Photonics Report

Electrically active smart glass will be a $1.1 billion market in 2028, growing rapidly.

Smart Glass and Windows 2018-2028: Electronic Shading and Semi-Transparent PV

Semi-transparent photovoltaic (organic PV, perovskite, TLSC, c-Si strings laminated in glass, CdTe), electrochromic, suspended particle devices, liquid crystals, transparent OLED

The new 200-page IDTechEx report "Smart Glass and Windows 2018-2028: Electronic Shading and Semi-Transparent PV" observes that electrically active see-through glass is an idea whose time is now, with applications mainly as automotive, architectural and avionic windows. Smart Glass can be capable of electronic shading (in place of blinds or a sun roof) to create peak electricity demand savings of up to 30 percent as a result of blocking entering heat. It can also be a semi-transparent PV glass for generating electricity locally in a building, or vehicle of the future. It saves space, weight and cost while improving reliability, ruggedness and the life of electrics and active optics. It makes buildings far more efficient and pleasant to use. It typically has an electrical interface and is controlled manually by the user, automatically with a sensor, a remote-control device or integrated building control system.
With the increasing penetration of pure EVs and hybrids in global vehicle sales, Smart Glass, with the potential to top-up EV batteries 10-15 miles per day (a commuting sweetspot), and block heat entering cars and buildings, continues to generate interest.
This report is intended for investors, vehicle and building designers / purchasers, developers, manufacturers and other interested parties. The topic was researched at a global level by IDTechEx analysts, and will assist those intending to manufacture, sell or use such materials and units, and the devices such as the windows and systems incorporating them.
The Executive Summary gives an overview of where the market and technologies are headed, including ten-year forecasts by technology and market segment (primarily architectural, automotive and avionic). It is followed by an introduction covering the needs of the primary users - the building and vehicle industries - and its progress. For example, electrically active windows started with embedded de-mister / de-icer and antenna patterns and progressed to the darken-on-demand windows popular in airliners, superyachts, premium cars and commercial buildings.
The sections following cover the findings of the primary market research undertaken by IDTechEx, as well as the technical details of the technologies:
  • Electronic shading: first, second and third generation electrochromic glass, Suspended Particle Devices and Non-linear Polymer-dispersed Liquid Crystals (NPDLC).
  • Conventional thin-film technologies for transparent photovoltaics like CdTe and amorphous silicon, as well as emerging technologies such as organic photovoltaics (OPV), perovskites and quantum dots and transparent luminescent solar concentrators (TLSCs).
  • OLED transparent lighting and displays - glamorous but unsuccessful as yet, and the report explains why. A host of examples of commercial products and new research breakthroughs are illustrated.
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