A new white paint has been created that manages to reflect 98% of sunlight and infrared heat. In tests, the paint cooled surfaces by 4.5°C below the ambient temperature, even in strong sunlight.
The strategic objective is to use the new paint material to cool buildings whilst reducing the growing reliance upon air conditioning. Covering a 1,000 sqft roof with the paint would provide a cooling power of 10kW, which is apparently more powerful than the central air conditioners used by most houses that have installed A/C.
This is not an entirely novel idea. But engineers based at Purdue University in Indiana claim that this is the whitest paint yet, mimicking a heterogeneous surface of barium sulphate particles. Apparently paints currently on the market, although ostensibly designed to reduce heat, are only managing to reflect 80% of sunlight.
Air conditioners and electric fans accounted for nearly 10% of global electricity use by 2018, and this figure is set on current trends to rise to nearly 40% by the year 2050. So white on white is definitely de rigueur.