A Cling Film Roll That Cools Like Air Conditioner
The new glass polymer-based metamaterial developed by scientists is capable of cooling objects underneath, by the application of the principles of radiative cooling. It took two years for the researchers of the University of Colorado Boulder to develop it, after the proposal was approved for funding by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The material is made up of glass microspheres, silver and a polymer, which helps it to emit infrared radiations and reflect the incident solar radiations at the same time. This not only helps in dissipation of the inherent heat of the object but it also prevents further heating up, which makes it an excellent portable, replaceable and durable cooling device. It does not require electricity or any other source of power. Therefore, the newly developed material can function all day everyday, without needing any human intervention, PhysicsWorld.com reported.
The study findings of the research project were published in the Science journal and explain that the glass microsphere-polymer film is so designed that it is completely transparent to all the wavelengths of the solar spectrum. This helps it avoid getting heated up when exposed to the Sun for longer durations.
Furthermore, the films has a high infrared emissive behavior in the 8-13 μm atmospheric range, which helps it to cool down. However, the key feature that marks its applications in various sectors is its scalability, The Star Online reported.
Lead researcher of the study, Ronggui Yang, said, "The key innovation of this work is to produce the designed material at scale using the roll-to-roll process."
"When produced at scale, we estimate that the material cost is only $0.50 per m2 (yes, 50 cents per square meter), since it can be produced at 100 square meters per minute," Yang added.
This groundbreaking innovation can be used to cool down the heating up of machinery in thermal power plants and other industries. It can thus help avoid the wear and tear of machine parts due to the heat generated during the operation. Furthermore, the rolled up material can be used to cover water pipes, which will help in supplying cool water. It can also be used to cool buildings, greenhouses and solar panels to increase their longevity.