These Water-Filled Windows Use Sunlight To Heat & Cool Buildings!

Feb 03, 2023by Olivia Harper - F&F

Have you ever heard of windows filled with water that produce clean energy? A British startup called ‘Water-Filled Glass’ has developed panes of glass filled with water that use sunlight to power an energy-saving heating and cooling system! Let’s check it out.

Water Filled Glass InteriorWater Filled Glass Interior

Image: WFG

How Do Water-Filled Windows Produce Heating & Cooling?

Water-Filled Glass is a team with a mission to integrate glass with water to turn windows from a liability to an asset for energy consumption, thermal comfort, and acoustics in buildings! Their vision is to use water-filled glass (WFG) technology to enable people to have more access to daylight and a clear view, without any compromise to the user or environment, regardless of building or climate.

So, how does this technology work? These windows contain a thin layer of water between glass panes, which absorb heat from sunlight or other radiation, such as heat leaving a room. Next, this warmed water is pumped through sealed pipes at low pressure to colder areas of the building, through an underfloor system or into thermal storage.

Water Filled Glass DesignWater Filled Glass Design

Image: WFG

Water-Filled Glass Technology Can Reduce Energy Bills By 25%

This type of thermal energy absorption means that the water-filled glass also limits how much solar heat gain enters the building through windows, reducing the need for air-conditioning in hot climates! WFG estimates that, depending on climate and a building's window-to-wall ratio, the technology can reduce energy bills by around 25% compared to ordinary windows.

"We know that putting water in the window sounds like an outright mad idea," said founder Matyas Gutai. "But we believe this is important because when you think about the energy of buildings and cutting carbon emissions, there's still great potential and opportunity to think about glazing. Glass is responsible for a great part of heating and cooling energy consumption, and it's a ubiquitous material, it's on almost every building."

Water Filled Glass BuildingWater Filled Glass Building

Image: WFG

An Innovation That Allows Buildings To Keep Their Aesthetic, Without Compromising Sustainability! 

Another interesting note — despite holding water, the water-filled glass system has no impact on the aesthetics of buildings inside or out, since water absorbs most energy from the part of the light spectrum that is invisible to humans! How cool is that?! WFG has also developed a version of the windows where they can be fitted behind existing glazing without having to destroy the windows already in place.

We really love that this innovation allows buildings to be abundant in glass while being eco-friendly. Gutai says that they wanted to give architects the opportunity to build even completely fully glazed buildings if they wanted to, without any compromise on sustainability.

These windows seem like a spectacular idea! Water-Filled Glass says that they even have a monitoring device that’s fitted in to clean the water automatically, with maintenance checks required once a year — fuss-free, sustainable, and money-saving… we hope to have these in our homes in the future!

What are your thoughts on this technology? Let us know in the comments below.

For more stories about sustainable innovations from around the world, check out our Eco News category and the blogs below.

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