Glass Industry News

Heat it up with Finnglass

, Finnglass

Finland experiences long and harsh winters. Days are short and in the northernmost parts of the country, temperatures can drop as low as 50 degrees Celsius below zero. When weather condi- tions get tough, solutions have to get creative. We have more than 30 years of experience in providing innovative, custom-made structural glass facades and window solutions suitable to withstand frigid climates with our leading-edge innovation — electrically heated glass.
Electrically heated glass elimi- nates the uncomfortable “cold wall effect” causing convection and manifested by draft and cold radia- tion experienced when close to tra- ditional, non-heated glass walls and windows.
It provides an energy efficient way to enhance comfort and utili- ty of indoor spaces by eliminating space-consuming heating devices, such as radiators or fan coil units, usually installed all along the base of glass walls. Removing such devices releases space for opera- tions, which can be used for work- space in offices or more tables in restaurants.
Heated glass can cut down construction costs of new buildings and offer energy efficiency and a modern look to old buildings. Before getting technical about how these
can be achieved, let’s have a look at how this technology has benefitted real-life projects.
Innovation for glass igloos
The glass igloos at Kakslauttanen, Finland, are a prime example of how Finnglass helped a Finnish entre- preneur realize his vision of trans- parent accommodations to drive tourism for northern lights above the arctic circle.
Finnglass manufactured elec- trically heated glass panes mount- ed on tailor-made steel frames to achieve unobstructed views of nature while providing the utmost comfort.
Before finding the perfect solu- tion, we considered insulated glass without heating and insulated glass with electric heating only on the interior glass, but both had their problems. With insulated glass with- out heating, water condensed on glass, froze and collected snow on the outside. In addition, glass radi- ated cold inside and did not provide sufficient comfort.
When we added heating on the interior glass, we achieved com- fort, but the outside surface of the glass globes still had to be brushed and scraped manually, which would have generated labor costs and breached the privacy of customers inside igloos. The perfect solution was found in installing electric heating on both the interior and exterior panes of triple-glazed glass. This way we achieved comfort indoors and had snow and ice melt on outside sur- face. The interior glass is heated to just one or two degrees higher than room temperature, eliminating all sensation of the cold wall effect.
Thanks to smart sensors, heating on the exterior glass is on only when it snows, making it energy efficient and highly reactive to changing weather conditions.
Electrically heated glass is the only architectural solution that can prevent condensation and convec- tion, provide unobstructed views at all times, and maintain customer comfort even if the outside tempera- ture drops 15 degrees in less than an hour.
Construction costs increased with the use of heated glass, but the investment paid back within a year thanks to the international attention brought by incredible comfort in arc- tic conditions that in the end, led to a new, very profitable business. Pic- tures of the arctic resort have been viewed online over a billion times.

, © Finnglass

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