While there have existed some conventional ways, like white-painted roofs, which helps to keep houses cool by reflecting sunlight, a group of Stanford researchers have created a cooling roof-panel, that not only reflects light but also emits the heat from the building into outer space. And the best part is, it doesn’t require electricity!
A professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University, Shanhui Fan, along with two graduate students, Aswath Raman and Eden Rephaeli, are the researchers striving to possibly make the use of air conditioners obsolete.
So what exactly the panel does to make this a reality? Well, firstly it’ll act as highly-effective mirror to reflect the sunlight, to make sure that the device doesn’t gets heated up. As for the second step, the device will emit thermal radiation into freezing vacuum of outer space, without getting trapped in the atmosphere.
You might be wondering how’s it possible for the radiation to pass freely through the Earth’s atmosphere, which is mainly the basis for Green House Effect? According to the researchers, their panel would use specific nano-structured photonic materials, which causes the radiation to be emitted at a wavelength within the atmospheric transparency window due to which those radiations don’t get trapped.
This radiation emission would result in a net cooling power of over 100 watts per square meter, which according to the researcher means that “a typical one-story, single-family house with just ten percent of its roof covered by radiative cooling panels could offset 35 percent its entire air conditioning needs during the hottest hours of the summer”.
The three-member team is currently working on a prototype and hopes it to roll out within few months, to further test their research. There’s no doubt that this device would be more efficient than using solar panels to run air conditioners and will most probably be used in many other practical scenarios. Are you looking forward to use such device to keep your home cool, even if it costs you an arm and a leg?