A cool energy saving idea – color changing roof tiles

 

Thermeleon roof tiles change color with the temperature

Thermeleon roof tiles change color with the temperature

Students at MIT have come up with an innovative solution to energy loss from black rooftops. A group of grad students have created a color-changing roof tile called the Thermeleon (rhymes with chameleon).

This amazing roof tile – which took first place this week in MIT’s Making and Designing Materials Engineering Contest -uses commercial polymers and solvents encapsulated between a clear plastic top layer and a black backing layer. This lets the tiles turn white when it’s hot and black when it’s cold.

“The cost of our materials came out to be less than what common roof asphalt shingles sell for,” said Nick Orf, MIT post-doctoral student and Thermeleon team member.

Since a significant amount of energy is lost through inefficient roofing, this is an exciting discovery. Not yet available on the market, this definitely bears watching.

European Union's tough environmental rules

European Union bldgThe European Union has set some pretty tough environmental goals for businesses to achieve over the coming decade.

The news agency Reuters released a draft report from the European Commission stating that 15 million European buildings need to have  energy-efficient renovations over the next decade to cut energy use.

Airlines are in this energy-saving boat too. Commercial airlines, private jet operators and air forces around the globe are on a list of 4,000 companies released by the EU that will have to reduce their emissions or face a European airport ban.

 

Quatar Airlines completed the 1st flight using partially natural gas fuel

Quatar Airlines completed the 1st flight using partially natural gas fuel

With the first flight of a plane partially fueled by natural gas  completed, theInternational Air Transport Association  has pledged to cut air emissions in half by 2050.

These stringent goals are designed to force companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions but so far results are meager at best. Still, it’s anticipated that a large number of “green” jobs will be created, which could certainly go a ways to help improve the global economic outlook.

Will this get the job done? If politicians were to get on-board and be willing to let go of their personal agendas, maybe. But that would require them recognizing the urgency and immediacy of the impacts of climate change and a commitment that so far is barely seen in words, much less by positive actions.

Stay tuned and we’ll see.