Maps optimize radiative cooling system siting in the USS. Himmelstein | June 26, 2019
The residential and commercial sectors in the U.S. are responsible for about 39% of the total national energy consumption, and 15% of that is allocated for air conditioning applications. Increased adoption of passive radiative cooling technologies, such as cool-roof paint coatings and solar panels, can conserve electricity and reduce pressure on power grids.
Optimal placement of these systems depends on local meteorological conditions, so a series of radiative cooling resource maps for the contiguous U.S. was developed by University of California San Diego researchers to determine the best climates for large-scale deployment. Zero shortwave absorptance (maximum reﬂectance), blackbody longwave emittance and other optical properties were analyzed in the preparation of annual and season-averaged maps. Daytime and nighttime cooling potential were also computed and compared.
The maps presented in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy show that the southwestern U.S. has the highest annual averaged cooling potential of over 70 W/m2, due to its dry and mostly clear sky meteorological conditions. The lowest potential of around 30 W/m2 is assigned to the southeastern U.S., due to frequent humid or overcast conditions. The annual average cooling potential over the contiguous United States is 50.5 W/m2.