Purdue researcher Joseph Peoples uses an infrared camera to compare the cooling performance of white paint samples on a rooftop. Purdue University photo / Jared Pike By Kayla Wiles What if paint could cool off a building enough to not need air conditioning? Purdue University engineers have created white paint that can keep surfaces up to 18 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than their ambient surroundings – almost like a refrigerator does, but without consuming energy. According to the researchers, the paint would replace the need for air conditioning by absorbing nearly no solar energy and sending heat away from the building. Without the building heating up, air conditioning wouldn’t have to kick on. "It’s very counterintuitive for a surface in direct sunlight to be cooler than the temperature your local weather station reports for that area, but we’ve shown this to be possible," said Xiulin Ruan , a Purdue professor of mechanical engineering . The paint would not only send heat away from a surface, but also away from Earth into deep space where heat travels indefinitely at the speed of light. This way, heat doesn’t get trapped within the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. A video about this […]

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