This often-misunderstood issue deserves its own page. Optics5 is a freely available program developed by LBNL; other programs exist with some of the same functionality. O5 can use optical data for glazing components to calculate the properties of permutations of that original glazing. This can save a lot of measurement and assist with prototyping. The question that has often been asked: "If the data in the IGDB is accurate and the algorithms of Optics5 are correct then why can we not use it to calculate the properties of new glazing materials and submit them to the IGDB just like measured data?" The response is "what do you mean when you say "accurate" data"?
O5, however, requires something very different. From radiometric data (R and T), O5 extracts more fundamental optical properties and then puts them back together in new configurations. This sometimes requires much higher accuracy on the component data. For failsafe operation the component data might typically need to be accurate to 0.1% or even better but only in some parts of the spectrum. A typical trouble spot is the UV where all components have near zero transmission. Our current ILC does not test submitting laboratories to this standard of performance.
Infrequent (quarterly) releases: There are six IGDB releases per year. Usually this is an acceptable interval. When there is a problem with data submission however even for a standard submission this can delay the release of data for another 2 months which is usually unacceptable to the submitter. At present there is no mechanism for intermediate or accelerated review. Perhaps a fee would be necessary for special services. An option that has always existed is to simply submit all measured data. Unfortunately NFRC now has at least one procedure for Applied Films that requires the uses of O5
Lack of access to the user database: Another practical issue is that to test the results of an O5 calculation, the component data must be in the official IGDB first. There is no option for entering component data into the User Database for testing prior to submission. Obviously this will cause disappointment if the data does not work in O5 and it does not give the submitter a chance to recover from the problem for at least 2 months.
Embedded Laminates: This is an issue within an issue. The ability to modify laminates with embedded coatings is the most requested feature for Optics5. It is often assumed that Optics5 does not contain this feature, but the fact is that our IGDB "Checker" tool does not have the ability to make the proper links between files automatically. There are some existing embedded laminates in the IGDB becuase they were added manually which is a time consuming process. Modifications to the Checker rather than Optics5 would be needed to make this a standard process.