A research team in Korea has created a transparent radiative cooler that can transmit, reflect and emit different types of light.
The team was led by Professor Junsuk Rho, Minkyung Kim, and Dr Dasol Lee from POSTECH‘s departments of mechanical engineering and chemical engineering, alongside Professor Heon Lee and Soomin of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Korea University.
The transparent radiative cooler is able to transmit visible light, near-infrared light and can radiate heat in the atmospheric window.
This is a breakthrough because transparent radiative technology so far has only been able to transmit all direct sunlight, and opaque radiative coolers to reflect all solar energy.
Rho says the radiative cooler can be used as a window of a building or an observatory that needs to maintain transparency, or as a window in an amusement ride or a vehicle.
The team experimented with the material by testing it in a cooler box on an outdoor rooftop. The material exhibited transparency and radiative cooling effects, and the researchers found the temperature in the cooler was lowered by a maximum of 14.4°C and the material itself by 10.1°C.
According to the abstract of the research paper, “The proposed cooler can reduce the temperature during the daytime while maintaining transparency, confirming its possibilities in practical applications such as passive diurnal cooling of vehicles or buildings and compatibility with current paint technologies for aesthetic use.”