SEMINAR: Advanced Materials Enhance Energy Efficiency and Resource Sustainability – Examples for Radiative Cooling and Indoor Environmental Management

SEMINAR: Advanced Materials Enhance Energy Efficiency and Resource Sustainability – Examples for Radiative Cooling and Indoor Environmental Management

Seminar Abstract 

Innovative materials enhance energy efficiency and resource sustainability for buildings. Two advanced material developments are introduced in this seminar.

The first material is a glass-and-polymer based metamaterial that is capable of cooling surface underneath (e.g., building roof) by as much as 10 to 16oC even under direct sun light without using either energy or water. The metamaterial consists of a 50 mm-thin polymeric film encapsulating SiO2 microspheres with a random dispersion. The material highly reflects incident solar radiation when backed with silver coating and allows the structure/object underneath to shed heat in the form of infrared thermal radiation. The tested film achieved 100W/m2 cooling power on daily average for both daytime and nighttime. The second material is a highly porous and hydrophobic silica aerogel fabricated using fly ash and trona ore as the starting materials with the cost-effective ambient pressure drying technique. Meanwhile, the released CO2 gas has been used as a gelation agent to produce additional silica aerogel from soluble silicates and methyl trimethoxysilane (MTMS), which creates a “zero”-emission manufacturing loop. The aerogels present super properties including high thermal stability, large specific surface area, large pore volume, and excellent particle size and pore diameter. Both the radiative cooling and aerogel materials have been developed using inexpensive approaches and are scalable-manufacturing for mass production.

Seminar Speaker(s) 

Gang Tan
Associate Professor, Wyoming University

Dr. Tan is an Associate Professor of Civil and Architectural Engineering Department at University of Wyoming. His research interests focus on the areas of building energy efficiency, indoor air quality and thermal environment control, and innovative materials for building and other applications. In particular, his current material development research includes low-cost aergogel from industrial wastes, high temperature phase-change thermal storage material for concentrated solar power, carbon fiber reinforced geopolymer for construction, and high-volume fly ash concrete. His research work has been supported by federal and local government agents including grants from Advanced Research Program Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) EPSCoR. Dr. Tan published 50 journal and conference papers and he co-authored a paper recently issued in the journal Science.

Prior to joining the University of Wyoming, Dr. Tan worked in two energy engineering consulting firms and contributed to multiple state-wide building energy efficiency programs aiming to demand side management (DSM) in the U.S.  He is the co-founder of a start-up high-tech company, Radi-Cool, Inc. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tsinghua University, China and Ph.D. degree from M.I.T.


Dec 8, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm