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Scientists are currently testing a new cooling system which requires no electricity and which can reportedly reduce the temperature inside a two-story building located in a desert climate by over 20 percent. This new system makes use and functions thanks to radiative sky cooling.
The New Cooling System was Las Vegas-like Climate Conditions
Stanford University researchers are behind this latest experiment. Systems based on radiative sky cooling involve the dispersal of infrared thermal energy captured by rooftop panels. These are directed towards the atmosphere and the outer space, and help produce internal temperatures that are lower than those of the surrounding air.
Although the physics behind this method has been recognized for years, it was considered that the energy exchange it produces could only be used on dry and clear nights.
However, this latest study reports the creation of “fluid cooling panels that harness radiative sky cooling to cool fluids below the air temperature with zero evaporative losses, and use almost no electricity”.
According to reports, the study team noted, as they were building prototypes, that the panels were capable of cooling the water that flowed through them. Its temperatures could be reduced up to 5 degrees below those of the external ambient ones.
The team then used modeling, which showed that installing such panels downstream of the condenser of large air conditioning systems could reduce the internal temperatures by 21 percent. This was tested for Las Vegas-like climate conditions.
The panels of this cooling system are also quite easy to make. They make use of acrylic walls, insulation, and polystyrene cover. A plate heat exchanger is also utilized, as the water flows through it.
The panels can radiate and reflect the infrared radiation into the atmosphere and further as it uses them as remote heat sinks. This also solves the problem of waste heat generated by condensers.
Details on the tests and the cooling system itself were released in a paper in the journal Nature Energy. An accompanying editorial from the University of Technology, Sydney researchers, was published alongside it.