• 5 minutes Desperate Call or... Erdogan Says Turkey Will Boycott U.S. Electronics
  • 11 minutes Saudi Fund Wants to Take Tesla Private?
  • 17 minutes Starvation, horror in Venezuela
  • 5 hours WTI @ 67.50, charts show $62.50 next
  • 3 hours Newspaper Editorials Across U.S. Rebuke Trump For Attacks On Press
  • 4 hours Mike Shellman's musings on "Cartoon of the Week"
  • 9 hours Venezuela set to raise gasoline prices to international levels.
  • 14 hours WTI @ 69.33 headed for $70s - $80s end of August
  • 28 mins Permian already crested the productivity bell curve - downward now to Tier 2 geological locations
  • 3 hours Batteries Could Be a Small Dotcom-Style Bubble
  • 16 hours Renewable Energy Could "Effectively Be Free" by 2030
  • 8 hours Scottish Battery ‘Breakthrough’ Could Charge Electric Cars In Seconds
  • 15 hours Corporations Are Buying More Renewables Than Ever
  • 4 hours Don't Expect Too Much: Despite a Soaring Economy, America's Annual Pay Increase Isn't Budging
  • 20 hours Again Google: Brazil May Probe Google Over Its Cell Phone System
  • 5 hours France Will Close All Coal Fired Power Stations By 2021
Green Futures

Green Futures

This article originally appeared in Green Futures magazine. Green Futures is the leading international magazine on environmental solutions and sustainable futures, published by Forum for…

More Info

Trending Discussions

Nanotech Solar Cooling Panels Reduce Need for Air-Con

Nanotech Solar Cooling Panels Reduce Need for Air-Con

Solar cooling panel helps keep buildings cool by selectively radiating unwanted heat back into space.

A novel solar cooling panel could keep buildings cool in bright sunlight by radiating heat out to space, cutting the need for energy-intensive air conditioning.

Designed by researchers at Stanford University, the panel uses nanotechnology to selectively radiate unwanted heat out to space, achieving a net cooling effect in the warmth of sunlight.

It is made of nanostructured quartz and silicon carbide, which are capable of enhancing and suppressing the radiation of heat for certain wavelengths. At most wavelengths, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reflect thermal radiation back down to Earth; however, this panel emits heat at the specific wavelength at which radiation can cut through the atmosphere. By sending more energy into space than is reflected back to the panel, the device is able to achieve an overall loss of heat.

Related article: IBM Develops Solar System to Concentrate the Sun’s Rays 2000 Times

Of course, it’s important that the panel itself doesn’t heat up in the sun. Researcher Shanghai Fan, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, explains that, to avoid this, it has been designed as a broadband mirror, also reflecting the majority of the sunlight.

The panel can generate a net cooling of over 100W per square meter, equivalent to the power generated by a solar panel of the same size. So, a one-storey house with only a 10th of its roof covered with cooling panels could offset 35% of previous air conditioning costs during the hottest hours of the summer, the team says.

Such cooling panels could therefore prove a viable alternative to existing solar panel/air conditioning combinations. Moreover, the brilliance of this new solution lies in its passive nature. With no moving parts to maintain and no energy requirements, it would have very low operating costs, and could be used in off-grid locations. The same principle could also be applied to car roofs.

“Thermal engineering and control with nanostructures is a relatively new but growing frontier”, says Geoff Smith, a professor of applied physics at the University of Technology, Sydney, who was not involved in this study. “The practicalities, durability, manufacture and costs of such structures over large areas are hard to judge at this stage, but the science is very good as far as it goes.”

By. Ian Randall




Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • Jay Taylor on September 20 2013 said:
    This is a really great news. Just thinking that it will save so much energy makes me feel happy. This technology should be commercialized soon.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News