Energy efficient glass manufacturing supported by DOE and IRS tax credits

$100+ million in DOE funding and IRS green manufacturing tax credits enable construction of new energy-saving glass manufacturing facility.


To help SageElectrochromics Inc. construct a facility for the manufacture of energy-savingelectronically tintable glass, thecompany has been offered a conditional commitment for a $72 million loanguarantee by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in addition to a $31 millionAdvanced Energy Manufacturing tax credit. In total, the company has now securedmore than $100 million in federal funding to construct a new facility, next toits headquarters in Faribault,MN, to manufacture SageGlass,which Sage claims will make buildings more energy efficient and create hundredsof new green manufacturing and construction jobs.


The SageGlass coating on the glass is made up of five layers. When voltage [less than 5V DC] is applied to these layers in their "clear" state, they darken as lithium ions and associated electrons transfer from the counter electrode to the electrochromic electrode layer. Reversing the voltage polarity causes the ions and associated electrons to return to their original layer, the counter electrode, and the glass untints. This solid state electrochromic reaction is controlled through a low voltage dc power supply. When the SageGlass coating darkens, the sun's light and heat are absorbed and subsequently reradiated from the glass surface - much the way low-emissivity glass also keeps out unwanted heat.


According to Sage, SageGlass is a "dynamic glass that can change from a clearstate to a tinted state." Windows using SageGlass technology control the amountof sunlight that enters a building, thereby reducing energy consumed for airconditioning, heating, and lighting.

Sage says its dynamic glass is the world's only

commercially available, electronically tintable glass for use in buildings. It

uses nanotechnology to create eco-friendly dynamic windows that change tint to

regulate sunlight, similar to the way transition lenses work in sunglasses.

Windows using SageGlass technology, however, are controlled electronically;

they can be switched from clear to darkly tinted at the click of a button, or

programmed to respond to changing sunlight and heat conditions.

The planned 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is expected to add 160full-time green manufacturing and technology jobs to the 100 jobs in Sage'scurrent plant in southern Minnesota.More than 200 construction jobs will also be created. A study by DeloitteConsulting concluded the plant will add a total of nearly 400 permanent jobs tothe area's economy. Groundbreaking is scheduled for summer of 2010, and theplant will be shipping its SageGlass product in the latter part of 2011.

According to Lawrence Berkeley NationalLaboratory (LBNL), SageGlass windows have the potential to reducebuilding heating and air conditioning equipment requirements by up to 25%. LBNLalso estimates that SageGlass products will reduce cooling loads by up to 20%,lower peak power demand by as much as 26%, and reduce lighting costs by up to60%.

National Renewable Energy

Laboratory research scientist Dane Gillaspie said that

widespread use of smart window technologies like Sage's "could save about

one-eighth of all the energy used by buildings in the U.S. every year,

equivalent to about 5% of the nation's total energy budget."

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the

conditional loan guarantee commitment for Sage, which was granted under the Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program.

Established under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Loan Guarantee Program

supports innovative technologies that reduce or sequestergreenhouse gases.

Access other Control Engineering content related to energyefficient facilities:



-Edited by DavidGreenfield , editorial director
Control Engineering Sustainable Engineering
News Desk

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