Next-Generation Factory-Produced Cool Asphalt Shingles: Phase 1 Final Report

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As the least expensive category of high-slope roofing in the U.S., shingles are found on the roofs of about 80% of U.S. homes, and constitute about 80% (by product area) of this market. Shingles are also among the least reflective high-slope roofing products, with few cool options on the market. The widespread use of cool roofs in the two warmest U.S. climate zones could reduce annual residential cooling energy use in these zones by over 7%. This project targets the development of high-performance cool shingles with initial solar reflectance at least 0.40 and a cost premium not exceeding US$0.50/ft2.

Phase 1 of the current study explored three approaches to increasing shingle reflectance. Method A replaces dark bare granules by white bare granules to enhance the near-infrared reflectance attained with cool pigments. Method B applies a white basecoat and a cool-color topcoat to a shingle surfaced with dark bare granules. Method C applies a visually clear, NIR-reflecting surface treatment to a conventionally colored shingle. Method A was the most successful, but our investigation of Method B identified roller coating as a promising top-coating technique, and our study of Method C developed a novel approach based on a nanowire mesh.

Method A yielded red, green, brown, and black faux shingles with solar reflectance up to 0.39 with volumetric coloration. Since the base material is white, these reflectances can readily be increased by using less pigment. The expected cost premium for Method A shingles is less than our target limit of $0.50/ft2, and would represent less than a 10% increase in the installed cost of a shingle roof. Using inexpensive but cool (spectrally selective) iron oxide pigments to volumetrically color white limestone synthesized from sequestered carbon and seawater appears to offer high albedo at low cost.

In Phase 2, we plan to refine the cool shingle prototypes, manufacture cool granules, and manufacture and market high- performance cool shingles.

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