Researchers develop new smart-roof coating for energy savings round the year

Industry Insights

Following a research initiative, smart-roof coating for all seasons developed by scientists that keeps homes comfortable during winters and cool during summer without the need for natural gas or electricity. The finding points to a groundbreaking technology that outdoes commercial cool-roof systems for energy savings.

Importantly, the all-season roof coating switches automatically from keeping the occupants cool to warm depending on outdoor air temperature. The all-in-one device features energy-free, emission-free air conditioning and heating.

Meanwhile, cool roof systems of present day such as reflective coatings, shingles, membranes, or tiles have lighter or darker exteriors that cool homes due to their property to reflect sunlight. These systems also discharge some captured solar heat as thermal infrared radiation, and in the natural process of radiative cooling, thermal-infrared light is radiated away from the surface.

 In fact, many cool-roof systems have the problem to continue to radiate heat in the winter, which elevates heating cost. The new substance – called temperature-adaptive radiative coating  – can help with energy savings by turning off the radioactive cooling automatically in winter. This overcomes the problem of overcooling.

Temperature-adaptive-radiative coating is the first roof coating that switches automatically between warming in cold weather to cooling in hot weather by regulating its rate of radioactive cooling.

Earlier, a few years ago, researchers wonder if there were a material that could switch automatically between heat retention in cold weather to radiative cooling in hot weather. Vanadium oxide could do this, thought researchers.

Typically, metals are good conductors of heat and electricity. In 2017, the team of researchers discovered that electrons in vanadium dioxide characterized of metal for electricity but works as an insulator to heat. This implies the material conducts electricity well without conducting much heat.

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