Stanford University is developing a device for the rooftops of buildings and cars that will reflect sunlight and emit heat, enabling passive cooling, even when the sun is shining. This device requires no electricity or fuel and would reduce the need for air conditioning, leading to energy and cost savings. Stanford’s technology relies on recently developed state-of-the-art concepts and techniques to tailor the absorption and emission of light and heat in nanostructured materials. This project could enable buildings, cars, and electronics to cool without using electric power.
If successful, Stanford’s radiative coolers would improve the energy efficiency of buildings and vehicles, save consumers money, and reduce peak-power demand.
Reducing building cooling loads reduces pressure on the electrical grid, improving its stability.
Better building efficiency and cooling devices would limit electricity consumption and reduce CO2 emissions.
Improvements in heating and cooling efficiency could save homeowners and businesses thousands of dollars on their utility bills.