If asphalt was painted or dyed a different color would it mitigate the heat absorption?



  1. 0 Votes

    I guess this is possible, but asphalt is now being suggested as a great source of thermal power so rather than painting it a different color to prevent heat absorption, why not use the heat it absorbs as a new green energy creator?

    A Dutch civil engineering company is already using asphalt in this way. They have placed water pipes below the asphalt and then they pump this hot water to nearby buildings for heating. They do the same thing with cold water in the summer – the pipes are constructed in a special way so they can do this.

    Ideas for using asphalt in a useful way are in the early stages with many experiments still being conducted. Whether using asphalt in this way is efficient and cost effective has yet to be determined, but it’s definitely an interesting idea!

  2. 0 Votes

    Making the color of asphalt light enough to have a significant degree of reflecrtion would be diffucult.  The energy necessary to produce the paint would have to be considered, as well as the durability/recoat time.  Using light colored cement might be better, more durable, and would retain its light colot.  I have driven from a dark asphalt road onto a light colored (nearly white) cement road, and the difference was palpable.  Again there would be a need to do a complete energy/cost analysis starting with the raw materials.

    Also some recent research indicates that painting many roads and roofs white in a city may have a slight warming effect, since the reduction of rising warm air would reduce cloud formation and precipitation.  A better idea may be to use the heat energy to power solar air coonditioning, which would obviously work best when it is needed most, and would have the benefit of reducing electricity demand during peak usage time.

    Storage of energy in large underground tanks of water is another good system.  Heating the water in summer with “waste” heat from air conditioning, and cooling it in winter by using heat pump installations would save a lot of electricity and heating oil.  Other forms of thermal storage underground are possible.  

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