Liteline companies ‘In’Flector’
I was introduced to this product around a month ago, however, it apperently has been around many years. I had never heard of it and was wondering if anyone on this board has had any experience with it.
There also appears to be a very unique profit making opportunity for energy raters anywhere in the world, this is the other reason I am posting it here.
An associate of mine, Gene Swier in Maryland, introduced me to this product and has been involved with it for quite awhile. Gene is an energy rater / industrial hygienist and a member of this site,
Gene has been involved with the radiant barrier coating I work with for around 2-years.
I received a flier on this material from Gene that is in PDF format.
AS I UNDERSTAND THIS PRODUCT, from what Gene has explained and what I have seen and read on the flier and Gene’s website; it is a see=through panel that can be attached to the outside or inside of a window or frame. At first glance I thought it was a single pane window made of plastic, however, Gene told me it was not. It faces one direction in the hot months to reflect heat back out the window and it is reversed in the cold months acting as a passive solar collector and keeps the heat energy in the building.
I asked how effective it was. Gene said it is more effective than the best dual or triple pane insulated windows out there.
That is pretty much the extent of my knowledge on the material itself.
Gene explained that he is a “Manufacturer’s Partner” for this product for the Mid Atlantic and that is where the money making opportunity for energy raters comes in. The Manufacturer’s Partner has the right to make ‘Dealers’ under him.
Sorry I didn't check the links, but that sounds like glass with a low-e coating applied to it. I am not sure though how it only allows radiated energy to flow through it in just one direction. Personally if you have to change it around, etc... I would just have them invest in a solar screen & storm window which allows for them to occasionally open the windows
Low-E coatings are directional. When replacing a "glass pack" as they call it, you have to make sure you put the side with the low-E sticker on the outside.
Aha, you know that is something I have never really looked into but have heard where the coating was spec'd on different sides for different orientations. Unfortunately those are also where I heard about the poor architect muttering about the contractor who just slapped the windows in w/o paying attention to the sticker or the manufacturer didn't label them correctly.
Got a good link explaining this?
Hi Sean. I dont think so in this case. They had to come up with a testing protocol 2 years ago for this material as one did not exist. The manufacturer apperently spent half a million testing it to the new protocol. It is reportedly saving the building $100k per year and that is from the agency who's building it was tested on with that new protocol.
Going by the statements on the literature. Very impressive at least to me but I am not a window guy by any means.
Gene also said the 40% savings noted on the flier is for a WORST CASE scenario and that 20% to 30% was the normal reduction.
Found some info for download
Boy, from the 3D model of this building in Google Earth, it looks like there are about 1000 windows in the building, which means $475 per window! I wonder how each window in the building will be able to save $100/year.
I'm sure it is a good product, especially in large institutional or industrial building. My reservation about window products that claim to have a big impact on your residential utility bills is that they seem to assume that you have an enormous amount of fenestration, that you pay pretty penny per kWh, and that reducing the consumption will somehow reduce the base rate - which is a total fantasy in residential energy. Radiant barrier manufacturers seem to assume that cooling is your biggest cost.
For most homes, fenestration is only 10% of the wall area, and 5% of the entire heat transfer surface. Only about half of all windows are pointing in a direction or exposed in such a way as to be significantly affected by solar gain. I have a hard time seeing how it is mathematically possible to get a huge reduction in total energy usage through improving windows, especially if the existing ones aren't in bad shape. I'd put it pretty low on my list of priorities.
They claim that this product is also an air sealing system for the window, which may have more of an impact on energy than the radiant barrier, especially on north facing or well shaded windows, so I don't know how they are measuring the effectiveness of the radiant barrier.
They also don't mention how much it affects the quantity of natural light, which could lead to an increase in artificial lighting. Everything is related.
I like the idea of flipping the radiant barrier around. That fixes one of the biggest problems with radiant barriers in mixed climates. It would have to be very inexpensive to have a reasonable payback for most people. If it could save 100 kWh per window (340,000 BTUs of heat transfer), per year, over 10 years, it would save $100 @ 10 cents per kWh. I'm skeptical that it would save that much, and I bet it costs more than that.
Sounds cool! Hope the cost is reasonable.
I actually saw this product while doing a residential energy audit several weeks ago. The customer had panels made for their windows on the East, South and West sides. Each panel had a metal frame and a magnetic strip was fastened to the inside perimeter of the window. The inner material looked like very fine perforated metal with one side a silvery-reflective surface and the other side a flat black. The perforations were so small and numerous that there was no degradation of view, just of light transmittance. [BTW - there was no real "view" to degrade as this home was a townhouse in a large cluster of townhouses.] Operation was to fasten the panel in the window "shiny side" out in the Summer and "black" side out in the Winter. The homeowner claimed decreased solar gain and reduced AC electric bills in the summer (no real data to show one way or the other). No idea on cost but I'm guessing that awnings, pergolas or lattice panels (on the East and West) would do just as well. Savings could have been real, "placebo" effect (i.e., occupant behavior change because they were monitoring usage more closely) or climatic (i.e., due to fewer cooling degree days).
I don't know how much faith I would put into the savings projection of the Air Force building. I was involved with a window replacement project with the largest energy contractor in the country. Their energy savings projections were sorely high; about ten times actual. I was back two times after the project was completed assisting the engineers with air leakage testing. They couldn't believe the little improvement that was gained. They didn't want to take my advice of reducing the huge window areas and installing insulated panels. But then, I'm not an engineer :)
Again, I am not one of the correct people to ask about this product. I have been aware of it for, maybe, one month. I am learning. Here is thew correct folks to contact:
For the West Coast States:
Cal Inflector of SunEnergy
866-966-9612 Toll Free
For the East Coast and International Inquiries
Eugene 'Gene' Swier, MS CSP,/IH HERS/LEED Energy Rater