Fibered glass roofs are now the norm in homes across the world.
They offer a low-maintenance roof and are a major source of energy savings.
But a recent study found that a fibered coating could offer another benefit.
The article by the University of Washington suggests that the coating could reduce the number of heating and cooling systems needed to provide a roof that is efficient and offers good insulation.
“A thin layer of fibered metal coatings could reduce heat generation and cooling requirements, resulting in a roof more efficient and more energy-efficient than traditional, non-fibered designs,” said senior author Robert W. Scholtes, a UW professor of mechanical engineering.
“The advantage is that the panels are not as costly to produce, but also that the metal coating doesn’t have the properties of glass that would degrade the material,” he said.
The UW study was published in the journal Energy Storage and Conservation.
The researchers used an ultra-high-resolution camera to capture the effects of heating or cooling systems on the fibres and glass on the roof surface.
They found that the glass in the roof is less flexible than that on the exterior walls of the house.
It also is more susceptible to the harshness of winter weather.
“Our data suggests that a coating of fibres on the underside of the glass could improve the performance of the solar heating and heating/cooling systems,” Scholts said.
“This would provide another significant advantage over conventional glass roofing, which can be susceptible to moisture.”
The researchers suggest that a glass roof could also be used as a means of energy efficiency in some applications.
“Future research will examine the potential of using a thin layer on the surface of the roof as a way to enhance thermal efficiency,” Scholtts said in a statement.
“In the meantime, we’re excited to see how a thin, fibrous coating can provide a new benefit for solar heat and cooling.”
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