Cooling accounts for approximately 15% of global energy consumption. Conventional see-through windows allow the sun to warm interior spaces, which energy-hungry air conditioners must then cool. What if a window could help cool the room, consume no energy and preserve the view?
Tengfei Luo, professor of Dorini Family Energy Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and postdoctoral associate Seongmin Kim have designed a transparent window covering that does just that.
The coating, or transparent radiative cooler (TRC), allows visible light to enter and blocks other heat-producing light sources from entering. Researchers estimate that this invention can reduce electrical cooling costs in hot climates by a third compared to conventional glass windows.
Transparent radiative coolers can be used for buildings and cars to help meet the challenges of climate change. Luo and his team were able to design their best CRT using quantum computing combined with machine learning.
The TRC is made up of several layers of ultra-thin materials that must be assembled in a precise configuration. By building a computer model of the TRC, the researchers were able to test every possible configuration of layers in a fraction of a second to identify the optimal combination and order of materials.
Guided by these results, they made the new coating by layering silica, alumina and titanium oxide on a glass base, coating it with the same polymer used to make contact lenses. The result was a 1.2 micron thick coating that outperforms all other heat reducing glass coatings on the market.
“I think the quantum computing strategy is as important as the material itself,” Luo said. “Using this approach, we were able to find the best-in-class material, design a radiative cooler, and experimentally prove its cooling effect.”
Their research has been published in ACS Energy Lettersa journal of the American Chemical Society.
Seongmin Kim et al, High performance transparent radiative cooler designed by Quantum Computing, ACS Energy Letters (2022). DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.2c01969
Provided by the University of Notre Dame
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