By Mark Waghorn via SWNS
Windows that cool buildings without using energy could be on the horizon.
A clear coating has been designed that lowers temperatures - without expending a single watt.
It keeps rooms bright and comfortable by allowing visible light in - while reflecting warm infrared and ultraviolet rays into outer space.
The US team's transparent radiative cooler (TRC) could also be used for cars, buses and trucks.
It consists of common materials like silicon dioxide, silicon nitride, aluminium oxide or titanium dioxide.
Alternating layers are placed on a glass base - topped with a film of spreadable oil called polydimethylsiloxane
"As climate change intensifies summer heat, demand is growing for technologies to cool buildings," said project leader Dr. Eungkyu Lee, of Notre Dame University.
Computer models calculated the type, order and combination using artificial intelligence.
"This method carries out optimization faster and better than conventional computers. It can efficiently test all possible combinations in a fraction of a second," Lee said.
"This produced a coating design that, when fabricated, beat the performance of conventionally designed TRCs in addition to one of the best commercial heat-reduction glasses on the market."
In hot, dry cities it has the potential to slash air condition consumption by around a third.
"The findings could be applied to other applications, since TRCs could also be used on car and truck windows," Lee said.
The researchers also employed quantum technology which stores data using subatomic particles.
It opens the door to developing other composite materials. The coating is described in ACS Energy Letters.
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