Reversible low solar heat gain windows for energy savings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Summer cooling loads in buildings can be reduced with windows of low solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC). Such windows are often double glazed with the exterior pane tinted or selectively absorbing. They reject part of the absorbed solar radiation to the environment, reducing the solar heat gain. This effect is undesirable in the cold season. However, the same window installed in reverse, i.e. turned by 180°, has a significantly higher SHGC. Thus, windows that can be reversed according to the season will both reduce summer heat gains and collect much of the beneficial solar radiation in winter. This paper investigates the energy savings achievable by reversing equator-facing windows for the duration of the cold season as opposed to leaving them in the 'summer position'. Candidate climates in which these savings may be significant are identified. By means of a computer simulation, seasonal energy savings are predicted for a model room with reversible, low SHGC, windows. The results indicate that for suitable climates, significant savings are achievable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science (all)


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