Transparent insulation materials have been extensively used in building windows and solar collector covers. Glass and plastic sheets are long-established insulators while aerogel is a promising material due to its high light transmittance and low thermal conductivity. Optical properties of aerogels, glass, and plastic sheets are measured with a spectrophotometer. Solar transmittance and light transmittance are calculated from the measured optical properties in accordance with the standard spectral data. Normal-direct transmittances and normal-hemispherical transmittances of different materials are compared. Specific surface area and pore size distribution of aerogels are measured with the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller method. The correlation between the optical properties and nanoscale structure features of aerogels is investigated.

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