Benefits of radiation cooling

Posted on 3 Feb 2020

With the natural phenomenon of radiation cooling, it is not only possible to produce electricity, this phenomenon is an interesting addition to solar energy and can increase the efficiency of air conditioning and cooling systems.

Temperature difference

Ice has been made in the middle of the Iranian desert for centuries due to the natural phenomenon of radiation cooling. At night, objects give off heat and the temperature of those objects drops below the temperature of the surrounding air. Experts are fully investigating how this temperature difference can be useful for the production of clean energy.

Thermoelectric generator

For example, an American team managed to develop a small device in the form of a disc on legs, which can produce enough electricity with radiation cooling to light a small LED. The top of the disc gives off heat at night while the surrounding air warms the bottom. Between the top and bottom is a thermoelectric generator that produces electricity from this temperature difference. Since solar heating makes the phenomenon of radiation cooling impossible during the day, this technology is a nice addition to solar energy, according to the researchers. Especially in places where there is no electricity network. The air conditioning and cooling systems industry is also interested in the phenomenon of radiation cooling. For example, the US team was able to incorporate ultra-thin synthetic material into the panels for cooling liquids in an existing cooling system. During the day, that material reflected the heat from the sun back to the sky, creating a cooling effect. This increased the cooling system's energy efficiency by 12 to 35 percent.

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