White houses are often boring, but that might just save the planet. As USA Today reports, researchers from Purdue University have developed an ultra-white paint (it just set a Guinness World Record) that reflects 98.1 percent of solar radiation while emitting infrared heat. As it leaves the surface cooler than the environment (ordinary paint warms the surface), it can effectively replace air conditioning in some cases – it delivers a cooling power of 10kW for a 1000 square meters. foot roof, or more than a typical home AC unit.
Existing paint has been made to reflect heat, but it does not reflect more than 90 percent of sunlight and does not cool surfaces. The team also did not have much breathing space – an even whiter paint could have endangered it.
The trick was to use a high ratio of barium sulfate, a compound you often see in cosmetics and photo paper, in different particle sizes. The larger range of sizes helps to disperse more of the light spectrum and thus reflects more sunlight.
It’s not clear how close this extremely white paint is to your local store, but the researchers are determined to commercialize their work. They work with a company to manufacture and sell the paint, and have already filed patents. But if it complies with the bill, it could play an important role in the fight against climate change. This can reduce or eliminate the need for air conditioning in some homes, especially in hot regions with enough sunlight. It can reduce emissions and power consumption, and you can save money on hot summer days.
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