The $20B Residential Window Market Just Got Cleaner

Glass Dyenamics Enters $20 Billion Residential Window Market, The Industry’s First Dynamic Glass Product Offering

With an accessible and revolutionary consumer user experience, dynamic glass makes it possible for everyone to be part of the global net zero story

Tucson, Ariz.Glass Dyenamics, the world’s leading dynamic glass developer, today announced the commercialization of its breakthrough, patented, dynamic glass technology for the residential front entryway market, making the company the first and only electrochromic manufacturer to prioritize sales to the residential market. This reality is the result of fundamental advanced materials breakthroughs which open up a new and vast opportunity for climate impact.

The company’s first product offerings, available for order on its website, include Craftsman-style front door and other custom front entryway products based on customer requests. Custom products include those in varied sizes or those with custom external reflected and internal transmitted colors which represents a dynamic glass industry first. All products come with a warranty similar to that of other popular entryway building products.

The advent of the residential cleantech movement has largely been symbolized by the emergence of rooftop solar, which has resulted in the creation of several massive and highly valuable companies — Sunrun ($9B), Sunpower ($4B), etc. Yet despite these companies’ customer utility-bill-savings value proposition, consumer adoption of rooftop solar has been incredibly slow, with less than one percent penetration outside of California and Hawaii. Fundamental homeowner economic hurdles impede rooftop solar mass adoption including the exorbitant upfront costs, the long payback period, and customer risk exposure to utility rate changes.

Glass Dyenamics solves these problems through offering homeowners, in addition to a window system, the same customer value proposition as rooftop solar with significantly more measurable value, at a fraction of the upfront cost, and with higher subjective value. Glass Dyenamics creates glass panels that tint and untint upon application of an electric charge that homeowners can remotely control through a mobile app or wall switch. Its glass offers consumers a fundamentally new and advanced user experience with light and daytime privacy control, all while being the industry’s most energy efficient product.

While dynamic glass isn’t a brand new concept, Glass Dyenamics’ commercial vision and technical approach are unique. The company’s CEO and co-founder, Christopher Angelo, is a Wall St. veteran and former solar manufacturing executive. The Company’s technical co-founders, Anoop Agrawal and John Cronin, are named co-inventors on over 36 automobile auto dimming mirror inventions and original contributors to the industry’s leading durability standard ASTM E-2141. Co-founder and Chairwoman, Maha Achour, is a Forbes 50 Vision List member.

Regarding durability, Glass Dyenamics’ glass has achieved over 50,000 cycles under ASTM E-2141 durability conditions, which elevates the Company to one of four electrochromic companies in the world to have achieved this milestone.

“Glass Dyenamics’ mission is for everyone to be a part of the clean energy story. We deliver on the promise through fundamental technical breakthroughs and a relentless focus on unit level economics. Most customers and investors don’t realize that electrochromic technology can be affordable and highly profitable; they’ve literally been looking at this reality in the mirror for the last 30 years,” said Angelo. “We seek to provide customers with a durable product as well as a Tesla-like ‘X-factor’ user experience by offering tintable glass to the residential home market for the first time. The way we see it, there’s no other home energy efficiency or cleantech 2.0 product that can elicit that kind of emotion. The closest product we can think of is an EV which, like a window, is a consumer ‘need to have.’ We thank our strategic partners, including the US Department of Energy, for reaching this milestone.”

Glass Dyenamics’ patent portfolio includes 24 patents covering its device structure and materials, product recycling, and key product attributes and applications.

Customers can order or reserve glass by submitting their door design specification to Glass Dyenamics. The company currently offers installation services in the San Francisco Bay Area; Bend, OR, and Tucson, AZ. For more information, visit dyenamics.com.

About Glass Dyenamics

Glass Dyenamics is developing and commercializing breakthrough dynamic glass technology with a mission for everyone to be part of the global net zero story. The Company’s dynamic glass combines the superior production-cost and color-control benefits of organic devices, with the durability, smart-building connectivity, comfort, and energy savings benefits of inorganic devices. For more information, visit dyenamics.com.


Scaling Cleantech 2.0 Technologies

Author: Christopher Angelo

Introduction

I recently wrote a book on technology project finance. It’s a subject that is critical to Cleantech 2.0’s success and has never been previously written about. While project finance is a well understood financing mechanism – in particular the financing of power generation assets, technology project finance related to first to early commercial process technologies is less understood. The post here is a first installment of a multi-part series related to technology project finance.

