A new material made from cooking oil and polymer is used to produce a roof coating that morphs its optical properties – reflecting the sun’s rays on hot days and absorbing the rays when it’s cold. This results in reducing the load on heating and cooling systems.
The new “smart” coating is made out of a cooking oil-based polymer that hardens into a plastic. The bio-based intelligent roof coating, compared with a traditional cool roof, could reduce both heating and cooling costs as it responds to the external environment. Besides energy savings, it will provide a new use for millions of gallons of waste oil after it is used to cook french fries and chicken nuggets.
The team tested the coating on asphalt shingles, finding it could reduce roof temperatures by about 50-80% in warm weather. In cool weather, the coating increased roof temperatures up to 80% compared with the traditional cool roof.