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Friday, 8 July 2011

University invents heat-regulating building material

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC)
July 8, 2011

In a major scientific breakthrough with important long-term environmental consequences, researchers at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) have developed a material that will cut the amount of energy a building uses by more than one-third.

The material has the remarkable quality of being able to retain and release heat according to the specific temperature requirements for a building and will help dramatically reduce heating and cooling bills.

It has the unique advantage of possessing a larger energy storage capacity with faster thermal response than existing materials and could be cheaply manufactured.

If, for example, the required optimum temperature in a room is 22°C, the material can be fixed so that it starts absorbing any excess heat above that temperature.

The heat-regulating material can be used in existing buildings as well as during the construction of new real estate and could be applied anywhere, from walls and roofs to wallpaper.

The material looks like a circular tablet with the circumference of a large coin in the laboratory. It can be manufactured in a variety of shapes and sizes, including so small that it can be sprayed as an unobtrusive microscopic film to surfaces.

The building material was recently awarded a patent application approval in China, the University was in a position to announce this week, and patent applications are in the pipeline in other countries.

It was invented by researchers at the University’s Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies.

The scientists responsible for the invention are: project leader Professor Jo Darkwa, who is Director of the Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies; Research Associate Oliver Su; and, PhD student Tony Zhou.
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