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Research Highlights

Berkeley Lab and PPG Team to Produce Dark Coatings With Unprecedented Solar Reflectance

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and PPG Industries have teamed to develop dark-colored pigments for cool metal roof and façade coatings that incorporate near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence and reflectance to improve energy performance. The program's goal is to develop a more advanced class of dark-colored pigments that can convert a portion of the absorbed visible light energy into NIR energy that is radiated away from buildings.

The new pigment technology under investigation would be a significant advance over current cool-coating pigments. The team estimates that cool coatings based on the new pigment technology could achieve effective solar reflectance (ESR) values of 0.5 to 0.7, compared to ESR values of 0.1 to 0.3 for standard pigments. An ESR improvement of 0.4 and widespread deployment of coatings with these pigments for residential applications in warm and hot areas of the United States could save up to $1.3 billion annually in related energy costs.

The work is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Portrait of Stephen Selkowitz

Stephen Selkowitz

Stephen Selkowitz

EETD's Stephen Selkowitz Receives Engineering News-Record 2014 Award of Excellence

The editors of Engineering News-Record have given Stephen Selkowitz the magazine's 2014 Award of Excellence. Selkowitz received the award "for relentlessly working to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and for moving the nation toward better building performance, as well as for being the master of commercializing energy-efficient building technologies and the mastermind of FLEXLAB," the Facility for Low-Energy eXperiments in Buildings located at Berkeley Lab.

For more information:

  • Stephen Selkowitz
  • (510) 486-5064

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