Highly Insulating Glazing Systems Using Liquid Fills

EPA Grant Number: SU835504
Title: Highly Insulating Glazing Systems Using Liquid Fills
Investigators: Sylvester, Keith
Institution: Western Kentucky University
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2013 through August 14, 2014
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2013) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Sustainable and Healthy Communities , P3 Challenge Area - Air Quality , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


While compromises between daylight transmittance and thermal performance are necessary when using traditional glazing systems and motivated by yet still high energy costs in buildings with glazed envelopes, this research seeks to develop an advanced glazing with over 50% reduction in direct heat loads while maintaining over 90% visibility of the window glazing.


Through a comprehensive life cycle cost, sustainability assessment and in situ prototype testing, this research will 1) explore liquid filled glazing using computational fluid dynamic modeling, 2) develop a fundamental understanding of the physics and engineering of liquid filled glazed units, and 3) produce prerequisite knowledge that defines the behavior and operation of liquid filled glazed units within buildings.  This research assumes that the internal temperatures of buildings can be regulated with a liquid filled glazing envelope which can acquire highly insulating values comparable to opaque wall systems.  That is, high levels of thermal infrared radiation can be absorbed and dissipated away avoiding fluctuating, high heat loads and excessive heating and cooling loads, while increasing visible light transmittance when compared to current state-of-the- art glazed insulated units.

Expected Results:

This research will define a new transformative systems design approach using science based engineering, system design and construction to explore liquid filled, glazed windows and their ability to significantly reduce the energy consumption of buildings with highly glazed envelopes. The proposed research will create benign highly insulated glazing systems that will be able to 1) regulate uncontrolled heat loads due to direct solar heat gain, 2) improve thermal comfort while providing increased light levels, 3) reduce operating costs by minimizing lighting, cooling and heating energy costs, and 4) improve indoor air quality through increased UV light levels which kills airborne bacteria.  These benefits will be quantified during the course of the proposed research.

Relevant Websites:

Life cycle analysis, Conservation, Energy, Buildings;

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final