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How super-white paint can act as a cooling technology for buildings

Dr. Jyotirmoy Mandal, 2019 Fellow, has recently published a perspective written during his Fellowship Placement at the University of California, Los Angeles, demonstrating how radiative cooling of buildings is achievable simply with the use of super white paints.

The research published in Joule addresses the intensifying global need for cooling built environments, and the necessity for passive cooling methods given issues that arise with climate change and global energy consumption. The work proposes super-white paints as a simple, low-cost way to harness passive radiative cooling effects to lower temperatures in buildings. This approach could be used across the globe and would be particularly suited to low and middle-income countries.

Some interdisciplinary challenges concerning the adoption of superwhite paints for radiative cooling of buildings on a global scale.

Dr. Mandal says: “Traditional white paints are limited in their cooling capabilities due to their material composition. We show that by simple material alterations, the solar reflectance of white paints can be raised from ~85% to ~98%, effectively doubling their cooling potential. The modifications should be within the capabilities of the coatings industry, so we hope that they will be implemented in the near-future.”