LBNL Report Number
The performance factors which will influence the market acceptance of electrochromic windows are reviewed. A set of data representing the optical properties of existing and foreseeable electrochromic window devices was generated. The issue of reflective versus absorbing electrochromics was explored. This data was used in the DOE 2.1 building energy model to calculate the expected energy savings compared to conventional glazings. The effects of several different control strategies were tested. Significant energy and peak electric demand benefits were obtained for some electrochromic types. Use of predictive control algorithms to optimize cooling control may result in greater energy savings. Initial economic results considering annual savings, cooling equipment cost savings, and electrochromic window costs are presented. Calculations of thermal and visual comfort show additional benefits from electrochromics but more work is needed to quantify their importance. The design freedom and aesthetic possibilities of these dynamic glazings should provide additional market benefits, but their impact is difficult to assess at this time. Ultimately, a full assessment of the market viability of electrochromics must consider the impacts of all of these issues.