Cleantech 1.0: Valley of Death Survivors

Cleantech 1.0 from 2005 to 2015 had numerous examples of process technology companies that capitulated in the valley of death. A Greentech Media article including a list of deceased solar companies is here. The companies that did make it through had largely transitioned from manufacturing business models to those including installation and asset ownership. They all ‘owned’ the downstream customer. These companies’ business plans were also not dependent on temporary dislocations in raw material inputs commodity markets. The surviving companies included success stories such as Sunrun, Sunpower, Vivint Solar, Solar City (now Tesla), First Solar, Bloom Energy, and of course Tesla.

Cleantech 1.0: Survivor Common Traits

These companies all have a common characteristic which is not well known. They all utilized the debt capital markets in the form of securitization or project finance to scale their businesses operations.

Cleantech 2.0: Capital Efficiency Required

The reality is that Cleantech 2.0 companies including those in carbon capture, hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuels, etc. are more capital intensive than Cleantech 1.0 companies. This is especially true as equity funding from mega funds is limited as there are only so many sovereign wealth funds and private equity fund investment periods are too short relative to Cleantech 2.0 technology payback periods. Technologists and related developers will therefore need to consider alternative financing markets as well as opportunities to achieve greater capital efficiency to scale to profitability. This will take even greater amounts of debt capital than those typically provided in Cleantech 1.0.

Cleantech 2.0: Requirements to Achieve Capital Efficiency

But, what distinguishes a technology among others in the eyes of lenders whose capital is required to scale these technologies? Most of these companies will not be able to scale because they won’t be able to attract a credit worthy customer, otherwise known as an offtaker, to be able to attract the capital necessary to achieve economies of scale required to achieve profitability. And, there are only so many creditworthy / investment grade customers and they are greatly outnumbered by the universe of startups.

In the absence of a creditworthy offtake partner, how else can a company distinguish itself in the eyes of a lender?

Because lenders and investors see numerous technology transaction opportunities within individual industry verticals, the ability to demonstrate the comparative advantage and merits relative to the next best competing technology can make or break a lender or investor’s interest to work with a particular financing opportunity. Therefore, technology developers must demonstrate that their technology is both comparably (i) lower in capital intensity (i.e. $ invested/capacity output) and (ii) that their operating costs are on the low side of the industry production cost curve.

This is particularly true for assets which produce commodities. As, all else equal, technologies which are on the low side of the industry production cost curve will be able to withstand product commodity price volatility relative to alternative technologies. Additionally, all else equal, technologies which are lower in capital intensity will have a dominant internal rate of return (IRR) relative to alternative technologies. Thus, technologies with lower capital intensities will have the ability to pay a loan back faster or have a superior cashflow and loan repayment profile.

Consider these factors as you scale or invest in a Cleantech 2.0 technology.


The Future Of Glass

2021 is a big year for Glass Dyenamics.

Our glass has officially passed 50,000 cycles under ASTM accelerated environmental durability conditions. Which means the success of our technology is unprecedented. And it’s all due to the concerted efforts of the talented visionaries we’re lucky enough to call our own.

Clearly, the future of glass is here. And, as the COP26 global climate conference has made clear, it’s incumbent on all of us to continuously improve the lives of those around us.

In our case, that means creating a fundamentally new and advanced user experience with built environments. It also means making it possible for consumers to write their own chapter in the clean energy story.

By doing so, our glass will find itself in more and more windows and doors – following a trajectory similar to that of electric vehicles.

However, the future of glass depends on technical advances that create better value – because better value leads to increased demand.

Fortunately, though, value is what our glass is all about. Not only does it eliminate the need for window shade treatments, it offers consumers the same value proposition as rooftop solar – at a fraction of the upfront cost.

All of which makes one thing perfectly clear: This is the future of glass.


0-90% Market Share:
The Energy Efficient Glass (Low-E) Case Study

One of The Greatest Energy Efficiency Success Stories

Introduction

Building energy efficiency investments are a well-established pathway for the United States and other countries to conserve resources and combat climate change. These investments also provide building occupants with value through utility bill savings and increased comfort. However, energy efficiency investment success stories have largely been lost in the limelight of the rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV).

On such example of a non-PV energy efficient investment success story is low emissivity (low-e) windows. This product’s market development is a case study in public private partnerships and venture capital success related to the advent and eventual mass adoption of breakthrough clean technologies.

Glass Dyenamics, with its next generation of energy efficient glass, is excited to be in position to repeat low-e’s growth from zero percent market share to mass adoption.

