GRABER: Most of a homeowner's energy costs come from air conditioners in the summer and heaters in the winter. Now, one Chinese scientist says he has an energy-saving solution that can increase the inside home temperature by about seven degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and cool your home by about 14 degrees in the summer. He's developed a heat-sensitive paint that changes color as the seasons change. When the temperature warms up the paint is a paler blue, reflecting light and keeping your house cooler. As winter sets in, the paint takes on a darker, reddish tint and absorbs heat from the sun. It works like this: When fats are solid, they're opaque. They become translucent when they melt, kind of like butter. It starts out yellow and becomes see-through in a frying pan. For heat-sensitive paint, dyes are added to fats and form small beads, which are added to the paint. Scientists have long been interested in developing heat-sensitive house paint. But most of the pigments used in current heat-sensitive paints break down under UV light and last at most a few months. The Chinese researcher says his paint can last outside up to four years. That's this week's technology note. I'm Cynthia Graber.
(Music up and under)
CURWOOD: And you're listening to Living on Earth.
(Music up and under: Mogwai, "Take Me Some Place Beautiful.")
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth