This White Paint May Help Reduce Air Conditioning Bills
As anyone who has survived August in Savannah knows, Southern summers are no joke. And along with those hot, hot summer nights, come the high, high electric bills for cranking those fans and air conditioning (or both). Thanks to some very clever scientists there may be a new way to keep cool in the summer and all it involves is a coat of white paint.
Researchers led by Professor Xiulin Ruan at Purdue University had the idea to create a paint that would reflect sunlight away from a building, which would help keep the building cool and curb energy use. Typical commercial white paint apparently gets warmer rather than cooler and these intrepid scientists wanted to reverse that to help fight climate change and curb energy use. After testing over 100 different variations, they came up with a formulation that not only reflects 98.1% of solar radiation but also makes surfaces cooler, all without turning on the AC.
The paint is so good at its job that covering a 1,000-square feet of a roof with it could result in a cooling power of 10 kilowatts, according to a paper published by Purdue researchers. As Professor. Ruan said, "That's more powerful than the air conditioners used by most houses."
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Creating a super reflective paint, though, meant creating a very white paint. In fact, they created the whitest white paint ever. The paint is so white that it just earned the Guinness World Record for whitest paint.
While the paint isn't available for consumers quite yet, in a few years, when the August heat gets to be too much, you may find yourself reaching not for the thermostat, but the paint brush.