How the World’s Whitest Paint Cools Buildings Without Air Conditioning

Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best for improving the planet. An example of this scenario is the recent creation of the world’s whitest paint by scientists at Purdue University.

The paint decreases the surface temperature on the roofs of buildings, providing additional cooling. The reason it’s so effective is because it works as a reflector, bouncing light and heat back up into the atmosphere and, eventually, space.

Amazingly, this paint reflects up to 98% of sunlight, making it an incredibly effective solution for preventing solar energy absorption:

  • Mid-day temperature difference of up to 8 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 4 degrees Celsius)
  • Nighttime temperature decrease of up to 19 degrees F (about 12 degrees C)
  • It’s cool to the touch, even under a hot midday sun
  • It doesn’t require energy input
  • It doesn’t increase the temperature of the outside air

Cooling innovation doesn’t have to be complicated. In this case, rather than painting the town red, maybe we ought to paint the roofs white.

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