News ID: 167641
Published: 0137 GMT August 27, 2016

Smart window coating could keep cars cool

Smart window coating could keep cars cool

For populations living at or near the equator, heat is plentiful. If there were a way to get the visible light from the Sun, without all that excess thermal radiation, summer might be a whole lot more bearable.

A new window coating promises to do just that. Researchers at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore, or A*STAR, have developed a nanoparticle coating that allows the passage of visible light but blocks 90 percent of the heat carried by the sun's rays, UPI wrote.

The new coating could lessen the burden on air conditioning units in buildings across Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

"In tropical Singapore, where air conditioning is the largest component of a building's energy requirements, even a small reduction in heat intake can translate into significant savings," Hui Huang, a researcher at the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing and Technology, said.

Reduced reliance on air conditioning could curb carbon emissions, researchers say.

Huang and his colleagues successfully produced antimony-doped tin oxide nanocrystals using a solvothermal method.

The method — which employs intense pressure but modest amounts of heat — allows scientists to tightly control the synthesis process and the size of the nanoparticles.

The method yields particles that measure 10 nanometers. The coating's particles let in 80 percent of visible light while blocking out almost all near-infrared radiation.

"These figures are much better than those of coatings obtained using commercial antimony-doped tin oxide nanopowders," Huang said.

"In particular, the infrared shielding performance of our small antimony-doped tin oxide nanocrystals is twice that of larger commercial antimony-doped tin oxide powders."

Huang and his research partners — who described their technology in the journal Materials and Design — are now working with a glass company to take their smart window technology to market.

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