In Hong Kong SAR, air-conditioning to drive away the muggy sub-tropical heat accounts for almost a third (31%) of total electricity consumption.
In this megalopolis of 7.4 million, two young engineers looked for a greener solution to cooling buildings, and won the admiration of legendary inventor Sir James Dyson.
Hoi Fung Ronaldo Chan and Can Jovial Xiao created E-COATING, an eco-friendly solution that solves two problems in one. It takes advantage of the 470,000 glass bottles that end up in landfills every day to create a reflective coating that reflects the sun’s rays.
Made from recycled waste glass, it can be applied to exterior roofs and walls, thereby tackling the problem of throwaway glass while also reducing the amount of electricity consumed on cooling solutions like air-conditioning.
“Based on my program calculation, you can save about 30% energy usage on air conditioning systems,” said Ronaldo.
“Ronaldo and Jovial have come up with a clever way to turn waste into something much more valuable,” said Sir James Dyson, Founder and Chief Engineer at Dyson, who co-awarded to two inventors the 2023 James Dyson Award for Sustainability.
“E-COATING uses recycled glass to create a coating to put on exterior walls. This reflects the sun’s rays, and therefore saves a substantial proportion of the electricity needed to cool the building. It is a dual solution that is good for the environment and saves money.”
The Award will support the team’s plans to advance E-COATING’s adhesion and ease of application. They will also investigate new E-COATING formulas for indoor use.
“We invented E-COATING with a desire to help tackle the serious environmental problems our planet is facing,” Ronaldo and Jovial said. “The prize money will allow us to further our research and development goals and start a company to take our invention to the next level.”
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