5-speed listening (Air Conditioning - Level 2)

New, super-thin material cools buildings






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Engineers from the University of Colorado Boulder have made a super-thin material that could help keep buildings cool. The engineers developed the amazing new material, that can cool objects even under direct sunlight. The material does not need energy to work. It does not need water to help keep things cool. The new material could do the work of air conditioners, which need a lot of energy and water. The material is not like anything found in nature. It is a glass-polymer hybrid and is just 50 micrometers thick - about the same as the aluminium foil we use for cooking.

The engineers explained how the new material works. When it is put on top of something, two things happen. The first is it cools the object underneath by reflecting the Sun's rays. At the same time, the second thing happens - the material takes away heat from the object underneath. An engineer said: "The key advantage of this technology is that it works 24/7 with no electricity or water….We're excited about the opportunity to explore potential uses in the power industry, aerospace, agriculture and more." Just 10 to 20 square meters of this material could cool down a house in summer.

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