Engineers at the University of Colorado have developed a thin, artificially structured ‘metamaterial’ that can cool objects without water or an external energy source. The glass-polymer hybrid material works to lower the temperature of the surface beneath it through passive radiative cooling, meaning it vents the object’s heat through thermal radiation while rejecting incoming solar energy. The film is only 50 micrometers thick, just slightly thicker than aluminum foil. Researchers say it can be easily and economically manufactured by the roll for largescale residential and commercial applications, including cooling buildings and power plants, and being applied directly as a coating for solar panels. The researchers plan to create a 200 m2 (2,153 ft2) ‘cooling farm’ prototype in Boulder, Colorado, USA later this year. The research is described in the journal Science.
(Source: The HVAC&R Industry, February 16, 2017)