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Wood windows are cooler than glass: new study


September 1, 2016
By A. James Clark School of Engineering

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Sept. 1, 2016 – Engineers at the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland (UMD) demonstrate in a new study that windows made of transparent wood could provide more even and consistent natural lighting and better energy efficiency than glass.

In a paper just published in the peer-reviewed journal Advanced Energy Materials, the team, headed by Liangbing Hu of UMD’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Energy Research Center lay out research showing that their transparent wood provides better thermal insulation and lets in nearly as much light as glass, while eliminating glare and providing uniform and consistent indoor lighting. The findings advance earlier published work on their development of transparent wood.

The transparent wood lets through just a little bit less light than glass, but a lot less heat, said Tian Li, the lead author of the new study. “It is very transparent, but still allows for a little bit of privacy because it is not completely see-through. We also learned that the channels in the wood transmit light with wavelengths around the range of the wavelengths of visible light, but that it blocks the wavelengths that carry mostly heat,” said Li. | READ MORE