Cools Roofs & Homes With Zero Energy
Sciencemag.org Illustration of the cooling material. Glass spheres in a plastic film strongly emit infrared light, cooling objects below.

Scientists have discovered a wonder material to cool your home, office, shopping complexes, malls etc, in fact, anything and everything that too without the use of the power sucking air conditioner. This glass polymer hybrid which is just 50 micrometers thick and can be applied to anything has been produced by the scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder according to a research published in the journal Science.

This metafilm, when applied to any surface, cools the object by reflecting nearly all incoming solar energy back into the atmosphere and at the same time helps the material shed heat by way of infrared thermal radiation.

NASA
Historical temperatures from paleoclimate data (green line) compared to historical temperatures measured by modern instruments (blue line)

It promises to be a great material to fight global warming that has led to the Earth’s temperature increasing 0.7 degree Celsius in the last hundred years. Rapid urbanization has not only increased this rate of warming but has also resulted in the formation of urban heat islands where typically the temperature is considerably more than its surroundings, leading to a spike in the demand for electricity, especially during the evenings. Scientists have been working on ways to cool our infrastructure in a way that does not consume any energy.

Urban heat island effect
Wikipedia-Urban heat island

This glass polymer hybrid that has glass microspheres embedded into it along with thin silver coating so as to obtain the most spectral reflectance can be applied on rooftops so that they reflect more sunlight into the atmosphere thereby having a cooling effect on the whole building and subsequently reducing the energy demand.

The hybrid material works on the principle of passive radiative cooling. This is the process by which materials naturally shed heat without using any energy in the form of infrared radiation.

Such a cooling effect is seen more in a warmer climate than in cooler climate.
Solar panels usually over heat in direct sunlight and this overheating can reduce their ability to produce electricity. Applying this material on solar panels cools them thus increasing their efficiency and life span.

In all, it is a wonder material that works 24 by 7 and does not require any electricity or water for producing the cooling effect.

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