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Musings of an Energy Nerd

New Green Building Products — January 2009

Cool new products on display in Vegas: Windows, fans, PV modules, and ICFs

Logix, a manufacturer of insulated concrete forms (ICFs), makes forms with unusually high R-values. This R-58 form has 6 inches of EPS foam on one side and 8 inches of foam on the other.
Image Credit: Martin Holladay

LAS VEGAS, NV — Wandering the trade show floor at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas today, I stumbled upon several intriguing new products. Here are four of them.

Serious Energy windows

Serious Energy, a window manufacturer that recently acquired Alpen Windows, has made several improvements to Alpen’s line of windows with pultruded fiberglass frames. Windows from Serious Energy (formerly known as Serious Materials) are available with Heat Mirror glazing from Southwall Technologies.

If you choose Serious Energy’s 1125 glazing — a Heat Mirror product that amounts to quintuple glazing (two layers of glass and three layers of mylar film with low-e coatings) — you end up with an amazingly low whole-window U-factor somewhere between 0.08 and 0.09 (equivalent to R-11). Serious Energy has obtained NFRC ratings on all of their Heat Mirror windows. Plan on spending at least $1,000 for a casement window with 1125 glazing.

Ventergy fans from American Aldes

American Aldes (www.americanaldes.com) has a new series of supply ventilation fans and exhaust ventilation fans called the Ventergy series. All Ventergy fans meet Energy Star requirements. The fans can be ordered to meet precise ASHRAE 62.2 ventilation requirements for a specific home; each fan is delivered with plastic flow control valves — constant airflow regulators — to deliver the required airflow.

A PV module that is bi-directional

Sanyo (www.sanyo.com/solar) is now selling a new two-directional photovoltaic module, the HIT Double. The translucent PV panels are usually used for solar awnings and shade structures. HIT Double modules generate electricity on both sides; most of the power is generated on the side facing the sun, but a small amount of additional power is generated from light bouncing off pavement and hitting the underside of the panels.

Logix ICFs have high R-values

A manufacturer of insulated concrete forms (ICFs) called Logix manufactures a line of ICFs (the XRV line) with high R-values. The XRV forms can be ordered with the following foam thicknesses: 2 3/4 in., 4 in., 5 in., 6 in., 7 in., and 8 in. The interior EPS thickness can differ from the exterior; for example, it’s possible to order Logix ICFs with 2 3/4 in. of foam on the interior and 8 in. of foam on the exterior. The ICFs with the highest available R-value have 8 in. on both sides, for a total R-value of 66.

One Comment

  1. Mark Piepkorn | | #1

    Re: Cool new products from the International Builders' Show
    See the GreenSpec product listing for Alpen Windows here:
    https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/product-guide/prod/alpen-fiberglass-windows
    and a full-on review of them from Environmental Building News:
    https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/ebn/alpen-fiberglass-windows%E2%80%94leading-high-performance-race

    Kudos to Logix for the imbalanced ICFs that put more insulation to the outside, where it belongs. More insulation is better, certainly, but using the increased insulation on the cold side instead of distributing it evenly on both sides of the mass is more better. The only manufacturer I was aware of with that kind of option was VariantHouse from Germany.
    http://www.varianthouse.com/house_building_system/

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