The Low-e Window Mass Adoption Success Story

The following is an excerpt from the American Energy Innovation Counsel ‘Low Emissivity Windows’, Jeffrey Rissman and Hallie Kennan, March 2013

Problem: Building Energy Use

Buildings account for 41% of total U.S. energy use, more than any other sector.1 This energy comes at a steep price. The 40 quads of energy consumed by buildings each year cost $418 billion, and three fourths of that energy comes from natural gas, coal, and petroleum.2 As a result, buildings’ energy consumption accounts for 39% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S.,3 as well as other air pollutants that have been linked to cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and premature death.4, 5, 6 Typical commercial buildings waste 30% of the energy they consume, mostly by heat and cooling loss through the building envelope (windows, doors, roof, etc.).7 Losses through windows alone are estimated to cost U.S. consumers roughly $40 billion each year.8

Efficiency upgrades that prevent this loss are among the most promising and cost-effective energy technology options now available. A National Academy of Sciences study, which analyzed the costs and benefits of a host of DOE-supported renewable energy and energy efficiency innovations, singled out building energy efficiency (and one fossil energy program) for praise. The study concluded that, “by an order of magnitude, the largest apparent benefits [of the technologies examined] were realized as avoided energy costs in the buildings sector in energy efficiency.”9

Problem: Rising Fuel Prices

The OPEC oil embargo of 1973 was the initial impetus for the United States government to develop energy efficiency technologies. The price of oil rose from $4.75 per barrel to $37.42/barrel over the course of the 1970s.20 At the same time, the price of coal nearly quadrupled, from $6.34 per short ton ($38 per short ton in current dollars) in 1970 to $23.75 per short ton ($75 per short ton in current dollars) in 1979.21

These price increases had a significant impact on the building sector because of buildings’ reliance on heating oil for furnaces and boilers and on coal for electricity. The resulting economic distress and concern over foreign nations’ ability to harm the U.S. by withholding energy supplies motivated the government to initiate R&D programs to increase energy efficiency in the building sector.

The federal government provided basic research and seed investments to catalyze low-e technology development in the absence of private sector efforts. The concept of low-emissivity coatings originated in the World War II era, but in the ensuing decades, no private firm had undertaken the research necessary to turn the concept into a commercial window product.22

Even in the 1970s, when the need for efficiency technologies became acute, industry was “too concerned with rising fuel costs and with responding to building codes limiting window areas to put much effort into a speculative new technology,” according to a report by Oak Ridge National Lab.23

Solution: Low-E Glass Technology Public Private Partnerships

In 1976, the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA; now the Department of Energy) launched a window research program at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL). The goal of the program was to understand the scientific mechanisms of heat transfer in windows and to identify technical opportunities for reducing those losses, ultimately paving the way for private firms to commercialize the technology and bring products to the marketplace.24

From 1976 to 1983, LBNL received $2 million ($5.5 million in current dollars) in funding from DOE “to support industry’s low-e R&D efforts with thin film testing, field testing of low-E prototypes, annual energy simulations of low-e, and initial development of the WINDOW computer tool”25 (discussed below). The lab awarded subcontracts to several private firms to develop prototype low-e coatings and thin film deposition processes. LBNL used its own staff and equipment for performance testing of low-e coatings and window prototypes.26

Around this time, a group of graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were seeking a research project and decided to pursue the development of low-emissivity glass technologies.27 The students formed the company Suntek Research Associates (later renamed Southwall Technologies), but they were unable to obtain private-sector investment because of the company’s small size and the perception that low-e technology was unproven and risky.28

They approached DOE and were granted $700,000 ($1.95 million in current dollars) in initial R&D funding29 on the condition that they work with a national lab. The company chose to partner with LBNL and relocated from Massachusetts to California.30

With the lab’s help, Southwall developed Heat Mirror transparent film, the first low-e window technology to become a commercial product.31 Released in 1981, the film was designed to be placed within the cavity of a multipane window.32 (At that time, technology to deposit a low-e coating directly onto glass had not been fully developed.) That year, the first major project using Southwall’s Heat Mirror technology, the City Hall for Spokane, Washington, demonstrated the feasibility and potential of low-e window technology.33 This helped the company raise more than $10 million ($23.8 million in current dollars) in venture capital,34 buy machinery, and begin manufacturing on a larger scale.35

Solution: Low-E Glass Technology Private Market Scaleup to Mass Adoption

Driven in part by the success of this startup, major window and glass manufacturers became more interested in low-e technology and accelerated their investment in low-e research, coating manufacturing, and window products.36 The first two such companies, Andersen Windows and Cardinal Glass, stated that “DOE-funded efforts in the late 1970s and early 1980s were important factors in the critical decisions that led them to make [the] major capital investments” necessary to begin producing low-e glass and windows.37 By the mid-1980s, industry investment in low-e manufacturing facilities had grown to $150 million ($320 million in current dollars), and “virtually every major window and glass company offered a low-e product.”38 Low-e windows rapidly increased in popularity, accounting for 20% of residential window sales by 1988.

