U.S. energy savings potential from dynamic daylighting control glazings
Daylighting controls have the potential to reduce the substantial amount of electricity consumed for lighting in commercial buildings. Material science research is now pursuing the development of a dynamic prismatic optical element (dPOE) window coating that can continuously readjust incoming light to maximize the performance and energy savings available from daylighting controls. This study estimates the technical potential for energy savings available from vertical daylighting strategies and explores additional savings that may be available if current dPOE research culminates in a successful market-ready product. Radiance daylight simulations are conducted with a multi-shape prismatic window coating. Simulated lighting energy savings are then applied to perimeter floorspace estimates generated from U.S. commercial building stock data. Results indicate that fully functional dPOE coatings, when paired with conventional vertical daylight strategies, have the potential to reduce energy use associated with U.S. commercial electric lighting demand by as much as 930 TBtu. This reduction in electric lighting demand represents an approximately 85% increase in the energy savings estimated from implementing conventional vertical daylight strategies alone. Results presented in this study provide insight into energy and cost performance targets for dPOE coatings, which can help accelerate the development process and establish a successful new daylighting technology.