Ross D. Franklin / AP
The Bay Area's SkyCool Systems is developing a technology that one day might be used to significantly cut energy demands from air conditioning, one of the U.S.'s major draws of electricity, per MIT Technology Review.
- How it works: SkyCool has developed panels that reflect sunlight at a specific infrared range that allows heat to slip through the atmosphere, allowing their surface to cool — while also cooling the water used in traditional air conditioning systems. Recent results suggest existing buildings can be retrofitted with the technology.
- By the numbers: The panels could cut energy use in buildings by 10 to 70%, depending on conditions.
- Why it matters: Should SkyCool's proof-of-concept test pan out (they're currently in field trials), the technology could have a serious impact at hotels, supermarkets and other places that require massive amounts of climate control.