A Janus emitter for passive heat release from enclosures.
ABSTRACT: Passive radiative cooling functions by reflecting the solar spectrum and emitting infrared waves in broadband or selectively. However, cooling enclosed spaces that trap heat by greenhouse effect remains a challenge. We present a Janus emitter (JET) consisting of an Ag-polydimethylsiloxane layer on micropatterned quartz substrate. The induced spoof surface plasmon polariton helps overcome inherent emissivity loss of the polymer and creates near-ideal selective and broadband emission on the separate sides. This design results in not only remarkable surface cooling when the JET is attached with either side facing outwards but also space cooling when used as an enclosure wall. Thus, the JET can passively mitigate the greenhouse effect in enclosures while offering surface cooling performance comparable to conventional radiative coolers.
Project description:Abstract Daytime radiative cooling serving as a method to pump heat from objects on Earth to cold outer space is an attractive cooling option that does not require any energy input. Among radiative cooler structures, the multilayer? or photonic?structured radiative cooler, composed of inorganic materials, remains one of the most complicated structures to fabricate. In this study, transparent sapphire?substrate?based radiative coolers comprising a simple structure and selective emitter?like optical characteristics are proposed. Utilizing the intrinsic optical properties of the sapphire substrate and adopting additional IR emissive layers, such as those composed of silicon nitride thin film or aluminum oxide nanoparticles, high?performance radiative coolers can be fabricated with a low mean absorptivity (3–4%) at 0.3–2.5 µm and a high mean emissivity of over 90% at 8–13 µm. Experiments show that the fabricated radiative coolers reach temperature drops of ?10 °C in the daytime. From the theoretical calculations of radiative cooling performance, the sapphire?substrate?based radiative coolers demonstrate a net cooling power as high as 100 Wm?2. Sapphire substrate?based radiative coolers are introduced having simple structure and selective emitter?like optical characteristics. Utilizing the intrinsic optical properties of sapphire substrate and additional IR emissive materials, high?performance radiative coolers composed of purely inorganic materials are presented without elaborate simulation work previous studies reported.
Project description:We investigate the fundamental limit of radiative cooling of objects on the Earth's surfaces under general conditions including nonradiative heat transfer. We deduce the lowest steady-state temperature attainable and highest net radiative cooling power density available as a function of temperature. We present the exact spectral emissivity that can reach such limiting values, and show that the previously used 8-13 ?m atmospheric window is highly inappropriate in low-temperature cases. The critical need for materials with simultaneously optimized optical and thermal properties is also identified. These results provide a reference against which radiative coolers can be benchmarked.
Project description:Broadband high reflectance in nature is often the result of randomly, three-dimensionally structured materials. This study explores unique optical properties associated with one-dimensional nanostructures discovered in silk cocoon fibers of the comet moth, Argema mittrei. The fibers are populated with a high density of air voids randomly distributed across the fiber cross-section but are invariant along the fiber. These filamentary air voids strongly scatter light in the solar spectrum. A single silk fiber measuring ~50 μm thick can reflect 66% of incoming solar radiation, and this, together with the fibers' high emissivity of 0.88 in the mid-infrared range, allows the cocoon to act as an efficient radiative-cooling device. Drawing inspiration from these natural radiative-cooling fibers, biomimetic nanostructured fibers based on both regenerated silk fibroin and polyvinylidene difluoride are fabricated through wet spinning. Optical characterization shows that these fibers exhibit exceptional optical properties for radiative-cooling applications: nanostructured regenerated silk fibers provide a solar reflectivity of 0.73 and a thermal emissivity of 0.90, and nanostructured polyvinylidene difluoride fibers provide a solar reflectivity of 0.93 and a thermal emissivity of 0.91. The filamentary air voids lead to highly directional scattering, giving the fibers a highly reflective sheen, but more interestingly, they enable guided optical modes to propagate along the fibers through transverse Anderson localization. This discovery opens up the possibility of using wild silkmoth fibers as a biocompatible and bioresorbable material for optical signal and image transport.
Project description:Controlling the emissivity of a thermal emitter has attracted growing interest, with a view toward a new generation of thermal emission devices. To date, all demonstrations have involved using sustained external electric or thermal consumption to maintain a desired emissivity. In the present study, we demonstrated control over the emissivity of a thermal emitter consisting of a film of phase-changing material Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) on top of a metal film. This thermal emitter achieves broad wavelength-selective spectral emissivity in the mid-infrared. The peak emissivity approaches the ideal blackbody maximum, and a maximum extinction ratio of >10?dB is attainable by switching the GST between the crystalline and amorphous phases. By controlling the intermediate phases, the emissivity can be continuously tuned. This switchable, tunable, wavelength-selective and thermally stable thermal emitter will pave the way toward the ultimate control of thermal emissivity in the field of fundamental science as well as for energy harvesting and thermal control applications, including thermophotovoltaics, light sources, infrared imaging and radiative coolers.
Project description:Femtosecond (fs) laser processing can significantly alter the optical, thermal, mechanical, and electrical properties of materials. Here, we show that fs-laser processing transforms aluminum (Al) to a highly efficient and multipronged heat exchanger. By optimizing the formed surface nano- and microstructures, we increase the Al emissivity and surface area by 700% and 300%, respectively. Accordingly, we show that fs-laser treated Al (fs-Al) increases the radiative and convective cooling power of fs-Al by 2100% and 300%, respectively, at 200 °C. As a direct application, we use fs-Al as a heat sink for a thermoelectric generator (TEG) and demonstrate a 280% increase in the TEG output power compared to a TEG with an untreated Al heat exchanger at 200 °C. The multipronged enhancement in fs-Al heat exchange properties lead to an increase in the TEG output power over a wide temperature ( T ) range ( T>50°C ). Conversely, a simple radiative cooling heat exchanger increases the TEG output power within a limited temperature range (T>150°C) . We investigate the laser processing parameters necessary to maximize the spectral emissivity and surface area of fs-Al. Fs-Al promises to be a widely used and compact heat exchanger for passive cooling of computers and data centers as well as to increase the efficiency of TEGs incorporated in sensors and handheld electronics.
