How can the thermal performance of a channel glass wall be improved?
The most common method to improve the thermal performance of the channel glass wall is to improve the U-Value. The lower the U-Value, the higher the performance of the glass wall.
The first step is to add a Low-e (low-emissivity) coating to one side of the channel glass wall. This improves the U-Value from 0.49 to 0.41.
The next step in to add a thermal insulation material (TIM), such as Okapane (bundled acrylic straws), in the cavity of a double-glazed channel glass wall. This will improve the U-Value of uncoated channel glass from 0.49 to 0.25. Used in conjunction with a Low-e coating, thermal insulation allows you to achieve U-Value of 0.19.
These thermal performance improvements result in lower VLT (visible light transmission), but largely maintain the daylighting advantages of the channel glass wall. Uncoated channel glass allows approx. 72% of visible light to come through. Low-e-coated channel glass allows approx. 65%; Low-e-coated, thermally insulated (added TIM) channel glass allows approx. 40% of visible light to come through. TIMs are also non-see-through dense white materials, but they remain good daylighting products.
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