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SBIR Phase I: Passive Cooling Materials for Transparent Applications in Refrigerated Trucking and Solar

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1914454
Agency Tracking Number: 1914454
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: MI
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-06-30
Small Business Information
ITHACA, NY 14850
United States
DUNS: 116863801
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Romy Fain
 (415) 710-5567
Business Contact
 Romy Fain
Phone: (415) 710-5567
Research Institution

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is to overcome the barrier to transparent passive radiative cooling materials that are applicable to commercial environments. The project develops a transparent passive cooling thin-film applicable to situations that lose efficiency when heated, and where both mechanical and thermal stress are involved, for example, over advertisements on refrigerated trucks, or on the front face of solar panels. It will provide the simultaneous qualities of transparency in visible wavelengths, durability to withstand the elements, flexibility for ease of application, high cooling power to address customers' pain points, and manufacturability in a roll to roll format to minimize costs. The technology has the potential to provide a 25-80% increase in fuel efficiency via application of the thin-film to the outside of refrigerated truck trailers. The benefits to customers include: fuel cost savings, reduced emissions, allowing regulatory requirements to be met, decreased maintenance and replacement costs compared to refrigeration units and in-truck insulation in truck, as well as temperature maintenance in maximum heat. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to develop a thin-film product that could revolutionize cooling technologies across a number of industries. The demand for temperature-sensitive goods is expected to continue to grow significantly. To address the need for refrigeration with reduced fuel costs and emissions, the project is developing selective photonic emitters in thermal wavelength windows such that instead of heat being effectively enclosed in an insulating thermos (the atmosphere), they are exposed to a vast cold sink of space. The result is a revolutionary method of entirely passive heat management. This approach will be optimized in a thin-film photonics material that provides significant cooling to refrigerated truck trailers, saving refrigeration fuel costs. Phase I research objectives will establish proof of feasibility and include producing and testing promising material combinations at wafer-scale, testing to ensure that the material's qualities transfer to a commercially relevant size, and performing a small-scale test with potential customers. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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