How Oregon-made technology could save electric ratepayers millions

The low-emissivity coatings could cut light entering the building by more than 30 percent.

The low-emissivity coatings could cut light entering the building by more than 30 percent.

The state of Oregon’s clean tech champion has awarded money to researchers who developed a window coating that cuts heat transfer through the glass.

The Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) gave $150,000 to Corvallis-based CSD Nano Inc., Portland’s Indow Windows, Oregon State University, the University of Oregon and two Oregon BEST research labs. The money is part of $1 million in Oregon BEST’s commercialization grants to boost clean technologies developed by universities and private businesses.

The coating also cuts infrared light while simultaneously allowing more visible light to enter buildings. Oregon BEST’s leader believe the combo could save millions in indoor electric lighting costs.

The low-emissivity coatings — which reduce heat loss from inside a building — could cut light entering the building by more than 30 percent.

“If you were to put the coating we're developing on all the architectural glass out there, you would save hundreds of millions of dollars in electricity currently used for lighting,” said Paul Ahrens, CSD Nano’s CEO. Ahrens’ company, which is an OSU spinout, specializes in anti-reflective thin-film coatings.

The company will use the Oregon BEST grant to develop a “new recipe” of window coating being developed by researchers at OSU’s Oregon Process Innovation Center for Sustainable Solar Cell Manufacturing.

Once the coating is developed, CSD Nano will apply it to glass samples that will be mounted in window frames and analyzed by a major window manufacturer to determine how the new coating performs on real windows.

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