Liquid crystals have mainly been used in television, smartphone and laptop displays. Merck’s Liquid Crystal Windows (LCW), marketed under the licrivision™ brand, will be able to optimize light and thermal impact on glazed surfaces in the future, thereby conserving significant amounts of energy. This is possible by placing special liquid crystal mixtures between two panes of glass. Similar to liquid crystal displays, liquid crystals in windows can be brought into various alignments by applying a voltage to them. Depending on the alignment, more or less light passes through the liquid crystal layer and thus through the window.
Approximately one-third of global carbon dioxide emissions results from maintaining the interior temperature of buildings at a comfortable level. A great deal of energy is required especially for buildings with glass facades. With the Liquid Crystal Window technology, the intensity of daylight entering a building can be adjusted in seconds. At the same time, the switchable liquid crystals limit solar heat gains. Various options with regard to coloring create new prospects for the architectural design of windows and facades. Prototypes of windows with different zones that can be switched individually are also being developed.
Merck is working in close partnership with established window manufacturers and researching additional possibilities for switching liquid crystal windows autonomously based on photovoltaic principles. Then they could be operated independently of the building’s electricity supply.
- Merck will be demonstrating Liquid Crystal Window technology in Hall C2, Stand 210 at the BAU exhibition in Munich, Germany (January 19 to 24, 2015).
Insights from an architect’s perspective will be revealed at a talk entitled “A Clear Vision – Liquid Crystal Window Technology”. This presentation is being given by Eric Höweler (Höweler + Yoon Architecture, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) as part of the DETAIL research’s forum’s “Climatic Strategies” series on January 22, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. in Hall 4/338.
- Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany