City of Tempe, ASU working on creating technology to keep bus stops cool

The heat in the valley can sometimes be unbearable, especially when waiting for public transport.

“It’s so hot. It would be nice to have some kind of shade.”

“When I take the bus and stand in the shade.”

To reduce the urban heat island effect, a team of researchers from Arizona State University worked with the City of Tempe and 3M to evaluate various technologies that can help keep bus stops cooler.

“This latest technology is one that has only really become possible in the last 5 years or so. Known as passive radiant daytime cooling materials, materials that both reflect solar energy very strongly and emit their own energy strongly,” said ASU professor David Sailor.

Sailor says six bus stops in Tempe will be used for this experiment.

Three are controlled with conventional materials and the other three have radiant film cooling technology. All have six sensors for comparison.

“Could you actually have material that was below ambient temperature all hours, which means it is always drawing heat from the air and pumping it into space? And we found that this particular product got us most of the way there. Ambient temperature doesn’t stabilize every hour of the year, but most of the time it is below ambient. “

After eight months of collecting data, the team was impressed with the results.

“We noticed a difference of 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit in surface temperatures between the traditional roof of the bus stop and the innovative cooling film,” said Sailor.

Sailor says that by modifying three bus shelters they don’t expect much of an impact on the whole city, but “the idea is to prove the technology and then use it much broader so that it doesn’t just work on the roofs of all the bus shelters. It can be built on roofs, it can be used on other artificial shading structures. It has the potential to really have a really significant cooling effect. “

Sailor and his team are finalizing their analysis and will work on making their results public.

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