To understand the potential impacts on both thermal performance and condensation risks of using low-e coatings in buildings, especially in the single-pane sector, in this work, parametric numerical analysis in winter is conducted. Three building glazing models, including the single-pane without low-e coatings (SNL), single-pane with exterior low-e coatings (SEL), and single-pane with interior low-e coatings (SIL), are selected and simulated through COMSOL over a range of outdoor temperature and indoor humidity. The temperature of the interior surface of windows, heat flux through windows, winter U-factor of center-of-glass will be obtained and compared. Additionally, a numerical code is developed in R to compute and plot the condensation temperatures of these three models upon the given indoor humidity levels and simulated surface temperatures. The comprehensive analysis of condensation risks on the glazing inner surface of the three models will be conducted.
This parametric simulation effort indicates an interesting feature for a single-pane window: while the SIL gives a substantially lower U than the SNL, it also corresponds to an increased condensation risk under certain limits of external temperature and indoor humidity levels. Upon the resultant condensation temperatures and thermal performance analysis, we can conclude the parameters of the windowpane property, coating emissivity and placement, local climate, and building interior thermal settings must be taken into account collectively when it comes to adding low-e coatings to single-pane windows.