Today low-e IGU’s account for over 90% of residential sales. The historical development of low-e windows shows the potential for innovative technologies to scale to mass adoption.


1 DOE Building Technologies Program (1). “Buildings Energy Data Book.” Chapter 1: Building Sector and Table 1.1.1. Mar 2012. http://buildingsdatabook.eren.doe.gov/ ChapterIntro1.aspx. Accessed 12/17/12.

2 DOE Building Technologies Program (1).

3 U.S. Green Building Council (1). “Buildings and Climate Change.” http://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/dgs/pio/facts/LA%20workshop/climate.pdf. Accessed 12/29/12.

4 Pope, C. Arden III; Burnett, Richard T.; Thun, Michael J.; Calle, Eugenia E.; Krewski, Daniel; Ito, Kazuhiko; Thurston, George D. “Lung Cancer, Cardiopulmonary Mortality, and Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Air Pollution.” Journal of the American Medical Association. 287(9):1132-41. 2002.

5 Laden, Francine; Schwartz, Joel; Speizer, Frank E.; and Dockery, Douglas W. “Reduction in Fine Particulate Air Pollution and Mortality: Extended Follow-up of the Harvard Six Cities Study.” American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 173:667-2006. http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/content/173/6/667.full.pdf. Accessed 12/28/12.

6 Industrial Economics Inc. “Expanded Expert Judgment Assessment of the Concentration-Response Relationship between PM2.5 Exposure and Mortality.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Sept 21, 2006. http://www.epa.gov/ttn/ecas/regdata/Uncertainty/pm_ee_report.pdf. Accessed 12/28/12.

7 EPA Office of Air and Radiation. “A Better Building. A Bottom Line. A Better World.” ENERGY STAR Program. May 2010. http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/publications/pubdocs/C+I_brochure.pdf. Accessed 12/17/12.

8 Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. “Seeing Windows Through.” 2013. http://eetd.lbl.gov/l2m2/windows.html. Accessed 12/19/12.

9 Board on Energy and Environmental Systems. “Energy Research at DOE: Was It worth It? Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy Research 1978 to 2000.” National Academies Press. http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10165. Accessed 12/17/12.

10 Efficient Windows Collaborative (1). “Window Technologies: Low-E Coatings.” University of Minnesota, 2012. http://www.efficientwindows.org/lowe.cfm/.

20 McMahon, Tim. “Oil Prices 1946-Present.” June 14, 2012. http://inflationdata.com/inflation/inflation_rate/historical_oil_prices_table.asp. Accessed 8/31/12.

21 Energy Information Administration. “Table 7.9 Crude Oil, Selected Years 1949 – 2010”. Annual Energy Review 2010. 2010. http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/pdf/sec7_21.pdf.

22 Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

23 Brown, Marilyn A.; Berry, Linda G.; and Goel, Rajeev K. “Commercializing Government-Sponsored Innovations: Twelve Successful Buildings Case Studies.” Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Jan 1989. http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/purl/6509985-OrvfyC/6509985.pdf. Accessed 12/20/12.

24 Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

25 Romm, Joseph J. “Testimony for the Hearing of the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives.” US energy outlook and implications for energy R&D. 104th Cong. Mar 14, 1996. p 513. http://ia700502.us.archive.org/16/items/usenergyoutlooki00unit/usenergyoutlooki00unit.pdf. Accessed 12/19/12.

26 Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

27 Meade, John. Telephone interview. August 7, 2012.

28 Romm, Joseph J. p 516.

29 Romm, Joseph J. p 513.

30 Southwall Technologies. “History.” 2012. http://www.southwall.com/southwall/Home/Company/History.html. Accessed 12/19/12.

31 Romm, Joseph J. p 516.

32 Southwall Technologies.

33 Meade, John.

34 Romm, Joseph J. p 513.

35 Selkowitz, Stephen.

36 Selkowitz, Stephen.

37 Romm, Joseph J. p 516.

38 Brown, Marilyn et al. p 30.