“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: 105

Comment

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

Join Home Energy Pros Forum

Latest Activity

David Butler replied to Don Fugler's discussion Depressurization/make-up air issues in the group Kitchen Ventilation
"Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Brennan. My point about the load impact on tight homes with…"
2 hours ago
Brennan Less replied to Don Fugler's discussion Depressurization/make-up air issues in the group Kitchen Ventilation
"David, I know the pressure reaches static levels quickly. I meant, how quickly then does radon…"
6 hours ago
David Butler replied to Don Fugler's discussion Depressurization/make-up air issues in the group Kitchen Ventilation
"@Brennan, there's virtually no lag. When an exhaust fan comes on, the pressure differential…"
7 hours ago
David Butler joined Don Fugler's group
Thumbnail

Kitchen Ventilation

In many homes, cooking is the largest indoor source of air pollutants. Exposures can be higher in…See More
8 hours ago
Tom Phillips replied to Don Fugler's discussion Depressurization/make-up air issues in the group Kitchen Ventilation
"Hi Don:  good questions, as usual. Would be great to routinely get depressurization data…"
11 hours ago
Glen Gallo replied to Rob Madden's discussion Determining Duct Leakage based solely on blower door and pressure pan testing
"delta q works cool graph does return a supply leakage sometimes it has a hard time reaching smooth…"
11 hours ago
Tom Phillips liked Don Fugler's discussion Depressurization/make-up air issues
12 hours ago
Brennan Less replied to Don Fugler's discussion Depressurization/make-up air issues in the group Kitchen Ventilation
"Hi Don, great sequence of questions, and a couple of thoughts. Overall, I just don't see…"
12 hours ago

© 2019   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service