Any feedback on Advanced Energy Panels (window insulation panels)?

Hi - Has anyone heard or or used Advanced Energy Panels (http://www.advancedenergypanels.com)?  I wanted to see what others thought of this kind of window insulation panel as an alternative to replacing windows to make them more energy efficient for either homes or commercial buildings.  They cost about $150 for an average size window so fairly inexpensive but provide a U factor of .31.  Any feedback is welcome.  Thanks!

Tags: weatherization, window

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The insulating still air space is ,500"

Bob - I was referring to the air space between the window-Therm panel and the window. The testing seems to be done on the assembly including the larger air gap between the window and the panel. Air spaces can add an R-1 per inch, so the gap between the panel and the window has a large effect on the overall R-value of the assembly. This air gap would be present on any interior storm. I do see how you are adding an additional 0.5" by having an air gap built into the panel, so you will have that advantage over any other single pane interior storm. I see no problem using this to support your marketing of the product, as it is the assembly that is shown. However, in your presentation to our group of building scientists, we will hold your words to more scrutiny. There isn't anything magical about this film vs plexiglass or glass in regards to surface temperature - you have created two air gaps to increase the surface temperature. Its a great solution, but I still surmise that if a two gap system was created with other materials, you would have the same effect. IF the testing was done on the assembly, disclosure should be made in your marketing that the overall r-value and savings estimates will vary with the distance from the window glazing and the Window-Therm.

Mr. Bacon - Since you accuse me of not being familiar with your "Advanced Energy Panels", I took a few minutes to digest a bit more of your web page.

In those few minutes I found no less than THREE statements that definitively state that you DO use heat on your panels, to shink the heat-shrink polyolefin film; to wit, (quoting YOUR COMPANY WEBSITE):

   "film layers. One each side of the frame, these are HEAT-SHRINK ..."

   "the glazing film... very thin, clear, HEAT-SHRINK polyolefin..."

   "1 mil... SHRINK FACTOR OF 13-22% AT 200 DEGREES..."  (1 mil, pretty thin stuff)

Other comments; "Stops Condensation", is there a magical ingredient that prevents condensation on it?  Misleading.  "Triples Insulation Value", then with searching, that is only when installed in tandem with a Single-Pane glass.  Misleading.

There's no mention of the longevity of the product, which IMO, is quite susceptible to UV ray degradation from sunlight, being a thin plastic film.  I stand by my original statements; heat-shrink, not durable.

So, it is quite clear to me that YOU, Mr. Bacon are the misinformed one, about your own product!!!

Shame on you on three counts; not knowing your product, making false statements, and masquerading as a customer (until exposed).

Mr. Kuhn,

I am sorry that you read my initial response as an accusation; it was merely observing that it appeared you hadn't had any personal experience with the Advanced Energy Panel. If you have, perhaps you would be kind enough to share that experience with Keri Reidel and the rest of us.

The web site that you are excerpting in your most recent reply is that of WindoTherm, Inc, They are the inventor from whom I license the patented extrusion used as the frame of Advanced Energy Panels. Since our web site: www.windowimprovementmasters.com is linked to theirs I have encouraged them to correct the misleading statements you cite but, regrettably, they have yet to do so.

My company uses a very thin, low density, transparent polyester film whose specific formulation is thus far unknown to us. As I understand it, most low density polyester films do shrink to some degree when heat is applied but the formulation of "shrink wrap" film is quite different from that of glazing films. We have been working independently of our licensor to secure specifically formulated high performance glazing films for our panels. We are interested in films that have very high clarity and are ideally specterally selective. Once formulated we shall have the information and a chain of custody that will allow us to speak with certainty about DNA of this component. Suffice to say that this quest involves examining a broad array of physical and performance characteristics but, since we do not use heat in OUR glazing process this 'shrink' characteristic is not included in our film specification.

Regarding film 'durability', there are many standard tests of resistance to certain forces and actions upon our vast universe of materials - 'durabilty' is a matter of relevance to the specific application. Resistance to puncture, tearing, and surface abrasion are important for our application, as is the material's resistance to propagation once penetrated. WindoTherm performed a test of 'durability' by subjecting an Advanced Energy Panel to a fastball hitting the panel. This was recorded by a highspeed camera which showed an amazing image of the film deforming around the baseball several inched behind the panel frame without tearing or separating the film from its frame. Simple, real world durability.

