Stanford scientists develop a solar cooling device that may be able to supply air conditioning without using electricity

What is the one electrical expense everyone would love to remove from their electric bill, air conditioning! Just that change alone would cause every home’s monthly bill to plummet and thanks to the work of three Stanford scientists working in solar that reality might be closer than you might think.

Homes and buildings chilled without air conditioners. Car interiors that don’t heat up in the summer sun. Stanford Electrical engineering Professor Shanhui Fan  and graduate students Aaswath Raman and Eden Rephaeli have developed an highly effective broadband mirror that reflects most of the sunlight and thermal radiation from the sun back into space at just the right wavelength so as not to get caught by the Earth’s atmosphere. Not only does it reflect the sun’s rays but it can emit extra thermal radiation from a home.

The new device is reportedly capable of achieving a net cooling power in excess of 100 watts per square meter. A typical one-story St. Louis, single-family house with just 10 percent of its roof covered by radiative cooling panels could offset 35 percent its entire air conditioning needs during the hottest hours of the summer. Couple that with a solar panel system from Microgrid Solar which also reflects solar rays away from your home and you’re looking at a home that could be colder on the hottest summer day than the average one for much less money.

Radiative cooling & solar power has another profound advantage over other cooling equipment, such as air conditioners. It is a passive technology. It requires no energy. It has no moving parts. It is easy to maintain. You put it on the roof or the sides of buildings and it starts working immediately.

Hopefully soon a publicly viable radiative cooling system will be available to Microgrid Solar’s midwest customers in addition to the solar panels that can be installed today. The future is definitely here today, now Stanford just needs to start working on those flying cars. We would love to add flight to the Solar Express.

Source: Stanford News