Heat Blocking Windows

Windows not only let light into buildings but also unwanted heat. To address this, a novel window coating has been developed that blocks heat-inducing ultraviolet and infrared light while allowing visible light to pass through at any angle of sunlight. This technology can be applied to existing windows or vehicles, potentially cutting air-conditioning costs by over one-third in warm climates.

Tengfei Luo, the Dorini Family Professor for Energy Studies at the University of Notre Dame and leader of the research, explains that the effectiveness of the coating does not diminish regardless of the sun’s position. Traditional window coatings are typically designed for sunlight entering at a 90-degree angle, but Luo’s team considered the variable angles of sunlight throughout the day, especially during the hotter midday when the sun is at an oblique angle.

The coating consists of ultra-thin layers of materials like silica, alumina, titanium oxide, and a micrometer-thick silicon polymer. This composite not only maintains transparency but also enhances cooling by reflecting thermal radiation. To find the optimal arrangement of these layers for maximum efficiency at various angles, Luo and his team utilized quantum computing. Their approach allowed them to precisely adjust the layer order, resulting in a coating that significantly reduces temperature inside a room.

Published in Cell Reports Physical Science, their findings show that the coating can lower temperatures by 5.4 to 7.2 degrees Celsius even when exposed to a wide range of light angles.

This is a very neat innovation. Anything to help with bills is a good one in my opinion.

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