Climate change: ‘Cooling paint’ could cut emissions from buildings

According to the BBC news, a new type of white paint could cool buildings and reduce the reliance on air conditioning.

In a study, the new product was able to reflect 95.5% of sunlight and reduce the building’s temperatures by 1.7°C compared to the ambient air conditions. This result is achieved by adding different sizes of particles of calcium carbonate.


How does building related to the environment

According to the World Green Building Council, lighting and most importantly heating and cooling of the building is responsible for roughly 28%of the global carbon dioxide. The main reason is that the heating and cooling of buildings are mostly powered by coal, gas and oil.

Researchers have always been trying hard to come out with solutions in order to increase the efficiency of cooling and heating.

During the early attempts, they developed a number of reflective paints painted at the outside of homes and offices. These paints can reflect away sunlight and reduce the temperatures inside the building. However, these products cannot deflect enough sunlight to make the temperature of the building lower than the ambient conditions.

Now, with strong cooling properties, this white paint is able to solve this problem.

“In one experiment where we put a painted surface outside under direct sunlight, the surface cooled 1.7°C below the ambient temperature and during nighttime, it even cooled up to 10°C below the ambient temperature,” said an author of the study.

This data is able to out-compete the majority of air conditioning needs for typical buildings.


How does the new paint work?

Researcher uses an infrared camera to compare the cooling performance of white paint samples

The key to this problem is to add calcium carbonate to mix. Scientists found that they were able to develop a product that reflected 95.5% sunlight by using a high concentration of chalky substances.

Besides, sunlight is a broad spectrum of wavelengths. When different particles of calcium carbonate are added, it can scatter all of the wavelengths. This fact is especially important in contributing to the very high reflectance of paint.


Application of the paint

It may have various applications, particularly in data centres which require large amounts of cooling.

Since the paint lacks metallic components, it is unlike to interfere with the electromagnetic signals. This makes it very suitable for cooling telecommunications equipment.

The researchers still need to run a number of trials in order to test its long-term reliability and efficiency. But the researchers are optimistic about the impact of this paint in many fields.



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Climate change: ‘Cooling paint’ could cut emissions from buildings



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