Questions for Potential Customers

  • VIG or HIG? - Do we want to incorporate the simple form of a V-Glass vacuum insulating glass (VIG), which is thinner (1/4") than traditional IG units, or do we want to incur the extra thickness, weight, and cost of adding a third pane to make a Hyrbid VIG (HIG), with gap filled with air or argon? The latter will result in a higher Center-of-Glass R-value, and will retain a higher whole window R-value if the VIG vacuum were to degrade prematurely.

  • Whole-Window R-Value - Do we want to use more expensive highly-insulating frame materials, like foam-filled fiberglass, to achieve a Whole-Window R-Value approaching R-10, or less expensive, less insulating materials, like wood or vinyl, and accept a lower R-Value? What will the resulting whole window R-Value be (thermal modeling)? Will my outside testing vendors have the equipment to accurately measure such high whole-window R-Values? What standards will apply, and are they being developed?

  • Warm Edge - If we choose a HIG, do we want to use a warm edge spacer? If we choose a VIG, do we want to use a traditional pocket depth (typically 1/2" deep), or embed the glazing edge more deeply into the frame to produce a higher whole window R-Value? What is the risk of inside edge condensation in cold weather, and can we control that with our frame design? 

  • Exterior Condensation - Highly-insulating windows, such as triple panes, VIGs and HIGs, will, by their nature, have lower outside pane temperatures, and will likely be prone to dewpoint condensation on the outside pane surface 1 on mornings of higher humidity after a cold night. How will customers react to that? How will we educate our sales personnel?

  • Testing - What kinds of testing will we want to do to explore our warranty eposure (e.g., hotbox tests for whole-window R-Value, real-time and accelerated weathering tests), and how long will this testing take? When will unwarranted prototypes be available for testing?

  • Sizes and Shapes - What range of sizes will we require (recognizing that size affects whole window R-value)? Can we live with rectangular VIGs or will be eventually need other shapes (e.g., oval top, octagon)?

  • Tempering - What percentage of our glazing will be tempered glass (higher cost) vs. annealed (cheaper)?

  • Cost - How will incorporating VIG affect our total product manufacturing cost?

  • Margin - Will VIG enlarge our margin (that is, can we command a higher price)?

  • Volume - How large will our market be? Will it change over time? Is there a retrofit component in our market? When will sufficient volume become available to ODL, considering that it will take time to cookie-cutter the first VIG production line, and there may be other players vying for a limited amount of production volume in the early days? How will the location of early V-Glass VIG lines affect shipping costs?

  • Equipment and Methods - Will any special equipment be required? Will any methods for process or handling need to be modified?

You will think of many others, as you identify and assess your technical and business risks. You will eventually need to develop a formal plan and schedule to determine whether your timing coincides with ours, and perhaps coordinate that plan with V-Glass.

©2014-2020 by Peter Petit | Founder, President & CTO 


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