Revolutionary Mirror Invention Could Eliminate The Need For Air Conditioning

By: | December 22nd, 2014

In the future, buildings may not need air conditioning at all thanks to an energy-saving mirror developed by Stanford engineers capable of reducing energy consumption for large buildings.

Air conditioning consumes around 15% of energy used by buildings in the United States but this new high-tech mirror can send heat into space to replace air-conditioning units responsible for keeping buildings cool.

The mirror is built from ultrathin multi layered materials that deal with invisible and visible light. It is made of seven layers of silicon dioxide and hafnium oxide on top of a thin layer of silver. For perspective, the ultrathin multi-layered material is thinner than the aluminum foil.

The mirror fights heat in two ways. First, it reflects visible sunlight just like an ordinary mirror. It reflects 97% of the visible light that falls on it. When the mirror is warmed up, it can cool the air around it 9 degrees Fahrenheit by releasing heat at a specific wavelength of infrared light out into the space.

As a result of this invention, future buildings may potentially require less air conditioning or simply not need it at all.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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