Thanks to a new development in paint technology, freshly painted cell tower shelters and equipment could feel as cool as they look. Scientists at Purdue University in Indiana say that their super-white paint has built in cooling properties, reports Channel News. A specific application in their study says the paint “can also be used to prevent outdoor telecommunications equipment from overheating.” Their research suggests that replacing the standard titanium dioxide particles with calcium carbonate filters allows the acrylic paint to reflect 95.5 percent of the sunlight that hits it.
At the sun’s zenith, researchers recorded paint temperatures that were cooler than the surrounding air by 1.7 degrees Celsius. At night, an even more noticeable 10 degrees difference was recorded.
“Your air conditioning kicks on mainly due to sunlight heating up the roof and walls and making the inside of your house feel warmer. This paint is basically creating free air conditioning by reflecting that sunlight and offsetting those heat gains from inside your house,” explained Joseph Peoples, who co-authored the report, and is a Purdue Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering.
Fellow scientist, professor Xiulin Ruan, noted, “The key is to ensure the reliability of the paint so that it is viable in long-term outdoor applications. This paint may even be used to combat climate change since it rejects sunlight and radiates heat into space,” adding, “Our paint is compatible with the manufacturing process of commercial paint, and the cost may be comparable or even lower.”