Extremely Thin Coating Could Keep Buildings Cool During Summer
Henry Reeve / 3 years ago
How do you keep buildings cool? Right now, there’s not much you can do apart from crank the air conditioning and close the blinds – but thanks to some researchers from Stanford University, we could see a new solution cool things down considerably.
The researchers are currently working on a new solution that could keep the inside of buildings much cooler, with a new super-thin coating that reflects up to 97% of sunlight, while at the same time radiating head from inside of the building. It’s win-win. A technique that has researchers calling it photonic radiative cooling. The material they have created is made from 8 layers and is just 1.8 micros thick (this is thinner than the thinnest sheet of aluminum foil). It is made from 7 layers of silicon dioxide and hafnium oxide, on top of a thin layer of silver.
It’s not perfect yet, as there’s the problem of getting it to transfer heat from the inside of the building, to its exterior coating. Once it is there, the material can expel it, but getting the heat tunnelled to the new material is the big hurdle right now. The second issue, is scaling. The researchers’ previous prototype is the size of a regular pizza, so it’s nowhere near as big as it needs to be to be used in a real-world scenario, especially being painted up and down an entire skyscraper. At least we know it’s coming, as this is something that could change the face, literally, of buildings in the future.