Airbus will offer Gentex’s latest electrochromic windows on its aircraft. The electronically dimmable windows (EDWs) can be selectively darkened by passengers as desired while still enabling them to view the scenery outside. The EDWs eliminate the need for traditional window shades. They incorporate a heat control solution to block infra-red energy from entering the cabin, intended to lessen dependence on air-conditioning.
Gentex says its EDWs feature high-speed transition between clear and dark states and a new ultra-dark low-end transmission. Compared with previous designs, the latest EDWs darken twice as fast and become 100 times darker, effectively eliminating more than 99.999% of visible light.
To make installation and maintenance easier, the Airbus EDWs were designed as single line-replaceable units. They also feature a scratch-resistant dust cover. “We worked together with Airbus to integrate the latest dimmable windows technology while further enhancing it with an additional specialty coating,” said Steve Downing, president and CEO at Gentex. “The windows benefit aircraft operators and passengers alike, which ultimately enhances the user experience for everyone on board.”
EDWs use a proprietary electrochromic gel encapsulated between two thin glass panels that darkens or lightens in response to electricity. A low-voltage electric current is passed through conductive coatings and across the glass panels to induce an electrochemical reaction in the gel that causes it to darken. Removing the voltage allows the gel to return to its natural, transparent state.