EELICON – Smart light control technology

Project / 1.1.2014

© K. Selsam-Geißler, Fraunhofer ISC

Elektrochrome Beschichtung auf Rolle-zu-Rolle-Anlage

Thirteen international partners are collaborating on the EU-funded project EELICON – launched in January 2014 – to realize an innovative switchable light transmittance technology. The core aspects of this development are mechanically flexible and light-weight electrochromic (EC) devices based on a conductive polymer nanocomposite with a unique property profile far beyond the current state-of-the art. Existing windows can be retrofitted with the electrically dimmable plastic film. The underlying coating technology is registered under the trade mark ISCoating®.

EELICON provides patented electrochromic polymers and processes, pre- and post-treatments and customized roll-to-roll processing (ISCoating®). Currently, the partners aim at bringing forward the development from research to innovation and from pilot to production scale by removing equipment limitations, automating processes, and validating a high-throughput prototype production process for a cost-effective, high-performance electrochromic film technology.

By equipping architectural glazing, vehicle sunroofs, and appliance doors with EC films considerable amounts of energy can be saved. By dimming sunlight and reducing heat gain the technology contributes to lowering the energy consumption of air conditioning, especially in summer and in hot climates, while maintaining the view through the window. In winter the bright state will maximize heat gain in the interior. The user comfort is enhanced by reducing glare, and the ability to individually control lighting conditions, e.g. at workplaces or passenger seats. Appliances such as stoves consume less energy when an EC film is introduced in the door. In addition, life cycle assessment results show that EC films based on ISCoating® technology can be produced with less primary energy than a standard EC window.

Properties of EC-films

  • Mechanical flexibility
  • High safety and cycling stability
  • Low weight
  • Low switching voltage
  • High electrochromic contrast
  • Chemically variable and adaptable by »Molecular Design«

Future Steps focus on the industrial development and the upscaling from pilot to production scale. To become commercialized and achieve the price target a full performance evaluation. with potential end-users, producers, and customers is currently in progress.

Advantages of EELICON EC-film

  • High bright state transmittance: 60-65%
  • Low dark state transmittance: 5-10%
  • Fast response time: 15-30 seconds
  • Long durability: >100,000 cycles under lab conditions
  • Large thermal stability:
    • operates at -25 °C to +60 °C
    • survives at -50 °C to +100 °C