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Solar Reflectometry Services at TWI

Tue, 20 April, 2021

TWI recently purchased a solar reflectometer, which is able to measure solar reflectance and absorbance on surfaces.

As the challenge of managing the effect of climate change continues to be important across the world, surfaces have been used to mitigate against the problem. This is far from a new development as, for example, light coloured surfaces have been used for centuries on buildings in the Middle East to reflect the heat of the sun and keep the structures cooler inside.

The use of darker coloured surfaces to increase heat or lighter coloured surfaces for cooling is not just used with buildings, but also has applications in industries such as automotive.

This phenomenon was in the news recently with the development of a paint that is ‘whiter than the whitest paint currently available. This coating is able to reflect over 98% of sunlight and thereby help fight climate change by cooling building naturally and reducing the reliance on air conditioning units. New York has already taken up the idea of ‘cool roofs’ by painting over 10 million square feet of rooftops white. This not only reduces energy demands but also reduces the amount of water used for irrigation in cities.

Of course, it is not just light colours that can help, as shown with the development in 2014 of ‘Vantablack,’ a coating of nanoscale carbon tubes that absorbs almost all light and has been used in space telescopes.

TWI’s portable and hand-held solar reflectometer allows you to quantify information on the absorbing or reflective qualities of different surfaces and coatings across a range of wavelengths and in line with specific standards.

With uses across industry for a wide range of different material coatings and surfaces, please contact us, below, to see how you could benefit from access to the solar reflectometer at TWI.

For more information please email: