This New Energy-Efficient Window Technology Shows Potential

March 13th, 2015 by Trey Barrineau

A company in Eatontown, N.J., is pioneering a dynamic window technology that promises a high level of energy efficiency at a relatively low cost.

The New Visual Media Group's ElectroPolymeric Display (EPD) technology at work.

Here’s the New Visual Media Group’s ElectroPolymeric Display (EPD) technology at work. At left is a window with the “shade” up. At right is the same window with the “shade” down.

Elliott Schlam, the principal of New Visual Media Group, says his firm has come up with a new take on the traditional window shade – a super-thin sheet of polymer film that’s installed inside insulating glazing units (IGUs).

“All of the dynamic window technologies are basically chemically oriented,” Schlam says. “Ours is an actual physical shade that’s coated with ink. The ink can block infrared light, so it’s very, very energy efficient. It’s available in any color and it offers full privacy, so it has a nice combination of features.”

The shade runs on static electricity, Schlam says, so there’s no motor. When voltage is applied, electrostatic forces cause the shade to roll down. When voltage is removed, it automatically rolls back up.

Schlam, who’s a fellow with the Society for Information Display and an internationally recognized expert  in the electronic display industry, says the technology behind the shade was initially developed for large outdoor set-ups such as billboards.

“We came up with a technique to use this very, very thin polymer to make little pixels,” he says. “If you heat-process them, they’ll roll up. Then I became aware that people are making windows bigger and bigger, and they’re covering more of the building. Of course, that has a negative impact on energy. So we said, ‘can we apply this display technology to windows? Instead of thousands of little pixels, can we make really large pixels, window-size pixels?’ We went through this challenge and advanced the technology until we could do that.”

Schlam says affordability is the product’s biggest selling point.

“It’s very, very inexpensive,” he says. “We’re talking like $5 per square foot instead of $50 to $100 a square foot. Electrochromic is quite expensive. We feel this is affordable for anyone and everyone.”

The products are also energy efficient. According to the company, they have a solar heat gain coefficient of <0.08 and meet ASTM standards E2188, E2189 and E2190.

In 2012, New Visual Media Group received a $1 million grant from the Public Service Enterprise Group, a major utility company in New York and New Jersey, to develop what the company calls its ElectroPolymeric Display (EPD) technology.

Schlam says New Visual Media Group has been in business for about six years. “We’ve sort of been a stealth company,” he says. “Not many people know about us.”

That could be changing soon.

“We’ve gotten considerable interest,” Schlam says. “We’ve shown it to a number of window and glass companies, and also the automotive market and the aircraft market. We’ve gotten extremely strong interest. I can’t tell you about any business arrangements we have because they’re all confidential at this point, but there seems to be quite a bit of interest.”

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  1. NICE/ ARE THEY ON THE MARKET YET?

  2. Hey, Trey! I think it’s awesome that companies, like New Visual Media Group, are manufacturing new technology for windows. It would be nice to have windows that automatically shade themselves. Thanks for sharing this with us! I can’t wait to read more about it!

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