A PNIPAM mat, shown on the right, keeps a model house cooler than a mat made from conventional polymer, shown on the left (Photo: Rotzetter ACC / Advanced Materials)
The research was carried out to scale on small model railway houses (Photo: Rotzetter ACC / Advanced Materials)
The mats are manufactured from a special polymer known as PNIPAM (Photo: Rotzetter ACC / Advanced Materials)
We're used to the thought of humans sweating to cool down, but what about buildings? Researchers at ETH Zurich have applied the biological cooling mechanism to the task of keeping a building cool, and in the process have hit upon a novel and inexpensive method of cooling houses which could prove useful for homes in both developed and emerging nations.
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