin, Moscow region. This is the second production facility owned by the Glaverbel Group in our country. As a result, today the company occupies a leading position in the production of flat glass in Russia. Glaverbel’s low-emissivity soft-coated glasses include Planibel Top N (specially designed for use in insulating glass units that offer superior thermal conductivity and excellent solar heat transmission and transparency), Planibel Top NT (can be hardened), Enegrgy N and Energy NT (neutral-looking glass that provides thermal comfort in the room both in winter and in summer), as well as energy-saving architectural glasses Sunergy and Stopray.
According to experts in the modern glass industry, energy-saving glass is an extremely promising product, since it allows the production of practically irreplaceable double-glazed windows with a modern approach to the glazing of residential and public buildings. Whereas ordinary glazing does not fulfill the necessary conditions: an increase in the area of windows in order to improve illumination and visibility inevitably entails increased noise, unjustified heat loss or overheating of the room, depending on the season.
It is widely believed that the most optimal is the use of double-glazed windows. In fact, the use of single-chamber double-glazed windows with energy-saving glass is more beneficial in all respects. Firstly, it is the improved thermal insulation of a single-chamber double-glazed unit with Planibel Top N glass compared to a double-glazed unit with ordinary glass. Secondly, such a single-chamber double-glazed unit is currently cheaper than a two-chamber one, and, apparently, the price difference will increase over time. In addition, a single-chamber glass unit is lighter than a two-chamber one. and this means less stress on the fittings and, accordingly, a longer service life.