Another Radiative Cooling Advancement


The more I learn about radiative cooling systems the cooler they get. These cooling systems absorb heat from an enclosed space and send the heat directly into outer space. It sounds like science fiction but it exists now. The heat gets converted into infrared waves and emitted upwards away from the planet where the waves pass through the atmosphere to release their heat into the coolness of space.

In experiments, the team showed that the device was able to lower the temperature inside a test unit by more than 12 °C (22 °F) under direct sunlight, and by more than 14 °C (25 °F) in a simulated nighttime test.

The mirrors are more advanced than they might sound, too. Made with 10 thin layers of silver and silicon dioxide, they’re designed to be selective in how they handle different wavelengths. They reflect the mid-infrared waves from the emitter while absorbing the visible and near-infrared waves from the sunlight. That prevents the Sun’s warmth from cancelling out the cooling effect, improving the efficiency.

As an added extra, the heat absorbed by the mirrors can be put to good use – in this test, the team used it to heat water to 60 °C (140 °F).

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