Thursday, June 8, 2023

New ‘nanoteks’ to passively regulate internal temperatures

The first “phase change inks” have been developed that use nanotechnology to regulate temperature more effectively in the everyday environment.

New research published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Dr Mohammad Taha of the University of Melbourne, documents the proof-of-concept of this technology, which achieves control of “passive weather” by adjusting the amount of radiation that can pass through it, depending on the environment.

Dr. Taha said these inks could be used to create coatings for passive heating and cooling, reducing our need to rely on artificial power to regulate temperature.

“Humans must create and maintain a lot of energy to make our environments more comfortable: by heating and cooling our buildings, homes, cars and even our bodies,” he said in a statement.

“Not only can we focus on generating power from renewable resources to reduce our environmental impact. We must also consider reducing our energy consumption as part of our energy solutions, as the impact of climate change becomes more real.

“By designing our inks to respond to their environment, we not only reduce energy waste, but also eliminate the need for auxiliary systems for temperature control, which is an additional waste of energy.”

Passive climate control would allow for comfortable living conditions without wasting the necessary energy. For example, to provide comfortable winter heating, the colors applied to the facade of buildings could automatically change to allow solar rays to pass through during the day, and more insulation to keep the heat at night. In the summer they can transform the barrier of the object to the heat of the sun’s rays and the surrounding environment.

Different “phase change inks” are conceptual concepts that can be laminated, sprayed or added to paint and building materials. They can also be incorporated into clothing, controlling body temperature in extreme environments, or in the creation of large, flexible, electronic devices such as flexible circuits, cameras and detectors, and gas and temperature sensors.

Dr Taha said: “Our research removes the previous restrictions of applying these inks in a very economical way. It means that existing structures and building materials can be retrofitted. Incase with using manufacturing could reach the market in five to 10 years. .

“Through collaboration with industry, we can scale them up and integrate them into new and existing technologies as part of a global approach to addressing the energy challenges of global climate change.

“The potential of this material is huge, as it can be used for many different purposes, such as preventing heat build-up in laptop electronics or in a car. The beauty of this material is that we can adapt its heat absorption properties to suit our needs.

“From the different phases of the change of material already to the manufacture of smart glass, but we can design our new material smarter through the sides and paint. This new nanotechnology can help retrofit existing buildings to make them more efficient. It is better to be environmentally friendly and sustainable. In the future” .

The breakthrough was achieved by discovering how to modify one of the main components of “transformational matter”: vanadium oxide (VO2). Phase change materials use triggers, such as heat or electricity, to create enough energy to transform the material under pressure. Previously, however, it was necessary to heat the phase change materials at very high temperatures to activate the “phase change” properties.

“We used our understanding of how these materials fit together to prove how we could trigger an insulator-to-metal (IMT) reaction, where the material essentially acts as a narrow heat switch beyond a specific temperature, close to room temperature (30 -40 degrees Celsius),” Dr. Taha said.

The next step will be to bring the research, published by the University of Melbourne, into production.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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