Good Thinking

Special window increases air flow while blocking outdoor noise

Special window increases air f...
Dr. Lee Siew Eang (left) and Dr. Eddie Lau Siu-Kit with the
Dr. Lee Siew Eang (left) and Dr. Eddie Lau Siu-Kit with the AFVW – which can still be opened like a regular window, if desired
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An explainer diagram of the AFVW system
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An explainer diagram of the AFVW system
Dr. Lee Siew Eang (left) and Dr. Eddie Lau Siu-Kit with the
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Dr. Lee Siew Eang (left) and Dr. Eddie Lau Siu-Kit with the AFVW – which can still be opened like a regular window, if desired
Lead researcher Dr. Eddie Lau Siu-Kit installing the mechanical ventilation system for the AFVW
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Lead researcher Dr. Eddie Lau Siu-Kit installing the mechanical ventilation system for the AFVW
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The act of opening a window may help ventilate a room, but it also lets in a lot of outdoor noise such as the honking and revving of traffic. A new window could help, as it's claimed to bring in more fresh air than a conventional open window, while still keeping out unwanted sounds.

Developed by scientists at the National University of Singapore, the Acoustic Friendly Ventilation Window (AFVW) measures 1.8 m heigh by 0.88 m wide by 0.15 m thick (5.9 by 2.9 by 0.5 ft). It's also double-glazed – this means it's made up of two 0.6 cm-thick (0.2 inch) panes of glass, with an 8.5-cm (3.3-in) air gap between them.

There are two horizontal louvered vents built into the assembly, one above the actual glass window itself, and one below it. The bottom vent is open to the outdoors, while the top vent opens into the room. An electric ventilation unit (basically a cylindrical fan) in the lower vent draws fresh air in from outside, pushing it up through the air gap between the panes, and out of the top vent into the building.

Along its way through the window, the air passes through a dust filter that removes pollutants. Additionally, sound-absorbing material located along either side of the air gap limits the amount of noise that makes its way in from outside. As a result, the setup is claimed to provide four times better ventilation than a conventional open window of a similar size, while also providing a fourfold reduction in the perception of outdoor ambient noise.

An explainer diagram of the AFVW system
An explainer diagram of the AFVW system

There's no word on the ventilation unit's power consumption, although it would be lower than that of an air conditioner, and likely similar to that of a standalone fan within the room.

The AFVW is currently being assessed at the university's Smart Green Home testbed facility, where it was first installed in December of 2019. Details regarding its possible commercialization have yet to be released.

Source: National University of Singapore

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5 comments
5 comments
Bob Flint
The outer glass could possibly power the fan, with solar collective glass, although within the gap in between the windows will likely be much hotter due to solar radiation initially during start up. Perhaps once enough flow through cooler outside air would run through the " Window muffler" and then allow fresh cooler air into the inside while keeping noise out.

I have been doing a similar idea just with cross ventilation on 3' x 6' horizontal sliders for years, no fan required. Added bonus can be kept open during a sudden rain event without any water penetration.
Derek cranage
why not just fit into the room a ready made and available in-out heat recovery fan no need to open a window, no loss of heat and fresh air all the time
buzzclick
Great, but after a year of use it will be apparent that the windows will need to be washed, which won't be easy.
PAV
Buzzclick... Exactly!
ljaques
The comment about the power "less than an air conditioner" is laughable. 20W vs 450W-1.15kW
I second the solar glass option for power. Otherwise, that little window would cost $1,500, installed.