Spectrally Tuned All-Polymer Technology for Inducing Cooling (STATIC) | SRI International

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Spectrally Tuned All-Polymer Technology for Inducing Cooling (STATIC)

STATIC cools objects in full sun by harvesting the cold sky’s cooling power.

STATIC, a low-cost polymer film, is engineered to block visible and near-infrared light from the sun while allowing long-wave infrared (LWIR) from warm objects—such as people, plants, animals, liquids, or buildings—to pass through and radiate to the cold sky.  The average human, which has a metabolic rate of 80 watts, can radiate over 100 watts to the cold sky through STATIC.


Developed with support from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s Advanced Research in Dry (ARID) cooling program, SRI International demonstrated STATIC as part of a floating system to cool ponds of water from condenser-based cooling systems at power plants while preventing evaporation.

In commercial applications, STATIC can be used alone in a variety of form factors, including canopy, tent, awning, or cover, to cool objects beneath it.  Because of its high solar-reflectance index, STATIC has the added benefit of increasing the albedo when installed over emissive surfaces.  The equivalent carbon offset of replacing a solar absorbing surface with highly reflecting STATIC is a reduction of 1000 metric tons of CO2 per acre of STATIC.

STATIC is made from polyethylene that has been spectrally tuned through the incorporation of size-controlled air pores optimized to yield a highly transparent film across the 8- to 13 LWIR band.  STATIC is made in a low-cost roll-to-roll process and is available in thicknesses ranging from a 0.1 to 0.5 mm.

The information, data, or work presented herein was funded in part by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), U.S. Department of Energy, under Award Number DE-AR0000576. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.