Phase shifting roofing tiles save money, look cool.

by Mike
Posted November 30th, 2009 at 2:41 pm


What would you say if I said your roof could be so much better? Why am i asking you about your roof on a tech blog? If you thought there was nothing cool about such things, think again. The roof above our head is a grossly outdated piece of human existence that has remained unchanged for decades. That’s all about to change with the Thermeleon roofing tiles. What’s so special? These futuristic phase-change polymer gel-filled tiles developed by MIT students for the MIT MADMEC (Making and Designing Materials Engineering Contest) actually change color according to the temperature during the day — white during the summer days to reflect heat and black during this bitter winter days to absorb heat. Novel idea. Simple in theory. Brilliantly executed. Now don’t get all excited that you’re heating/cooling bill is going to be slashed by 99%. Instead, take comfort in knowing that you’re saving energy. Even though it’s a relatively small portion in the grander scheme of things, every little bit helps right?

While I’m not discounting the teams’ efforts or results in any way, a user comment on Gizmag highlights one way the MIT team could take the whole “green roof” one step further — add some sort of solar energy converter/storage system. Not only could you power the house with the solar energy, but a system of houses connected to the grid could, if the system required, push stored energy back into the grid. Getting somewhere…?

Ubergizmo > Gizmag > MIT News

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