Summer is here, and with it comes unbearable heat. Northeastern University has developed a new type of paper that could reduce the pressure on our air conditioning systems in homes and businesses across the globe!
The team, led by Professor Yi Cui, began investigating the potential for using paper as a cooling material after observing how wasps build their nests. Wasps construct their nests by building a frame out of small twigs and then covering it with a layer of paper.
This outer layer of paper keeps the nest at a comfortable temperature for the wasps, and the researchers realized that the same principle could be applied to human dwellings.
The paper is coated with a thin material reflecting heat away from the paper's surface. This means that when the sun shines on the paper, it will reflect most of the sunlight and heat away instead of absorbing it. The researchers have also added a layer of nanoparticles to the paper that helps it to cool even further by absorbing heat from the air around it.
This new type of paper could line the walls and ceilings of homes and businesses. The paper is also very cheap to produce, so that it would be affordable for people worldwide.
The paper is still in development, but the potential applications are endless. It could be used to line the walls of homes and buildings or even incorporated into clothing. And because it doesn't use any electricity, it would be a much more sustainable way to keep cool (or warm).
So far, the team has only tested the paper on a small scale. But if they can find a way to mass-produce it, this could be a game-changer.
Air conditioning and heating systems are responsible for a large portion of the world's energy use, releasing harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The goal was also to find a way to reduce this environmental impact.
After several prototypes and tests, the team finally created a paper that they believe can do just that. And while it's still in development, they are hopeful that it will one day be able to replace these systems entirely.
Of course, there are still some challenges to overcome. The biggest one is mass-producing the paper to be used on a larger scale. Also, finding a way to incorporate the paper into existing buildings is challenging. But the team is confident they can also find a way to do that.
Many of us are cranking up the AC as the weather gets warmer. Using air conditioning and heating systems contributes significantly to global energy consumption and older systems release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Therefore, it would be a significant advancement in the fight against climate change if there were a means to lessen this impact.
It is also a significant expense for families, especially those in hotter or colder climates. So not only would this new paper be better for the environment, but it could also save people money.
This is an incredible development with the potential to change how we live and combat climate change. We will be sure to keep you updated on any new developments.