Project description:Presently, there are no global measurement constraints on the surface emissivity at wavelengths longer than 15 ?m, even though this surface property in this far-IR region has a direct impact on the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and infrared cooling rates where the column precipitable water vapor (PWV) is less than 1 mm. Such dry conditions are common for high-altitude and high-latitude locations, with the potential for modeled climate to be impacted by uncertain surface characteristics. This paper explores the sensitivity of instantaneous OLR and cooling rates to changes in far-IR surface emissivity and how this unconstrained property impacts climate model projections. At high latitudes and altitudes, a 0.05 change in emissivity due to mineralogy and snow grain size can cause a 1.8-2.0 W m(-2) difference in the instantaneous clear-sky OLR. A variety of radiative transfer techniques have been used to model the far-IR spectral emissivities of surface types defined by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program. Incorporating these far-IR surface emissivities into the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 scenario of the Community Earth System Model leads to discernible changes in the spatial patterns of surface temperature, OLR, and frozen surface extent. The model results differ at high latitudes by as much as 2°K, 10 W m(-2), and 15%, respectively, after only 25 y of integration. Additionally, the calculated difference in far-IR emissivity between ocean and sea ice of between 0.1 and 0.2, suggests the potential for a far-IR positive feedback for polar climate change.
Project description:Recent progress in passive radiative cooling technologies has substantially improved cooling performance under direct sunlight. Yet, experimental demonstrations of daytime radiative cooling still severely underperform in comparison with the theoretical potential due to considerable solar absorption and poor thermal insulation at the emitter. In this work, we developed polyethylene aerogel (PEA)-a solar-reflecting (92.2% solar weighted reflectance at 6 mm thick), infrared-transparent (79.9% transmittance between 8 and 13 ?m at 6 mm thick), and low-thermal-conductivity (<i>k</i> <sub>PEA</sub> = 28 mW/mK) material that can be integrated with existing emitters to address these challenges. Using an experimental setup that includes the custom-fabricated PEA, we demonstrate a daytime ambient temperature cooling power of 96 W/m<sup>2</sup> and passive cooling up to 13°C below ambient temperature around solar noon. This work could greatly improve the performance of existing passive radiative coolers for air conditioning and portable refrigeration applications.
Project description:All-day passive radiative cooling has recently attracted tremendous interest by reflecting sunlight and radiating heat to the ultracold outer space. While some progress has been made, it still remains big challenge in fabricating highly efficient and low-cost radiative coolers for all-day and all-climates. Herein, we report a hierarchically structured polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) film with a micropore array combined with random nanopores for highly efficient day- and nighttime passive radiative cooling. This hierarchically porous array PMMA film exhibits sufficiently high solar reflectance (0.95) and superior longwave infrared thermal emittance (0.98) and realizes subambient cooling of ~8.2?°C during the night and ~6.0?°C to ~8.9?°C during midday with an average cooling power of ~85?W/m<sup>2</sup> under solar intensity of ~900?W/m<sup>2</sup>, and promisingly ~5.5?°C even under solar intensity of ~930?W/m<sup>2</sup> and relative humidity of ~64% in hot and moist climate. The micropores and nanopores in the polymer film play crucial roles in enhancing the solar reflectance and thermal emittance.
Project description:Maintaining human body temperature is one of the most basic needs for living, which often consumes a huge amount of energy to keep the ambient temperature constant. To expand the ambient temperature range while maintaining human thermal comfort, the concept of personal thermal management has been recently demonstrated in heating and cooling textiles separately through human body infrared radiation control. Realizing these two opposite functions within the same textile would represent an exciting scientific challenge and a significant technological advancement. We demonstrate a dual-mode textile that can perform both passive radiative heating and cooling using the same piece of textile without any energy input. The dual-mode textile is composed of a bilayer emitter embedded inside an infrared-transparent nanoporous polyethylene (nanoPE) layer. We demonstrate that the asymmetrical characteristics of both emissivity and nanoPE thickness can result in two different heat transfer coefficients and achieve heating when the low-emissivity layer is facing outside and cooling by wearing the textile inside out when the high-emissivity layer is facing outside. This can expand the thermal comfort zone by 6.5°C. Numerical fitting of the data further predicts 14.7°C of comfort zone expansion for dual-mode textiles with large emissivity contrast.
Project description:Demonstrations of passive daytime radiative cooling have primarily relied on complex and costly spectrally selective nanophotonic structures with high emissivity in the transparent atmospheric spectral window and high reflectivity in the solar spectrum. Here, we show a directional approach to passive radiative cooling that exploits the angular confinement of solar irradiation in the sky to achieve sub-ambient cooling during the day regardless of the emitter properties in the solar spectrum. We experimentally demonstrate this approach using a setup comprising a polished aluminum disk that reflects direct solar irradiation and a white infrared-transparent polyethylene convection cover that minimizes diffuse solar irradiation. Measurements performed around solar noon show a minimum temperature of 6?°C below ambient temperature and maximum cooling power of 45 W?m-2. Our passive cooling approach, realized using commonly available low-cost materials, could improve the performance of existing cooling systems and enable next-generation thermal management and refrigeration solutions.