Scientists have developed a new material bound to substitute an air conditioner, without using energy or water. The revolutionary invention is meant to cool an area protecting it from the heat of the sun without needing the use of energy or other resources. The new study was published on February 9, and it is bound to prove the efficiency of this glass-polymer hybrid material.
The material was estimated to measure about 50 micrometers thick. That suggests that it is only slightly thicker than an aluminum foil. The manufacturing process for this material is quite cheap. Xiaobo Yin, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder claimed that the low-cost developing process could be revolutionizing when used for real-world applications of this cooling technology.
This product could be used to keep different object cold, including buildings. What is more, this thin material could help extend the life of solar panels. If we were to consider thermoelectric power plants, they need massive amounts of electricity and water to maintain their machinery cool. This newly developed product will help them save a lot of money and resources.
The material can cool down objects by dispersing the thermal energy of the sun, spreading it in the form of infrared radiation. During the field test, researchers were surprised to notice that the material has a cooling power almost equal to the electricity which was generated when using solar cells for a similar site. The material can cool objects both by day and by night, continuously blocking the heat.
Gang Tan, the co-author of the study and an associate professor at the University of Wyoming’s Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, argued that only 10 or 20 square meters of this material would be enough to cool down the house in summer. All you need to do is to cover the rooftop of the house with this glass-polymer hybrid material.
The product was developed using a three million dollar grant which was won by a research group of engineers. The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) offered this grant, being well-known for investing in high-impact energy technologies. The new study was recently published in the Science magazine. The material is easy to use, being lightweight, bound to fit curved surfaces and it is simple to be mass produced.
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