Cooling, ventilation, and lighting in hot buildings make up the largest expenses for the businesses in them. The main culprit is windows. People love them and the natural light they provide, but why, in spite of the many different brands of window shades and coverings, is this still an issue? Diana Eastman, while working as a consultant helping businesses cut their energy costs for businesses, saw a solution—creating a new shade that keeps the light and reflects the heat.
Big panes of glass in office windows are a constant problem. The issue with most traditional shades is that, as they block light, the shades themselves heat up. That absorbed heat radiates into the room. That’s why she created her ThermēShade, with a thin, perforated film installed as a roller blind or fixed screen frame. This low-profile material can be easily added to existing shading systems. Less incoming heat reduces cycling /runtime costs as it lengthens the life of air conditioning units. A triple benefit is energy savings on lighting. Automated light-dimming sensors adjust accordingly, compensating for the amount of incoming light.
The 32% ‘openness’ of the ThermēShade window screens is impressive within the industry, which usually specifies a 5-6% product to do the same job. The minimal 11% absorption rate of incoming solar radiant energy increases interior comfort, as less heat is radiated inward. Featured along with natural daylighting is the great visibility (because of the round holes in the screen) and glare reduction which employees greatly appreciate. Those lucky people with window desks stay cool and the rest of the office is not freezing. Happy employees are comfortable and productive, not messing with thermostats.
At this point, Eastman has designed and sold introductory projects using ThermēShade, and now is looking at how to scale in the market. By partnering with architects, HVAC contractors, property managers, and building owners, Eastman hopes they will see how ThermēShade can give them an alternative to adding more HVAC or having the blinds closed all the time. Architects and energy modelers can plugin testing values like insulation, light transmission, and heat gain to predict outcomes in new and existing buildings in order to meet their energy specifications. ThermēShade can help by adding a new tool to the box. She is looking for partners to help scale.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Giovanni Smith is currently a junior going to Sacramento State University. Working towards his BA in mathematics with an emphasis in statistics and a minor in computer science. He wants a career using his knowledge in mathematics and coding.
“I’m excited to be working with CleanStart to learn more about the energy space and apply my mathematics to help solve real-world problems.” – Giovanni Smith