Image: ArtisticPhoto Shutterstock
A film to be applied on glass, capable of modulating the passage of solar heat. The goal is to create a pleasant indoor environment even when the sun is at its highest.
Home air conditioning now has a new zero energy ally. It is a glass film created at the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, which can regulate the passage of heat on sunny summer days.
” The goal – explains chemist Kasper Moth-Poulsen, head of the research project – is to create a pleasant indoor environment even when the sun is at its highest, without consuming energy or having to close the blinds .”
Domestic air conditioning is one of the great challenges of the energy transition and the fight against climate change.
According to data from the International Energy Agency, in the next 30 years the increasing use of air conditioning and fans, under the pressure of rising global temperatures, will represent one of the main drivers of global electricity demand.
And if the energy system has not given adequate space to renewable sources, the need for air conditioning will necessarily translate into an increase in emissions.
Finding passive solutions, which do not require energy to function, is one of the most popular ways today along with increasing the efficiency of traditional appliances . This line of research also includes the study by Moth-Poulsen and his colleagues, inventors of a method that traps heat from the sun and distributes it evenly over a longer period of time. ” Why not make the most of the energy we get for free instead of trying to fight it, ” adds the chemist.
The group of scientists created a system called Molecular Solar Thermal (MOST) that incorporates an organic compound that can store thermal energy by altering its chemical bonds.
When the sun rises in the morning and its rays hit the material, much of the solar energy is absorbed by the molecule. When the sun’s rays no longer hit the film, the molecule returns to its previous shape, releasing the stored energy.
This transformation makes it possible to create a passive thermal storage system capable of helping domestic air conditioning. Scientists are now working both to lower the price of the compound and to increase its concentration within the film.
It is believed that these objectives must be achieved in a relatively short time, in order to have a product ready for sale in the shortest possible time. The research is described in an article published in the journal Advanced Science.