It looks like sensors regularly used in space missions can now be a part of a technology aimed to improve the making of glass. Hold on, not any kind of glass, but one that excels in thermal insulation in both cold and hot environments – a glass that may reduce carbon dioxide emissions and your electric bill, too.
“By using sensor technology from space this has been possible,” explained Frank Hammer, founding member of the German company ESCUBE, which developed the special instrument initially for spaceflight. The sensor Hammer is talking about measures atomic oxygen, and is used in space to detect it because oxygen is a corrosion factor at the reentry of the spaceship in the atmosphere.
“The gas sensor developed to handle the harsh space environment turned out to be the right solution to handle the difficult glass-production conditions of high temperatures and reactive gasses,” added Mr Hammer, cited by Physorg.com.
ESCUBE is the company that now develops such a sensor, called VacuSen, to be used in a German glass factory, for enhancing the quality of the coating applied to the glass they produce. “With the new coating the overall heat transfer coefficients have been reduced to about a third of what they were in the 1980s, while maintaining light transmittance at 80%,” says Peter Hennes, from ESCUBE’s partner company, iSATT.
Windows are an important area of a home or office where heat is lost in higher quantities. The Germans are already renowned in Europe for their quality insulating windows. Now, with the development of VacuSen, their products can further gain credibility from the public and save millions of tons of CO2 at the same time.