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A passive turnoff

Passive radiative cooling technology uses the infrared atmospheric window to allow outer space to be a cold sink for heat. However, this effect is one that is only helpful for energy savings in the warmer months. Wang et al. and Tang et al. used the metal-insulator transition in tungsten-doped vanadium dioxide to create window glass and a rooftop coating that circumvents this problem by turning off the radiative cooling at lower temperatures. Because the transition is simply temperature dependent, this effect also happens passively. Model simulations suggest that these materials would lead to energy savings year-round across most of the climate zones in the United States. —BG

Abstract

The sky is a natural heat sink that has been extensively used for passive radiative cooling of households. A lot of focus has been on maximizing the radiative cooling power of roof coating in the hot daytime using static, cooling-optimized material properties. However, the resultant overcooling in cold night or winter times exacerbates the heating cost, especially in climates where heating dominates energy consumption. We approached thermal regulation from an all-season perspective by developing a mechanically flexible coating that adapts its thermal emittance to different ambient temperatures. The fabricated temperature-adaptive radiative coating (TARC) optimally absorbs the solar energy and automatically switches thermal emittance from 0.20 for ambient temperatures lower than 15°C to 0.90 for temperatures above 30°C, driven by a photonically amplified metal-insulator transition. Simulations show that this system outperforms existing roof coatings for energy saving in most climates, especially those with substantial seasonal variations.

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Supplementary Materials

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Nomenclature
Materials and Methods
Supplementary Text
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Tables S1 to S6
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References and Notes

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Published In

Science
Volume 374 | Issue 6574
17 December 2021

Submission history

Received: 13 November 2020
Accepted: 26 October 2021
Published in print: 17 December 2021

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Acknowledgments

Funding: This work was funded by the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division, US Department of Energy, under contract no. DE-AC02-05-CH11231 (EMAT program KC1201). Work at the Molecular Foundry was supported by the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, US Department of Energy, under contract no. DE-AC02-05CH11231. J.W. acknowledges support from a Bakar Prize. R.L. acknowledges support from the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, of the US Department of Energy under contract no. DE-AC02-05CH11231. J.Y. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation under grant no. 1555336. M.P.G. gratefully acknowledges the National Science Foundation for fellowship support under the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
Author contributions: K.T., K.D. J.L., and J.W. conceived the general idea. K.T. and K.D. designed the device. K.T. fabricated the device. K.T., M.P.G., H.K., Q.W., A.J., J.J.U., and J.Y. contributed to the spectral characterizations. K.T., K.D., J.L. Y.R., and C.P.G. contributed to the solar simulator characterizations. K.T., J.L., and C.-Y.L. performed the vacuum chamber characterizations. K.T., K.D., J.L., and J.W. performed the field experiments. K.D., J.L. and J.Y. performed the numerical electromagnetic simulations. K.T., F.G.R., and R.L. performed all other simulations. All authors discussed and analyzed the results. K.T., K.D., J.L., and J.W. wrote the manuscript with assistance from other authors. All authors reviewed and revised the manuscript.
Competing interests: R.L. is an unpaid, nonvoting member of the board of directors of the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) and a paid consultant to the CRRC. K.T., K.D., J.L., and J.W. are inventors of a provisional patent application related to this work. The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Data and materials availability: All data required to evaluate the conclusions in the manuscript are available in the main text or the supplementary materials.

Authors

Affiliations

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Key Laboratory of Microelectronic Devices and Circuits (MOE), School of Integrated Circuits, Peking University, Beijing 100871, P. R. China.
Roles: Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Software, Supervision, Validation, Visualization, Writing - original draft, and Writing - review & editing.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Roles: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Software, Validation, Visualization, and Writing - review & editing.
Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Applied Science and Technology Graduate Group, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA.
Roles: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Software, Validation, Visualization, and Writing - review & editing.
Applied Science and Technology Graduate Group, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA.
The Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Role: Investigation.
East Bay Innovation Academy, 3800 Mountain Blvd., Oakland, CA 94619, USA.
Roles: Formal analysis, Software, and Validation.
Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Role: Investigation.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Roles: Investigation, Methodology, Validation, and Writing - review & editing.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Roles: Investigation and Methodology.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Roles: Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Supervision, Validation, Visualization, Writing - original draft, and Writing - review & editing.
Costas P. Grigoropoulos
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Roles: Investigation, Methodology, Supervision, Validation, and Visualization.
Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Roles: Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Methodology, Project administration, Supervision, and Validation.
The Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Roles: Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Project administration, Resources, Supervision, Validation, Visualization, Writing - original draft, and Writing - review & editing.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Roles: Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Resources, Supervision, and Writing - review & editing.
Heat Island Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Roles: Formal analysis, Methodology, Writing - original draft, and Writing - review & editing.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Applied Science and Technology Graduate Group, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA.
Roles: Conceptualization, Data curation, Funding acquisition, Methodology, Project administration, Supervision, and Writing - review & editing.

Funding Information

U.S. Department of Energy: DE-AC02-05CH11231
U.S. Department of Energy: DE-AC02-05CH11231
U.S. Department of Energy: DE-AC02-05CH11231

Notes

*
Corresponding author. Email: [email protected]
These authors contributed equally to this work.

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