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MIT Team Develops Roof Tile That Changes Color as Temperatures Shift

A group of recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates has developed a roof tile that remains white in summer to reflect the sun’s energy then turns black in winter to absorb the sun’s rays and heat buildings. The so-called “thermeleon” (rhymes with chameleon) technology uses a common commercial polymer trapped between layers of plastic, including a black layer at the back. When the temperature drops, the white layer disappears, exposing the black layer. The MIT graduates say the tiles reflect about 80 percent of the sun’s heat when they are white, translating into a 20 percent savings in cooling costs. When the tiles turn dark, they absorb about 70 percent of solar energy. The MIT team, which last week won a $5,000 prize in the school’s “Making and Designing Materials Engineering Contest,” is now trying to commercialize a version of the tile that can withstand harsh winter conditions. They also are trying to develop a cheaper version of the technology that integrates the polymer solution into paint that could be brushed onto existing black tiles.

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Excellent job by MIT Graduates. I really congratulate Mr Gagan Saini and his team for their excellent work. President Obama Please Note............A new way to save earth

Posted by: Dr Rajiv S on 17 Oct 09

I love this, but I would really like to see a report on the materials themselves, the manufacturing process, the lifecycle of the tiles and possible paint, and the end plan.

This type of innovation is key, but we need to make sure we are taking a look at the whole picture as well. Is this, when you look at all aspects, going to have a better overall effect than just using proper solar orientation of a house and shingling the various roof faces with the proper colors? If yes, then great! But we need to make sure that is the case (here, and otherwise) before going full steam ahead.

Posted by: KarjaCH on 20 Oct 09

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