Both Clear Float Glass and Aluminium are relatively poor insulators of heat. In buildings, they equate to a large portion of the energy required to maintain optimal environmental conditions. Designing an Aluminium Glazed System to overcome all four heat transfer conditions is paramount to enhancing the saving of energy which can be achieved all year around.
Aluminium: Aluminium being non-transparent is affected by radiant energy by absorbing it and converting it into both conductive and convectional heat. Aluminium is one of the best heat conductors and because of these properties it is used as a heat sink in computer thermal applications. Controlling the conductive and convection properties is important when designing thermally efficient systems.
Glass: Glass being transparent is not greatly affected by radiant heat as it allows heat in the form of infrared radiation to pass directly through it, heating a room directly. It is also a poor insulator from both conductive and convection properties. By changing the design and configurations of these materials and adding insulating weather seals, it is possible to substantially modify and convert these materials into an effective energy efficient system. On their own they remain inefficient, but in a system designed to isolate and modify the energy flows, they become highly energy efficient fenestration systems.
Hint: Understanding Insulation: If you touch a piece of glass or aluminium that is colder than your body temperature, it will feel cold, because it will conduct away your body heat; but touch a piece of plastic, even if the plastic is at the same temperature as the glass, or aluminium and it would feel warmer because it is a good insulator of heat.
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