White houses are generally tedious, yet they could help the planet. Purdue University researchers, according to reports, have produced an ultra-white paint that reflects 98.1 percent of solar radiation while emitting infrared heat. It recently set a Guinness World Record for the same. It could successfully replace air conditioning in some circumstances since it leaves the surface cooler than the environment (normal paint warms the surface). It produces a cooling power of 10kW for a 1,000sq. ft. roof, which is more than a conventional house AC unit.
There are heat-reflecting paints on the market, but they only reflect about 90% of sunlight and don’t chill surfaces. The team didn’t have much breathing room, either, and a whiter paint would have put them at risk.
The key was to use a high ratio of barium sulfate in different particle sizes, a chemical commonly found in cosmetics and photo paper. Because of the greater range of sizes, more of the light spectrum is scattered and so more sunlight is reflected.
Although it’s unclear how close this ultra-white paint will come to your local store, the researchers are adamant about commercializing their discovery. They’ve already filed patents and partnered with a business to mass-produce and commercialize the paint. However, if it lives up to the hype, it has the potential to play a significant role in the fight against climate change. In some homes, it could minimize or eliminate the need for air conditioning, especially in warm climates with plenty of sunlight. This could help you save money on hot summer days by reducing emissions and power use.