The environmental conditions where people can live and work normally are of critical importance. Temperature is the most important of them, since it directly affects the well-being and state of health. This is strongly felt even at home, and in office and industrial buildings, the situation is even tougher, especially in the warm season.
Many people heat up the environment, not to mention the sun and a lot of different equipment. Therefore, central air conditioning systems are in high demand. Or rather, they used it. The situation has changed dramatically in Europe and the US in recent years.
The fault is an ill-conceived strategy for the transition to “green” energy sources. Western countries are very prejudiced towards nuclear energy, so the number of nuclear power plants on their territory is small, there are much more thermal power plants.
Poorly planned emission reductions and attempts to switch to renewable energy sources have fueled rising electricity prices and scarcity. Of course, this had a bad effect on consumers. Over the past six months, the crisis has worsened, and now everyone is forced to save money, including on air conditioners.
As the climate doesn’t care about politics and the average air temperature continues to rise, researchers have come up with increasingly exotic methods to protect buildings from the heat of the sun. One of them was developed by specialists from the University of Toronto.
Scientists have learned to control the pigment in the cells under the skin, if necessary, they move it up and become dark. They traditionally peeped the idea from nature, or rather, from krill, tiny marine crustaceans.
Those were able to develop a natural mechanism of protection from sunlight penetrating into the surface layer of water. Scientists decided to use a similar method in their development to dose the amount of sunlight.
The device created by the scientists is a cell in which a millimeter layer of mineral oil is enclosed between two plates. The oil itself is transparent and does not change its properties.
To adjust the degree of optical transmission of the cell, the researchers used a liquid pigment. It is fed into the space between two glasses with a tube and a pump. In this case, the shape and area of the resulting spot depend on the feed rate.
If the speed is high, then the spot turns out to be solid and round, but if it is small, it is figured, and its area is much smaller. The higher the feed rate, the less sunlight gets through the cell.
Canadian researchers believe that a similar method can be used to protect windows, as well as the outer walls of buildings, if large panels of this design are created.