From the University of Maryland comes a new method for lowering indoor heat in buildings, without using electricity, and ensuring the well-being of occupants. How? Thanks to a new type of glass, called cooling glass.
The new technology makes it possible to decrease the temperature of the underlying material by 3.5 degrees Celsius, thanks to a special microporous glass coating.
The properties of cooling glass
The coating is composed of a microporous silicon dioxide structure embedded with aluminum oxide nanoparticles. This type of cooling glass operates in two ways:
- it reflects up to 99% of solar radiation, a property that prevents buildings from overheating.
- It emits heat into space in the form of long-wave infrared radiation through a phenomenon known as “radiative cooling.” This phenomenon exploits space, where the temperature is generally around -270 degrees Celsius or only a few degrees above absolute zero, as a heat sink.
The new design of the cooling glass thus allows large amounts of heat to be expelled into space, following a process similar to the one that allows the Earth to cool itself, especially on clear evenings.
A green opportunity for the building industry
Cooling glass represents a revolutionary technology for the construction industry. Enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings is indeed an indispensable principle for dictating a concrete breakthrough in the industry.
The new coating developed by the University of Maryland is presented as environmentally stable, i.e., capable of tolerating changes in atmospheric, chemical and physical conditions while retaining its properties and performance over time. The cooling glass is also able to withstand temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Celsius and environmental agents such as water, ultraviolet radiation, dirt and flames.
In addition, cooling glass is presented as a versatile and scalable coating that can be applied to multiple surfaces, such as tiles, bricks, and metals.
How is such a material obtained? Through the use of finely ground glass particles (whose size is designed to maximize infrared heat emission) that are used as a binder.
The solution proposed by University of Maryland researchers may thus mark a decisive shift in the fight against energy consumption and carbon emissions, resulting in an increasingly green industry prepared for the massive challenges associated with climate change.
Sources: today.umd.edu, dwmmag.com
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