Passive cooling, like the one the shade of a tree provides is eternal. In a bid to understand how to turbo charge a passive cooling, researchers have been exploring a technique – known as sky cooling or radiative cooling – wherein sun-blocking nanomaterials block heat away from building rooftops. In fact, progress made to expand the use of this technology, however, it is not yet common as researchers struggle to maximize the cooling capabilities of materials.
Meanwhile, a new research carried out by engineers at the University of Buffalo has made significant progress in radiative cooling.
The details of the technique described and published in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science as follows:
- It reduced the inside temperature of a test system in an outdoor environment subject to direct sunlight by more than 12 degree Celsius.
- The technique reduced the temperature of a test box in a laboratory – with the intent to simulate night – by more than 14 degree Celsius.
- The technique simultaneously harnessed solar power that would be enough to heat water to about 60 degrees Celsius.
In fact, the system tested was only a square of 70 centimeters, it could be scaled up for use in building rooftops, with the objective to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels of communities for heating and cooling needs, said engineers. Furthermore, radiative cooling technique could also find use for communities that have limited access to electricity.
“The need for heating and cooling is immense in the daily life, especially cooling needs, stated the lead author of the study who is a professor of electrical engineering at the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.