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JNCASR Eco-Friendly Radiative Cooling Paint Cuts Energy Use and Beats the Heat

Newly developed affordable radiative paint can reduce electricity consumption for cooling buildings

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Bengaluru, India – Nov 7, 2023, Researchers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) in collaboration with Professor Bivas Saha have introduced an innovative radiative cooling paint. This eco-friendly, low-cost solution offers substantial cooling benefits for buildings, pavements, and tiles in hot weather, reducing electricity consumption and providing respite during scorching summer days.

Tackling Cooling Challenges

As global warming and urban heat island effects worsen, cooling technologies have become essential. Active cooling devices like air-conditioners and refrigerators consume significant electrical energy, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and rising surface temperatures. Radiative cooling technology provides a solution by emitting thermal radiation directly to the cold universe without electricity consumption. Passive daytime radiative cooling (PDRC) has gained attention for applications in pavers, tiles, building and automobile cooling, solar cells, and personal thermal management.

Innovative Radiative Cooling Paint

The groundbreaking radiative cooling paint is created from a novel MgO-PVDF polymer nanocomposite, delivering remarkable cooling capabilities with high solar reflectivity and infrared thermal emissivity. Experimental results show that the treated surface temperature decreases by approximately 10°C under intense sunlight, twice the reduction achieved by conventional white paints.

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Fig. 1: (a) Schematic of a building painted with radiative cooling paint. (b) The reflection spectra of MgO-PVDF coating and a commercial white paint along with AM 1.5 solar spectrum. (c) The thermal emission spectra of MgO-PVDF composite film, commercial paint, blackbody (BB) spectrum at 300K, and atmospheric transmission profile are shown. (d) Photo of the radiative cooling measurement setup employed for the field test on a flat roof in Bangalore, India. (e) The outdoor real-time cooling results of the MgO-PVDF coating with respect to sub-ambient. (f) Photograph and thermal image of a coated and an uncoated ceramic paver at outdoor.

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Simple and Sustainable Development

The paint is developed through a straightforward solution-processed technique using ultra-white and ultra-emissive magnesium oxide (MgO)-polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) nano-composite, composed of earth-abundant, non-toxic materials. The paint demonstrates excellent cooling performance under hot sunlight.

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Key Features

  • Solar reflectance: 96.3%
  • Thermal emission: 98.5%
  • Water-resistant and hydrophobic
  • Easy application on various surfaces

Environmental Impact and Future Applications

The development of this cost-effective, environmentally sustainable paint offers potential for reducing surface temperatures in both urban and rural areas. Its adoption in construction can significantly reduce the reliance on air conditioning, contributing to environmental benefits.

Professor Bivas Saha, Associate Professor at JNCASR, stated, “Our innovative research has led to the development of a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable paint capable of reducing surface temperatures by over 10°C during hot summer days. We envision it offering significant respite during scorching summer days, benefiting both urban and rural areas alike.”

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Published in Advanced Material Technologies, these findings could drive industries to implement radiative cooling paint for building cooling applications. Thus, potentially reducing environmental impacts associated with air conditioning.

About Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR)

JNCASR is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, dedicated to advanced scientific research and innovation. JNCASR is located in Bengaluru, India, a hub for scientific and technological advancements in the country.

The institute’s contributions to science and technology have made it a respected and influential institution in the field of research and innovation in India. Its dedication to scientific excellence and addressing real-world challenges underscores its importance in the scientific community.

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