As the world gets hotter and hotter, more and more people are installing air conditioning units that emit more and more heat. Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), the primary cooling element used in air conditioning units, is an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, thus creating a vicious cycle where weather
becomes more extreme and the increased demand for air conditioning creates more emissions and hotter temperatures.
An Israeli company may have a partial solution to that problem. SolCold has developed a coating material that uses sunlight to fuel a cooling mechanism process that lowers its own temperature. The coating absorbs light at one frequency and releases it at a higher frequency, creating energy loss and a cooling process. The more the coating is exposed to sunlight, the more it cools. The company’s CEO, Yarn Shenhav describes it “like putting a layer of ice on your rooftop, which is thicker when there is more sun.” Lab simulations have shown the coating could cool the top floor of a building by as much as 10 degrees Celsius. Cooler buildings would mean less need for air conditioning. This technology is currently being tested for a number of applications, such as cooling cars and airplanes, space equipment, and even clothes.