Researchers at City University of Hong Kong have made a significant breakthrough in the development of passive radiative cooling (PRC) materials.
Their findings, published in Science, introduce a new material known as cooling ceramic, which offers high-performance optical properties for energy-free and refrigerant-free cooling generation.
This cost-effective, durable and versatile material has the potential for commercialisation in various applications, including construction. By reducing the thermal load of buildings and providing stable cooling performance, the cooling ceramic can enhance energy efficiency.
PRC technology is seen as a promising solution for addressing the increasing demand for space cooling and reducing pollution. However, existing PRC options have limitations such as high cost and compatibility issues.
Professor Edwin Tso Chi-yan, one of the paper’s authors, highlights the advanced optical properties and robust applicability of the cooling ceramic. Made of alumina, the material offers UV resistance degradation and outstanding fire resistance, making it suitable for real-life applications.
The researchers’ experiments have shown that applying the cooling ceramic on a house roof can achieve more than 20% electricity savings for space cooling. This confirms the great potential of cooling ceramic in reducing reliance on traditional active cooling strategies and providing a sustainable solution for avoiding electricity grid overload, greenhouse gas emissions, and urban heat islands.