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Incorporating a novel, transparent monolithic aerogel into insulated glass units (IGUs) for windows and building enclosures will provide the equivalent thermal performance of a triple-pane IGU with the weight and dimensions of the standard, double pane window. Early indications using a simulation software proposed a 37.5% energy efficiency cost reduction compared to a traditional double pane IGU. The minimum scale necessary to be tested is 14-inch by 20-inch within the United States industry standard of a 1-inch frame.
There are two technical hurdles that must be achieved to pass the feasibility criterion. The first technical objective is to demonstrate that a novel monolithic transparent aerogel can be scaled to the minimum window size for testing using an ambient drying technique. The majority of aerogels are either translucent or opaque, are brittle, and for the majority of the industry, has required capital-intensive equipment. For the technology to reach commercial potential, improvements on the formulation and process must be met to reduce costs, optimize optical transparency, and durability. The second technical objective is glazing the transparent monolithic aerogel in between two panes of glass with a space for inert argon gas.
The size of the overall architectural glass market and subsegments are shown in Figure 1. The segment addressable market
The monolithic transparent aerogel technology, developed by Dr. Massimo Bertino at Virginia Commonwealth University, is based on two inventions; both provisionally patented by Virginia Commonwealth University: an ambient-drying method of
The aerogel product is devised of a transparent, monolithic aerogel integrated into an insulated glazing unit is designed to perform with the energy efficiency of a triple-pane window, but with
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Licensed Intellectual Property
VCU Invention Disclosure No. BER-19-069F, PCT/US20/39485
“Fabrication of Aerogels and Aerogel Composites by Ambient Pressure Sublimination of Frozen Solvents.”
VCU Invention Disclosure No. BER-16-030
“Fabrication of silica aerogels with custom shapes using freeze drying”