A plas­tic film that might re­place your air con­di­tioner

Chemical Industry Digest - - Products & Processes -

For hun­dred years we’ve been us­ing these me­chan­i­cal sys­tems called air con­di­tion­ers to re­move heat and hu­mid­ity from build­ings. It was one of many rev­o­lu­tion­ary tech­nolo­gies to come out of the twen­ti­eth cen­tury. Be­cause of air con­di­tion­ing, hot and hu­mid places have far higher pop­u­la­tions than they would have oth­er­wise.

To sup­press the need for tem­per­a­ture mod­u­lat­ing util­i­ties, which are not only harm­ful to the en­vi­ron­ment but also con­sume a lot of en­ergy, re­searchers have de­vel­oped a ma­te­rial, which could be used by ar­chi­tects and con­trac­tors to in­su­late build­ing, which radiates heat away at night and also dur­ing day. And it does so with an im­pres­sive cool­ing ca­pac­ity.

The film and mi­cro­spheres, to­gether called a ‘ meta­ma­te­rial’, make up one part. It doesn’t ab­sorb so­lar ra­di­a­tion, in­stead re­flects the sun­light back out pre­vent­ing what­ever is be­hind the film from heat­ing up.

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