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I need a clear material that will allow sun in but won't insulate heat. Sun sun rays get in but doesn't trap heat. Any ideas?

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  • $\begingroup$ glass? we put in triple glazing specifically to allow the heat energy through. $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Apr 25 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike I can't tell from the question, but that might be the opposite of OP's request. The suns rays get in, but the insulation of the glass will trap some of that heat, even more if it's coated. It almost sounds to me like they're looking for something transparent that doesn't have good insulating properties, so multiple pane glass might not be what they are thinking. Kaitlin, can you clarify if I'm understanding the question correctly? $\endgroup$ – JMac Apr 25 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ @JMac That was the point of the triple glazing we used - allows the heat in but restricts the heat going back out. $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Apr 25 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike I'm not sure if they want to restrict the heat going back out. It sounds to me like they might just want a material that is transparent and conductive. OP said "Sun sun rays get in but doesn't trap heat". They may have worded it wrong; but to me it suggests that a typical efficient window is the opposite of what they need. $\endgroup$ – JMac Apr 25 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ @JMac so that efficient window I'm talking about is highly efficient in one direction and very poor in the other. Oriented correctly that may be what the OP is looking for. But I defer to your opinion. $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Apr 25 at 14:12
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What you seem to be asking for is a transparent material that is a good thermal conductor. As pointed out by others here, ordinary glass conducts heat (but not as well as a metal). It isn't possible in practice to make a transparent material that conducts really well because the properties that make for good thermal conductivity (delocalized valence electrons) also make the material a poor transmitter of light.

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The reason most of the energy of light gets trapped in an enclosed space is not the glass or the transparent material. Glass can let radiant heat filter out as it does let it in.

And also there are glasses or films to cover the glasses, designed to absorb ultraviolet part of the spectrum of sun light and they help reducing the pass through of some of the heat.

Problem is the sun rays passing though heat up the objects such as floors, furniture, and air. These objects are opaque and do not reflect most of the light back as radiation, only a small part of it as infrared which glass will let pass. They transmit the heat by convection and conduction and heating up the air and walls and everything (greenhouse effect).

The smart way of controlling the heat infiltered by the glass is to install the window where they face a side of the building which is not exposed to direct sun light, such as north side.

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The question is far too vague. But based on what it actually says, the best clear material that I know of that meets all the requirements is not only readily available, it's trivial to install.

That material is called "air". Simply cut a hole of appropriate size in whatever it is you want the sunlight to pass through. The sunlight will enter unobstructed, and heat will not be trapped.

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