Three Israeli entrepreneurs have developed a way to turn energy from the sun, a source of heat, into a cooling agent that could save billions on electricity and have significant environmental, and even security, benefits.
Yaron Shenhav and Gadi Grottas, the co-founders of SolCold, and Hebrew University Professor Guy Ron have invented a high-tech, light-filtering coating that can be applied to buildings and other surfaces which is then activated by the sun, using its strong rays to cool down structures. In fact, the more the sun shines, the cooler it gets, the Herzliya-based company says.
It’s as if there were “a thin layer of ice that gets thicker and cooler as the sun gets stronger,” Shenhav tells NoCamels.
The paint is based on a patent-pending technology SolCold developed called Anti-Stokes Fluorescence, which reverses the natural phenomenon of energy (photons) released by the sun and then absorbed by everything around it, like roads, buildings, cars, tanks, cargo and so on.
With Anti-Stokes Fluorescence, “the material being hit by a photon emits back a higher frequency photon, losing its own energy and cooling down,” Shenhav and Grottas explain to NoCamels. “Heat from a building could be absorbed and re-emitted as light,” Shenhav says. “As long as the sun is shining on it, it would be continuously cooled.”
The paint developed by SolCold consists of two layers: the outer one that filters out the sun’s rays and the inner one that actively cools the material by turning heat into light.
The technology was successfully tested in a lab, says Shenhav, and the applied paint “cooled down an object by 1.2 degrees Celsius (34.6 Fahrenheit) using just 1 percent of the sun’s energy with a sun simulator.”
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