A group of researchers from the University of Colorado has developed a metamaterial film that has been engineered to efficiently radiate heat at any given time of the day. It is a translucent type of film wherein the material can reportedly cool a house with zero energy.
The study, which was published in the journal Science, was conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado’s departments of mechanical engineering, materials science and engineering, and aerospace engineering sciences and a group from the University of Wyoming.
The team developed a translucent material that features tiny silicon dioxide spheres that help it release any infrared radiation, and denies the absorption of any solar radiation at the same time. To be able to do this, the translucent film lets any solar radiation pass right through it, which allows the team to put a reflective material on one side of the material to relay the radiation away.
Source: University of Colorado
“We embedded resonant polar dielectric microspheres randomly in a polymeric matrix, resulting in a metamaterial that is fully transparent to the solar spectrum while having an infrared emissivity greater than 0.93 across the atmospheric window,” the research stated. “When backed with silver coating, the metamaterial shows a noon-time radiative cooling power of 93 W/m2 under direct sunshine. More critically, we demonstrated high-throughput, economical roll-to-roll manufacturing of the metamaterial, vital for promoting radiative cooling as a viable energy technology.”
If this innovation is installed in a home, the reflective material would push away the heat while absorbing cooler air. Hence, zero energy needed.
This is still a new study in the industry, and while it is published, it may still need a lot of research to develop and bring out into the market. It remains a promising innovation that we all hope could improve the current AC technology we have today. So, for now, we’ll still have to wait and see.