Effective Properties of Semitransparent Radiative Cooling Materials with Spectrally Variable Properties

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3 Scopus Citations


Radiative cooling is a promising solid-state, non-vapor-compression technology for passive refrigeration and air conditioning. Although this phenomenon occurs naturally, achieving a significant amount of cooling to make it a technically and economically viable technology requires highly engineered, spectrally selective radiative surfaces. These characteristics make radiative cooling difficult to estimate, particularly when it is integrated with other systems such as photovoltaic panels or building envelopes. The complexity further increases when the substrate also participates in the radiative cooling (along with the radiative coating). Energy estimation is becoming increasingly critical because of the recent focus on the semitransparent radiative coatings that transmit a variety of colors to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the system. Here, we propose an iterative method to calculate the effective radiative properties, which provides the same net radiative cooling that would be observed using the spectral properties at both the coating and substrate surfaces. Compared to traditional methods that rely on either computationally expensive full spectral analysis or methods for averaging each radiative surface parameter locally, our proposed method focuses on calculating effective properties that provide the same the net cooling effect as a full spectral analysis by accounting the emissivity, absorptivity, and transmissivity collectively, thereby providing an overall estimation error of less than 0.2%. We believe that this study will be beneficial to the engineering communities that employ complex simulation codes and require lumped solar and thermal radiation related parameters.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number118048
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-80417


  • Effective properties
  • Participating substrate
  • Radiative cooling
  • Semitransparent coating
  • Spectral variable properties


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