New technology that utilizes a natural phenomenon called radiative cooling could change the game when it comes to energy-efficient air conditioning. Radiative cooling is simply how a body loses heat via thermal radiation.
The Earth does this every night after sunset; the planet cools as heat goes out into space.
The phenomenon also happens with human bodies—we radiate heat. This is why your skin feels warm to the touch. Using this same process, scientists could literally send heat to space to cool buildings and other structures.
New Air Conditioner Technology
Here’s how it works. When radiative cooling is emitted toward the sky, some of it is reflected and absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere, but some of it also escapes into outer space, which is much colder. When this happens, the object that emitted the radiation in the first place will cool to a lower temperature than the air that surrounds it.
Energy-Efficient Air Conditioning
SkyCool Systems, a company based out of Stanford, wants to use radiative cooling as an energy-efficient air conditioning solution for buildings during the day. Before, the sun’s radiation interfered with this cooling. But now scientists have discovered a way to manipulate light at the nanoscale, which can make radiative cooling possible during daytime hours.
In fact, SkyCool designed a device in 2014 that was able to cool to 5 degrees Celsius below the surrounding air temperature.
What It Means for the Future
SkyCool and other groups have set their sights on a wide range of uses for this new technology, including the improvement of refrigerator systems. As it stands, the technology must be used in tandem with typical air conditioning systems in order to keep buildings cool, but it will reduce overall energy consumption used by those standard systems. Meanwhile, the cost of radiative cooling technology as applied to energy-efficient air conditioning is yet to be determined.
What to Do Right Now
Thankfully, you don’t have to wait for the future to make heating or cooling your home cost-efficiently with regard to both cost and energy. If you have an old HVAC system that is chugging along and eating up money and energy, consider using The Cooling Company’s HVAC Energy Savings Calculator.
You can compare the operating costs of your old system with a new, energy-efficient system and see how much money you will save in a year when you upgrade.
The HVAC Energy Savings Calculator will also estimate how much you will lessen your impact on the environment when you upgrade your HVAC system. See how many acres of the forest you’ll save or how much CO2 you’ll divert from polluting the atmosphere. It’s obvious that until the new technology for cooling is readily available, the best option for conserving energy and saving money is with an upgraded HVAC system rated for energy efficiency.
Visit The Cooling Company today and find out more about how you can reduce your energy bill as well as your environmental footprint.