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Israeli startup harnessing sun’s rays for cooling tech touts new Volkswagen deal

19 9 16

An Israeli startup that has been developing an eco-friendly cooling technology using the sun’s rays as a counter-intuitive but effective catalyst to bring down temperatures in structures such as buildings, cars, and containers, has sealed a new deal with German auto giant Volkswagen to test its product and jointly develop a concept vehicle.

SolCold, founded in 2016 by Yaron Shenhav, who serves as CEO, and nanoscience professor Guy Ron of the Hebrew University’s Racah Institute of Physics, announced the development on Tuesday with Volkswagen Group’s Innovation Hub in Tel Aviv, Konnect. The innovation hub was launched in 2018 to tap into the local startup and innovation scene.

Shenhav told The Times of Israel on Monday ahead of the announcement that SolCold has been working with the Konnect team since 2019 to further develop and test its technology — a cool-by-sunlight material — at the startup’s 300 square-meter, open-air demo site near its offices in Ness Ziona.

“We had two cars at the demo site where we were doing research. They wanted to test their own vehicle, and brought in representatives from Germany and a Volkswagen Polo and we did a demo that showed that our technology was able to bring down temperatures by 12-14 °C (53-57 °F) by coating the rooftop and dashboard,” compared to the control vehicle, Shenhav described.

He said the wheels are in motion for Volkwagen to use SolCold’s product as “flagship technology that will be embedded in new vehicles in the coming years.”

The benefits for the automotive market are two-fold, said Shenhav: having a naturally cooler car in hot climates could significantly reduce power (air-conditioning) consumption in vehicles, and thereby reduce fuel consumption; in electric or hybrid cars, this could lead to expanded range.

Shenhav said SolCold has been focused exclusively on research and development over the past six years, initially aiming to develop a high-tech, light-filtering paint for commercial and residential........

© The Times of Israel

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