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University of Buffalo Scientists Discover an Electricity-Free Replacement to Air Conditioning


A private company called SkyCool Systems is starting to manufacture the most energy efficient cooling system using a concept called ‘radiative cooling’.

Radiative cooling is the process in which the heat that is emitted from the earth escapes into space. Hundreds of years ago in the middle east, this method was used to make ice when temperatures were above freezing. Water would be surrounded by bales of hay, causing the heat emitted by the water to escape faster than the adjacent areas, dropping the temperature faster and further, freezing the water.

This concept can now be used and applied to our homes, data centers, and refrigerators, using advanced technology and the help of three former Stanford University scientists, who are now the co-founders of SkyCool.

Watch one of those founders, Aaswath Raman, explain in this short TED talk:

Their invention looks like a solar panel, relying on a high-tech film covering the flat metal sheet, to absorb, emit, and reflect the heat up into space. When doing so, the area beneath the film can effectively see a temperature drop of about 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit lower than the surrounding air.


Co-founder Aaswath Raman:

“The core thing the material does is make this effect useful during the day” … “Most materials absorb enough sunlight to totally counteract the cooling effect. That’s been the big issue. You couldn’t do it during the day, when you need cooling the most.”

Co-founder Eli Goldstein:

“We’re optimistic because we have a lot of really good customer interest.”


To read the full University of Buffalo scientific journal article that this technology is based on, click here.