BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Heliotrope Technologies, a partner of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), today announced that it will begin commercial sampling of its low-cost, dynamic window coating in the fourth quarter of 2013. The company will ship samples of the new coating, a material breakthrough featured on the cover of the August 15th issue of the science journal Nature, to some of the world’s largest glass manufacturers to evaluate its potential for commercial and residential buildings.
“The top makers of glass around the world are looking for the right solution for dynamic window technologies,” said Mike Clary, CEO, Heliotrope Technologies. “We think this technology is one-of-a-kind and moves beyond traditional ideas of smart windows to significantly enhance the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings.”
Heliotrope Technologies is the licensee of the intellectual property developed at LBNL, co-invented by Heliotrope CTO Guillermo Garcia. The smart window technology that Heliotrope is bringing to market leverages a unique electrochromic (EC) effect discovered by the inventors to control light and heat transmission independently and dynamically. Heliotrope is commercializing the discovery in the form of a dynamic window coating that will deliver improved energy efficiency at a substantially lower price than smart window products currently on the market.
Windows with the Heliotrope EC coatings can switch reversibly between three states: transparent, heat blocking, and heat and light blocking. The company refers to these states as Bright, Cool, and Dark. A small voltage controls the optical state of the device. Minimal power is consumed during switching and almost none is used to maintain either of the two solar blocking states. This yields great flexibility for system integration and low cost installation.
“Price remains one of the biggest hurdles for wider adoption of smart window technology, and we believe we have the solution,” said Jason Holt, COO and co-founder of Heliotrope. Full commercialization will be achieved in partnership with one or more established manufacturers of building glass or finished windows. This business model avoids the high capital requirements of independent manufacturing and allows for easier integration into large scale manufacturing and distribution of windows and building glass.
Based on the immediate potential of Heliotrope technology to improve the efficiency of building lighting, heating and cooling, the company is initially focusing on the commercial flat glass market that has a market size of $30 billion globally. A related market with high potential for Heliotrope is glass for automobiles.
In partnership with LBNL, Heliotrope Technologies was awarded a $3 million grant from the Department of Energy in 2012. The company has received private funding and plans to raise Series A funding in early 2014.
About Heliotrope Technologies
Heliotrope Technologies is a Berkeley, California based company established in partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Heliotrope’s mission is to bring a new generation of energy efficient glass to market by delivering an advanced window coating that controls light and heat, dynamically and independently. The result is an affordable solution that reduces the energy needs of commercial and residential buildings and is easy for commercial glass manufacturers to adopt.