Building Simulation

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 99–112 | Cite as

Investigation of Mg-Y coated gasochromic smart windows for building applications

  • Runqi Liang
  • Dingming Liu
  • Yanyi SunEmail author
  • Xuanli LuoEmail author
  • David Grant
  • Gavin Walker
  • Yupeng Wu
Open Access
Research Article Building Thermal, Lighting, and Acoustics Modeling


In the purpose of improving indoor comfort and achieving building energy conservation, significant efforts have been made to improve the performance of window systems. Smart windows have been increasingly considered as an efficient technology with adjustable control of their thermal and/or optical properties in response to instant changes of the environment. This paper explores the potential of using a durable Mg-Y based switchable mirror gasochromic (GC) material for building window applications. The selected Mg-Y based GC window provides a degree of flexibility to reflect the undesirable incident solar radiation rather than the other types of GC windows, which absorb the solar heat that might eventually go into the indoor space through convective, conductive and radiative heat transfer. Building simulations were carried out for a typical office with Mg-Y GC window applied using EnergyPlus. The characterization of the selected gasochromic smart window and its impact on building performance was comprehensively studied under 5 diverse climates in China. In addition, various control strategies in response to different environmental conditions or indoor comfort criteria are also considered. The results indicated that Mg-Y based films with excessively low transmittance at the reflective state are not beneficial from the perspective of building energy conservation, while potentially developed Mg-Y windows with relative higher transmittance and larger transmittance modulation can yield energy conservation of up to 27% when compared with standard double glazing. Overall, the work presented in this paper may be seen as offering potential advice and guidance on further development of switchable mirror GC material that seek to be applied into building windows for amplifying improvements in energy efficiency and occupant comfort.


gaschromics energy consumption daylight performance SHGC switched hours 



This work was funded by the Innovate UK Research Project E-IPB-TS/P009263/1-102880. Xuanli Luo acknowledges the support of a Daphne Jackson Trust fellowship. A PhD studentship from the Faculty of Engineering, the University of Nottingham was awarded to Runqi Liang.


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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Advanced Materials Research Group, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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