Thermal Performance Analysis of Highly Reflective Coating on Residences in Hot and Arid Climates

Document Type



A 1-D transient model (RESHEAT), developed by the writers, was used to study the thermal performance of a highly reflective paint applied sequentially to the outer walls and roof of a simulated residence in a hot and arid region of the southwestern United States. The model uses climatological inputs from a file that includes hourly data on ambient temperatures, insolation, cloud cover, and so on, at the particular location. The model focuses particularly on the potential cooling load reduction due to the reduced heat pickup from the inside attic surfaces to the outer surfaces of the supply duct. This simulation showed that a reduction of 33.6% (cooling load) on the average is achieved over the base case where no reflective paint is used when the outer surface of the roof and walls are painted. Alternatively, only a 11% reduction would be achieved if the reflective paint is applied only to the roof. Savings of $42 per month are conservatively estimated from calculations made when applying this technology to a typical residence (roof and walls) equipped with a 4 ton refrigeration unit in the Southwest.


Coatings; Cooling; Cooling load; Cost optimal control; Dwellings – Air conditioning; Electromagnetic wave reflection; Energy conservation; Reflective materials; Refrigeration; Thermal analysis


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Engineering | Heat Transfer, Combustion | Materials Science and Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Sustainability


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