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  • thebardof_avoncalling thebardof_avoncalling Nov 3, 2013 3:33 PM Flag

    Boeing's own patent application for a self-powered photovoltaic dimmable window, filed 7/4/13


    The question is, does this in any way relate to Vision Systems' Energia windows, i.e. Boeing engineering designed it and VS and Sunpartners possibly put it together?

    Am I wrong in thinking this "embodiment" sound like SPD? Please, no cheerleading.

    In one embodiment, the window holds its opacity state when no electrical charges apply to the membrane. Typically the window increases its opacity when an electrical voltage is applied one polarity, and decreases it’s a pass it even when an electrical voltage is applied of the opposite polarity. In effect, the dimmable window may be thought of as a large capacitor use electrical charge may be buried. In one useful in body meant, implying one range of all to just drives the window towards greater transparency and applying another range of voltages drives the window towards greater opacity.

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    • Note that Boeing also has their own patents on control systems for EDWs and for the energy harvesting devices.
      The patent application takes the usual approach of being as inclusive as possible.
      It does show that Boeing has their own R&D that is quit independent of any RFI licensee.

      • 3 Replies to xavierducats
      • Actually trace the patents cited and you'll find EADS patent that cites Inspectech SPD windows.

        All roads lead to SPD.


        Sentiment: Strong Buy

      • Yeah , then what's wrong with them ? Why aren't. They using them ? Its going to be SPD all the way .

      • Babyducks,

        Boeing farmed out their original 787 window production to PPG, who farmed out the dimmable technology portion to GNTX.

        Boeing OEM Vaupell teamed with Vision Systems to create the SPD Noctis EDW, one of the options (the other being PDLC Eclipse) available for their photovoltaic-powered Energia unit.

        PPG are free, of course, to get licenses from RFI and Sunpartners and create a photovoltaic SPD window meeting the Boeing patent's specifications.They are also free to pair photovoltaics with the GNTX technology. I have no knowledge either way concerning their intentions.

        What I know to a certainty is that Boeing's R&D department doesn't make windows.They just come up with ideas about what they'd like and let someone else figure out how make it happen. So far as I know, Energia remains the only EDW meeting the specifications of this particular patent.

        Quack, quack.

    • The way it is "worded" , sounds like it could be either SPD or EC. In EC, either state (clear or dark) is maintained without any electrical voltage and can be changed using an electrical voltage.

      • 3 Replies to threespeech
      • No matter how you look at this , they must use SPD because of the very quick switching speed . That's what everyone wants .

      • It is irrelevant since the patent is dealing with EDWs in general. Same with the BAE IntelliCabin. The interactive prototype works like the 787 windows with 4 shades and clear in the off state. But the development of these items cannot be shown with SPD without the involvement of a licensee. All the systems that are designed to work with dimmable windows are capable of adapting to either type.

        The important point is that EDW is the future of aircraft windows. What aircraft windows will be chosen are up to the customer, either the OEM or the airlines. Right now there are several choices of SPD windows, with or without shades. Different combinations of technologies. The latest shows have seen the CEO of ATG demonstrating Panacea, which uses the ATG powershade system with the SPD window. You have Vision Systems showing Energia which combines Sunpartners photovoltaic film with SPD to provide a self-powered window.

        Where are the equivalent innovative EC products. Gentex and PPG have not introduced anything but the Alteos product and the product shown at the most recent show was identical to the one at the 2009 show.

        Meanwhile the rest of the companies servicing the industry are developing products like IntelliCabin by BAE or the equivalent one by Panasonic that was shown WITH the Vision Systems SPD-Smartglass Noctis window on the Bombardier.

        These SPD products weren't developed overnight. It has been over a two-year collaboration between ATG and Inspectech. Vision Systems became a licensee in 2010 and in 2012 upgraded their facility in France to upgrade their factory and establish a dedicated production facility for their SPD products. Then they announced an second SPD-dedicated factory in the US.

        There is no other EDW available except Alteos, that isn't made with SPD and Alteos has only announced a darker Alteos window and that was in 2010. Since it's inception it's been on one Boeing model and one Hawker model.



        Sentiment: Strong Buy

      • Threespeech,

        While it could be EC, the timing of the application has me leaning toward SPD simply because Boeing filed it less than a month after ANA announced their dissatisfaction with the 787's EC windows. Adding photovoltaics to the EC technology isn't going to solve the problem.

        Just a month later, Sunpartners and Vision Systems teamed up to build a photovoltaically powered window using SPD, with capacitive sensors for adjusting the transparency level instead of push buttons. That circumvents the problems ANA had with people repeatedly hitting the buttons to speed the EC dimming process. And it can be installed without any changes to the plane's electrical systems.

        So Boeing now has the option of a photovoltaic self-dimming SPD window from VS. Will PPG follow suit?

    • From the PPG website, it appears that Boeing's original contract for the 787 PPG/GNTX windows was for $50 million over five years, no number of windows specified.

    • Here is the link if someone wants to read it online:


      It certainly sounds like SPD
      "The dimmable window 69 may be constructed using any of various known technologies, including those using an electrochromatic membrane which changes opacity in response to an applied electric charge. The electric charge, and thus the opacity of the window 69, may be varied by applying a voltage of positive or negative polarity across the membrane. In one embodiment, the window 69 holds its opacity state when no electric charge is applied to the membrane. Typically, the window 69 increases its opacity when an electrical voltage is applied of one polarity, and decreases its opacity when an electrical voltage is applied of the opposite polarity. In effect, the dimmable window 69 may be thought of as a large capacitor whose electric charge may be varied. In one useful embodiment, applying one range of voltages drives die window 69 towards greater transparency, and applying another range of voltages drives the window 69 towards greater opacity."

      Sentiment: Strong Buy

    • Bard,

      Great find!

      I looked over that passage from the patent and see that they just call it electrochromatic, but the line about it keeping the "opacity state", read remaining dark, when no electricity is applied definitely points to SPD.

      The patent application's timing and Sunpartner's announcement of a partnership with Vision Systems to develop an photovoltaically powered aircraft window just a month later sure looks promising as well. If it is SPD, I wonder what it means for the other OEMs offering SPD aircraft windows as far as Boeing's business is concerned.

      Sentiment: Strong Buy

      • 1 Reply to biddybadoo
      • Thanks, Biddy.

        I just reread my OP and apologize for the garbled section in the middle. I used speech recognition software because I couldn't copy it from the patent search website and didn't catch the mistakes.

        I'm confident that it is what it appears to be, but like you, wonder what it means for other OEMs. Will Boeing want photovoltaics on all their EDWs, and how many EDWs will they require?

        Things are about to get VERY interesting!

    • Look at the cited W2013013662A patent Filed by EADS JANUARY 2013

      This recent patent cited BY THE EXAMINER was U20090241424 "Modular Window for an aircraft including An SPD lens and An Opaque Shade"

      Non Patent Citations:


      Sentiment: Strong Buy

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