Glass does not compare well in this measure of durability. If there are specific measures of durability that you feel are relevant to the uses and conditions of an interior mounted window insulation panel that we are not revealing or divulging, please be specific and we will respond.

Regarding condensation. Without getting into the psychometrics of moisture vapor pressures and dew points, the 'magic ingredient' to eliminate condensation is to prevent warm, moist air from coming into contact with a cold surface. Our splines and perimeter seals and the impermeability of our film performs this magic. If, when you asked about eliminating condensation on "it" you were referring to our panel, the magic is the higher interior surface temperature of the film. Glass, however, does not perform this magic trick because of its density and conductivity.

Most of the windows in our neck of the woods are old, loose-fitting, single-glazed, double-hung units with a 'starting condition' 'u' value somewhere between .93 and .98. The addition of our insulating panel lowers this to approx .31. You are correct in that we failed to point out that our panels only DOUBLE the insulation value of windows that are dual glazed with insulating glass units! 

Regarding longevity. Our frames are warranted for 25 years, and the film is warranted for five (5) years against hazing, crazing, cracking or yellowing. If any of these occur my company replaces the film, no charge. If any of our panels are torn or punctured within the first year we will also replace the film - no charge, no questions asked. We have thus far replaced the film on ONE side of ONE panel.

As I understand it from the film industry, most polyesters have a certain amount of UV filtration and resistance inherent in their formulation. This performance characteristic is obviously desirable in any glazing material and is an attribute we are seeking to quantify in our quest for ever better high-performance films. As I understand it, clear glass and many inexpensive clear plastic sheets have very little inherent UV filtration quality; but, glass is at least resistant to UV degradation.

I think I'll let others judge my knowledge of windows and our product. I joined this forum to learn more about this exciting and important facet of the built environment.

I'm afraid that I cannot accept the three counts of shame that you wish to cast upon me. But shame is probably a subject better left to another forum.

I see you subscribe to the "More words means more credibility" camp.  I do not.  I'm not wasting any more time with you.  I've proven my point.

Indeed, you have.

Stan, it might be time to search in your medicine cabinet for a chill pill... ;) This product is great because of the following factors (and I have nothing to do with the company):

  1. Highly reduced air-leakage (win)
  2. Inexpensive when compared to custom-made storm windows, massively inexpensive when compared to new windows. (win)
  3. Reduction of condensation (win)
  4. Provides environmental comfort (win)
  5. Provides sound deadening (win)
  6. Is easily installed/removed (win)
  7. Aesthetically pleasing (win)
  8. Can take the place of draperies and cellular blinds for added R-value (win)
  9. Saves energy (win)

You can argue the little details until all of our eyes bleed, but please take a look at this type of product from a macroscopic point of view and I'm sure you'll arrive at the conclusion that "hey, this might be worth further investigation". I believe Robert (Bob) did a very great job of answering your specific questions, so your terse replies are not only insulting to him, but to everyone else who reads this post. Shaming? How old are we? Some might consider that trolling and recognize it as very unproductive ;)

Robert (Bob), I'd still love to see some of the data you promised to post... we're building "scientists" after all ;)

Rod, I did investigate the product, that's how I arrived at my opinion, which hasn't changed even with all of the words, his and yours.

 

So I reiterate, not worth the cost, not durable, and definitely HEAT-SHRINK material, as stated on the website.

 

I believe Kari deserves to have unbiased information before she spends her money.

Wow, that's pretty bull-headed. It's pretty obvious he is using the frame from the licensor and a different material for the film. Is that not plausible?

Rod,

I have several charts that Window Improvement Masters has created in the course of our own analysis as well as independent lab tests that were commissioned by WindoTherm, our licensor that I would like to share, I would appreciate everyone's feedback regarding the fairness, accuracy, completeness, etc. of our methodologies,  factors, values, and assumptions. There are three files attached. More to follow.

Attachments:

As far as fairness, accuracy and completeness, please start with discussion of the role of the larger air gap between the panel and the window in your overall r-value claims. Thanks,

Craig

More data regarding AEP

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