“Why do you need to cool and heat the whole building? Why don’t you cool and heat individual people?” asked Yi Cui, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University.

Putting on or taking off articles of clothing works to keep a body cool or warm within a certain temperature range; outside that range we rely on heating systems and A/C to keep us comfortable. But what if one garment did both the heating and the cooling?

Cui’s colleague and postdoctoral fellow Po-Chun Hsu decided to create a fabric that could control radiation in both directions. He used two materials with different properties—copper and a carbon coating—and sandwiched them between two layers of polyethylene. When the copper faces out, it keeps heat in and warms the wearer. With the carbon layer facing out, heat is released and a body is cooled.

The material can expand a person’s range of comfort by over 10 degrees F. DOE recommends that we keep thermostats between 68 degrees F in the winter—cooler at night—and 78 degrees F in the summer. That’s a range of 10 degrees F of comfort. Add 10 degrees F to that and that’s quite a comfort range. But Hsu predicts that the potential comfort range increase is close to 25 degrees F. 

The material is not yet ready to wear. It will become a woven fabric that is reversible and can also be laundered. Look for it in your nearest GAP store in a few years?

For more on the Stanford research, click here.

Views: 96

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros Forum to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros Forum

Forum Discussions

Cooling effect from solar panels

Started by Tim Kendzia in General Forum. Last reply by Franco Oyuela yesterday. 16 Replies

Learning Thermostat

Started by Classic Residential, Inc. in General Forum. Last reply by Franco Oyuela yesterday. 35 Replies

When can an oversized A/C be a good thing?

Started by David Byrnes in General Forum. Last reply by Franco Oyuela on Monday. 7 Replies

Surprise loads

Started by Evan Mills in General Forum. Last reply by Daniel Baur-McGuire Dec 6. 4 Replies

Latest Activity

David Meiland posted a discussion

Air gap above floor insulation--how big is the impact?

I looked at a large new house today, and saw what I see in almost every house... the fiberglass…See More
10 hours ago
Franco Oyuela replied to Tim Kendzia's discussion Cooling effect from solar panels
"Those solar panels on top of your roof aren't just providing clean power; they are cooling…"
yesterday
Alice La Pierre replied to Don Fugler's discussion Depressurization/make-up air issues in the group Kitchen Ventilation
"Brilliant; I will ask Santa for a particle monitor for Christmas now.  Thanks!"
yesterday
Franco Oyuela replied to Classic Residential, Inc.'s discussion Learning Thermostat
"What is a smart thermostat? Every home has a thermostat and the smart version of this piece of…"
yesterday
Profile Iconjana Timchak and Greg Stockton joined Home Energy Pros Forum
yesterday
John White posted a blog post
Tuesday
Don Fugler replied to Don Fugler's discussion Depressurization/make-up air issues in the group Kitchen Ventilation
"Alice, there is probably not a specific ventilation requirement for induction cooking. The ROCIS…"
Monday
Dominick Pandolfo joined Michael Stuart's group
Thumbnail

INFRARED THERMOGRAPHY USERS

This group is dedicated to knowledge sharing and discussion of infrared thermography for building…See More
Monday

© 2018   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service