New non-electric system can simultaneously cool the building and heat the water
Unique Heating, Cooling and Hot Water Solutions for Multi-Storey Buildings
Scientists have developed a prototype of a hybrid device that can not only reduce the temperature in a building by 12 °C without electricity, but also heats the water due to sunlight.
Heating and air conditioning systems are among the main consumers of electricity. Therefore, researchers are improving radiation cooling systems. and heating for light renewable energy sources. Now a team at State University of New York at Buffalo has combined the two concepts in one device..
To create it, the researchers installed a heat emitter in such a way that heat from the room was collected from both sides of the panels and transferred into the open space in the form of infrared waves. They positioned the thermal emitter vertically between a pair of V-shaped mirrors. In the course of experiments, the device reduced the temperature inside the test setup by more than 12 °C in direct sunlight and at least 14 °C in simulated night time.
The system uses mirrors consisting of 10 thin layers of silver and silicon dioxide, which selectively interact with waves of different lengths. They reflect mid-infrared waves from the emitter, absorbing visible and near-infrared rays. This improves the efficiency of the device as it prevents the sun from neutralizing the cooling effect..
Since the system reflects only part of the radiation, the team decided to use the absorbed energy to the advantage. During tests, researchers were able to use it to heat water up to 60 °C.
The current prototype is only 0.7 m long.In the future, scientists plan to scale the device to the size of the roof.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: University at Buffalo