SkyCool temperature-reduction coating achieves maintenance-free energy savings by creating significant net cooling within the passenger terminal with respect to the solar load on the roof of the building.

The most effective way to save energy is to no longer need it. By eliminating solar heat from entering a building in the first place, its air-conditioning plant is no longer stressed by having to remove a large unnecessary heat load. In addition to saving significant amounts of electricity, this will also extend the working life of the plant as well as the roof.

Scientists at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) found that highly effective cool-roof coatings like SkyCool, with its combined thermal reflection and radiation properties, can cause more heat to exit the building than would otherwise enter through its roof. This results in a strong net cooling within the building with respect to the solar load on the roof. The effect is most pronounced in buildings where the roof is the dominant external surface – such as airport terminals.

In support of the extensive laboratory examinations by UTS and QUT, the SkyCool cool-roof coating was subjected by its users to a series of full-size building field trials of up to two years to account for the many variables that occur in the natural environment, including weather in the tropics.

There is now a reliable body of independent and robust performance data that demonstrates the universities’ findings of the high energy-saving capability of this technology, particularly for the patented SkyCool temperature reduction coating. The table above outlines the directly measured air-conditioning energy savings in buildings ranging from Darwin (tropical) to Melbourne (temperate, with hot summers). With increasing energy pricing, many property owners are finding their cool-roof investment returning in less than two years.

Create an oasis

Further investigation by engineers at Lend Lease, a major construction firm, found that cooling of this high calibre actually creates a cool microclimate, which envelops the entire building – making a cool oasis in the middle of the urban heat island.

This can provide a distinct advantage for terminal buildings surrounded by the acres of hot concrete and tarmac traffic regions. In addition to the vital energy savings, airports including Melbourne and Perth found that SkyCool also protects their roof investment in two ways: it eliminates the thermal shock of expansion and contraction through extreme temperature changes, and it protects the outer roof surface from corrosion. This later element, by extending the life of one terminal roof at Melbourne, saved them well in excess of $1.5 million as well as the disruption to terminal business that a roof repair or replacement would cause.