Metamaterial window glass for adaptable energy efficiency
A computational analysis of a metamaterial window design is presented for the purpose of increasing the energy efficiency of buildings in seasonal or cold climates. Commercial low-emissivity windows use nanometer-scale Ag films to reflect infrared energy, while retaining most transmission of optical wavelengths for functionality. An opportunity exists to further increase efficiency through a variable emissivity implementation of Ag thin-film structures. 3-D finite-difference time-domain simulations predict non-linear absorption of near-infrared energy, providing the means to capture a substantial portion of solar energy during cold periods. The effect of various configuration parameters is quantified, with prediction of the net sustainability advantage. Metamaterial window glass technology can be realized as a modification to current, commercial low-emissivity windows through the application of nano-manufactured films, creating the opportunity for both new and after-market sustainable construction.