Cool­ing with­out power

FrontLine - - THE ENVIRONMENT -

RE­SEARCHERS at the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (MIT) have de­vised a new way of pro­vid­ing cool­ing us­ing in­ex­pen­sive ma­te­ri­als and no fos­sil fuel-based power. The pas­sive sys­tem is es­sen­tially a high-tech ver­sion of an um­brella and can be used to sup­ple­ment other cool­ing sys­tems to pre­serve food and med­i­ca­tions in hot, off-grid lo­ca­tions. The sys­tem al­lows emis­sion of heat at mid-in­frared range of light that passes through the at­mos­phere and ra­di­ates into the cold of outer space, un­hin­dered by gases that act like a green­house.

The new sys­tem is de­scribed in a re­cent is­sue of“na­ture Com­mu­ni­ca­tions” by a team led by Bikram Bha­tia. In the­ory, it could pro­vide cool­ing of as much as 20°C be­low the am­bi­ent tem­per­a­ture in a lo­ca­tion such as Bos­ton (-23 °C). So far, in the ini­tial proof-of-con­cept test­ing,

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