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This Company Is Using New Technology With Nature To Combat Excessive AC Use

The heat waves in the US have become more and more common as climate change has worsened in recent years. SkyCool Systems is a relatively new company attempting to combat the harmful greenhouse gases emitted from excessive air conditioning use throughout the country through new technology. 

“Our planet naturally cools itself by sending heat out in the form of infrared light or radiation. We’re using that effect to essentially radiate heat out during the day and at night, even under direct sunlight.” 

Eli Goldstein is SkyCool’s co-founder and CEO who explained that this process is known as radiative cooling. SkyCool uses rooftop panels made using nanotechnology and optical film that radiates infrared light and cools itself in the process. 

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According to the company these panels work in the opposite way that traditional solar panels do by reflecting about 97% of the sunlight that hits them, and cooling the surface below. 

The SkyCool model involves an embedded network of pipes that are below the panels. These pipes are filled with water that’s kept cool by the panels and then can flow into a refrigeration or air conditioning system. The goal is to take pressure off the AC or fridge cooling systems which can use a lot of energy. 

The panels also cool themselves naturally and don’t require any external power to function, which helps the entire house use less electricity during times of extreme heat. 

Jesus Valenzuela is the store manager at a grocery outlet store in Stockton, California which recently adopted the SkyCool system technology. 

“After we had our SkyCool system installed, our electricity company increased their rates on us. We actually didn’t see our bill go up at all. In fact, we saw it go just a little bit down. I estimate that the panels have saved the store roughly $3,000 a month.”

Goldstein’s co-founder and UCLA professor Aaswath Raman is one of many scientists who have been researching the benefits of radiative cooling for years now. Raman is an expert in the field who claims that while several similar solutions have appeared in recent years, there have also been challenges, like how well the technology works without sunlight. 

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“Our technology works best in hot, dry climates where the sky is clear, so when you have clouds, that blocks that radiative cooling window. In the same way that [carbon dioxide] blocks light and sort of has that heat trapping effect, water vapor also will block infrared light.”

“The biggest obstacle to making the technology ubiquitous is its relatively high cost. Most radiative cooling solutions suffer from a high manufacturing cost and large-scale production limits,” researchers at China’s Fudan University wrote in a paper published in the journal Nature.

Goldstein claims that SkyCool’s panels do cost more than solar panels, but didn’t disclose the actual cost. 

“New technologies like radiative cooling are often more expensive. People are very sensitive to first cost, and so that is another barrier to getting new things out there.”

“Much of that is because of low production volumes. Scaling up production could help bring the cost down, particularly for developing countries in Asia and Africa where we hope to eventually expand. For now, we’re focused on commercial applications of the technology, though we hope to start installing panels on the roofs of individual homes.”

“We’re just excited to be able to use this new technology for good,” Goldstein said.

Miami Florida

Popular East Coast Weekend Getaways

If you’re living on the East Coast and constantly craving a get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there’s a whole world of options for potential places to go that don’t have to occupy more than 48 hours of your life. The concept of a weekend getaway allows us to go on vacation without spending nearly as much money as we would on a more extended break, and also doesn’t require us to use any of our precious PTO or sick days. So where should you go this weekend? 

If you crave the excitement and flashy lights of a Las Vegas casino, then look no further than Atlantic City, New Jersey. Widely considered to be the “Vegas of the east,” Atlantic City offers all the flashy lights, cameras, and action of its west coast counterpart. Within the past few years Atlantic City has undergone extensive redevelopments to cater to a more sophisticated clientele, however, the beaches, boardwalk and casinos maintain the classic AC charm that many of us have grown to love. 

The New Jersey Transit system also allows for easy train travel for individuals from Pennsylvania, New York or other parts of Jersey. Once arrived, travelers can choose between a myriad of highly-rated seafood establishments and steak houses. Resort and spa deals help emulate a relaxing weekend in paradise for visitors, while casinos will give that AC energy that most are looking for. 

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Cape Cod, Massachusetts 

Since summer is right around the corner, Cape Cod is next up on the list. Cape Cod, Massachusetts is the epitome of beach town postcard views and “fun in the sun” energy, all year round. Even during the winter months, the city thrives with travelers who enjoy their many famous golf courses, wineries/bars, and whale watching excursions; which are typically the most successful in the winter months when whales are migrating through the area. 

Lighthouses and a series of intimate Inn’s surrounded by the town’s most famous seafood establishments give the town an old-school beach vibe. If you’re from Boston, there’s plenty of public transport options for you to get to the boardwalk promptly. If you’re from New York, you may want to consider a three-day weekend, as getting there could take up to five hours via public transport. 

Long Island, New York is a popular getaway for anyone working in surrounding metropolitan areas because of how many different towns and activities there are to do. Out east, there’s the Hamptons and Long Island’s wine country which will give any adult a little taste of west coast napa valley life on a weekend budget. The Long Island Railroad allows for easy travel coming into the island as well as travelling around it if you’re feeling a more nomadic experience. 

Long Island is known for its diverse range of food establishments to eat at, and the pizza and bagels are just as famously good as they are in New York City. Speaking of, unless you’re coming in from the city of course, NYC is just a short train ride away for exploration, the LIRR will even bring you right to Penn Station in the heart of Manhattan. 

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Lake Champlain, Vermont 

Vermont may not seem like it would be a top priority in terms of weekend destinations, however, unless you’ve already been don’t knock it until you try it. Burlington, to be more specific, is just over three hours from the city of Boston, and has direct one hour flights from NYC, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., allowing for easy access. The city is known as a biking town when the weather allows, as the Lake Champlain Bikeway surrounds the entire perimeter of Lake Champlain, giving some of the most incredible views. 

In addition, Burlington is the home of famous ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, so feel free to take a factory tour while you’re visiting and reward yourself after a long bike ride around the lake with a pint of your favorite flavor. Like every other option on this list, Burlington is also home to a whole slew of fancy restaurants and comfortable/affordable hotels.

Finally, the furthest getaway spot on our list goes to Miami, Florida.While Miami is more than just a simple drive for those of us on the northern end of the East Coast, a two hour flight really isn’t that bad if it means spending time on a warm white sandy beach. Besides a year-long sunny climate and landscape beach views, Miami is one of the most social cities in America. They have a buzzing nightlife, accompanied by famous restaurants and hotels, including the Versailles Restaurant Cuban Cuisine in Little Havana, Joe’s Stone Crab seafood restaurant, and  La Mar by Gaston Acurio, which is most famous for it’s instagram-worthy waterfront view.