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April 26, 2019

New coating helps keep buildings cool.

As global warming continues researches at Columbia University have developed a solution to cool buildings without harming the environment and using more electricity with air conditioning.  Traditionally white paint has been used but that reflects heat back into the atmosphere and only reduces the heat by 85% while absorbing the rest of the heat. This new product is a polymer and water liquid that is painted on any surface.   When it dries it creates a foam or material similar to air gaps in flakes of snow. This eco friendly concept is known as passive daytime reflective cooling or PDRC. This coating can reduce temperatures as much as 6 percent in the Arizona desert and reflecting 96-99 percent of total sunlight.

This is a simple economic way to recycle discarded polymers.  Scientist are hoping to manufacture large rolls of this material for use it all around the world.  It could be especially helpful in economically challenged areas that do not have air conditioning. In resource rich areas they are hoping to reduce air conditioning and they are also experimenting with colored material to make it more appealing to a wider audience as not everyone wants a white roof. Paint companies have been trying to develop cool colors for decades.  

Another very important area it have a positive effect is in urban heat islands where buildings are closer together and there is a lot of human activity.  “Such an effort, however requires a wide collaboration between researchers, urban planners and policy maker,” Jyotirmoy Mandal a doctoral student and lead on the study.  “We hope that our work will spread awareness about the potential of radiative cooling outside scientific circles.” If there is awareness this product could be used anywhere heat is more of a problem than cold in all economic situations.

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