green tech

Doug Wiggin | CEO

Switch Materials

The use of large glass areas to create light and airy spaces is a growing trend in both automotive and architectural design. However unwanted side-effects that impact energy use, occupant comfort and safety include high solar heat gain leading to excessive use of air conditioning and the need for cumbersome and costly shading systems to control glare. While current technology can reduce heat from the near infra-red portion of the solar spectrum, they do nothing to impact the 50% of solar heat energy that comes from visible light.

SWITCH Materials’ Active Control interlayer technology is a film-based solution that enables Dynamic control over the amount of light entering a vehicle or building. SWITCH film darkens automatically in the presence of sunlight but can be returned to the clear state with the application of low voltage electricity. The result is a perfectly clear window that can be controlled by the user to select the optimal amount of light under differing conditions. The first market for SWITCH Active Control film will be in the automotive sector where vehicle manufacturers will need to employ new technologies tomeet strict new emissions and fuel economy requirements. SWITCH Active Control technology can reduce the use of air conditioning, improving gasoline fuel economy and electric vehicle battery range. SWITCH film qualifies for emissions reduction credits under the new guidelines, providing vehicle manufacturers with a cost-neutral solution with significant customer impact.

SWITCH is in the advanced pre-commercial development phase and is currently working with primary glass manufacturers and tier one automotive suppliers to produce prototype parts for the 2017 model year. Evaluation and specification programs began with select automotive manufacturers in 2013, and additional programs began in 2014. Beyond automotive, SWITCH Active Control film has exciting opportunities in eyewear, architectural and other markets.