Windows were made to keep things out, and we’ve done a pretty good job of using them for just that purpose. Unfortunately, having too many windows can mean a sweltering home, since they absorb heat but don’t tend to cool themselves. That is, until now.
Researchers at Harvard have created self-cooling windows, based on the idea of the human circulatory system. When we heat up, blood vessels on our skin dilate and allow more blood to circulate and cool us down. The windows do the same thing. There is a lattice of ultra thin trenches near the edge of the window. When it gets too hot, you can pump water through the window to cool it.
"The water comes in at a low temperature, runs next to a hot window, and carries that thermal energy away," said lead author Benjamin Hatton.
While most of the house might be insulated against allowing heat in, windows have always been a problem. But with this, you can cool a normal-sized window pane by 14 degrees Fahrenheit with six ounces of water.
Perfect timing for this summer!