Undergraduate YPEC 2020

UG12 – Thermochromic Hydrogel Microparticles for Smart Windows

In recent years, there is a rapid surge in demand of advance, green cooling means to deal with huge heat loads due to exacerbating heat island effect in Hong Kong. Most conventional thermochromic devices subject to high phase change temperature with unsatisfactory shielding ability. A research team from the University of Hong Kong, has suggested ground-breaking nano-scale hydrogel that fulfills the requirement. Its polymers transfer from transparent into a milky-white substance that insulates 80% heat with easy trigger temperature and low manufacturing price. This article aims to study the material system of pNIPAm-AEMA as a thermochromic hydrogel and develop an easy-installation smart window. This study focuses on optimizing extraction procedures and suggesting higher efficiency coating methods to produce a practical smart window. Analysis of centrifuge, transmittance modulation, and effective coating thickness have been established. Various coating methods were studied to explore the possibility of better coating with this interesting material. Further studies of exploring material uncertainties will help uncover the full potential of this material. Regarding the investigation of its shading properties, additional analysis targeting SHGC and U-factor should be designed and implemented. And this brand-new material system has more feasibility in the application upon foundation of this project.