Zytronic has recently unveiled an innovative method of delivering power through glass invisibly. Called ElectroglaZ™, this patent-pending technology opens up new opportunities for low power devices and applications without using wires.
“ElectroglaZ is completely transparent and can be used to ‘magically’ power a near limitless variety of low power, electronic and electrotechnical devices embedded within a glass panel,” says Ian Crosby, Sales & Marketing Director, Zytronic. “Potential applications include LED lit display cases and shelving units for museums, art galleries and high-end retail stores.”
ElectroglaZ can also deliver low power, (sub 50V / 3A), to USB sockets, induction charging pads, motors, fans, security cameras and sensors, air monitoring units in HVAC systems, and small displays. Furthermore, industrial designers may also combine it with Zytronic’s patented multitouch projected capacitive technology (MPCT™) to add multi-user touch interactivity and tangible object recognition in ‘smart’ tables and other design-led furniture. To bring a third dimension to touch, Zytronic’s ZyBrid® hover contactless sensing technology may be another option, which detects user interactions up to 30mm away from the surface of the glass.
Zytronic’s ElectroglaZ technology is a bespoke lamination of 2 or more conductive yet completely transparent glass panels. This arrangement allows the transfer of power across the inner conductive coatings within the insulated surfaces of the laminate. To tap into the power, small apertures, typically 30 to 100mm, are machined into the laminated glass where the customer’s connection and electrical device or assembly fits and connects to the positive and negatively charged inner coatings. A 1mm wide printed conductive busbar around the perimeter of the glass is applied to supply the external power into the laminate.
The design options available are almost limitless. Initially, Zytronic will be offering ElectroglaZ panels in any size up to 1m x1.8m. The maximum number of mounting holes machined into the glass depends upon the size of both the panel and apertures themselves. However, as a design guide, there should be a minimum of 2x the aperture diameter between each hole, and also from the glass edges.
“We will closely consult with each customer depending upon their individual project requirements and product design and provide guidelines and recommendations on attaching electrical connections to the busbar and power delivery apertures,” says Dr Andrew Morrison, Technical Director, Zytronic. “The industrial design engineer would then take the final system assembly through any applicable electrical safety tests and certification as per usual.”
As all of Zytronic’s manufacturing processes are in-house, samples and prototypes of ElectroglaZ can be fabricated within a few days or weeks, supporting customers increasingly rapid product development timescales.