A new building material that can retain and release heat according to specific temperature requirements has been developed by researchers based at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC).
The heat-regulating material could make a significant difference to the cost of heating and cooling buildings, say the researchers.
They believe their invention — which could be used in existing structures as well as new builds — could offer considerable energy savings.
The novel non-deformed energy storage phase change material (PCM) has the unique advantage of possessing a larger energy storage capacity with faster thermal response than existing materials and could be cheaply manufactured.
The heat-regulating material, devised by researchers at the University’s Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies, 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.
“This material, if widely used, could make a major impact in the world’s efforts to reduce carbon emission,” Stated project leader Professor Jo Darkwa, who is Director of the Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies.