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Effect of vacuum scheme on radiative sky cooling performance

Hu, Mingke; Zhao, Bin; Suhendri; Cao, Jingyu; Wang, Qiliang; Riffat, Saffa; Su, Yuehong; Pei, Gang


Mingke Hu

Bin Zhao


Jingyu Cao

Qiliang Wang

Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems

Professor of Thermal Science and Building Technology

Gang Pei


Relatively low cooling power density is one of the main barriers to wider promotion of radiative sky cooling (RSC) technology. Vacuum scheme has been proposed to minimize the non-radiative cooling loss and thus improve the cooling capacity. However, systematic research to elucidate the effect of the vacuum mechanism on the RSC performance is still lacking. Therefore, in the present study, an RSC module with four vacuum structures is proposed to evaluate the performance variation resulting from the vacuum scheme. A quasi-steady state mathematical model is developed to characterize the cooling performance of the four RSC modules under different operation conditions. Results suggested that the vacuum strategy can further elevate the cooling capacity if the typical RSC (TRSC) module itself can realize all-day sub-ambient cooling. However, if the TRSC cannot achieve sub-ambient cooling during peak sun hours, the vacuum scheme will deteriorate rather than ameliorate the cooling performance. On a typical summer day in Shanghai, vacuumization in both cavities enables a further temperature reduction of 10.21 °C during the nighttime, but this value decreases to only 3.39 °C during the daytime. The cooling power enhancement resulting from the vacuum scheme is limited in real-world dynamic operation with the thermal carrier. At a reasonable temperature gap of 5 °C between the emitter and ambient air, the extra cooling gain is less than 5.10 W/m2. Hence, considering the addition of energy consumption and system complexity caused by the vacuum unit, it may not be advisable to pursue better cooling performance of a stand-alone RSC collector/system through introducing a vacuum strategy, unless realizing a deep stagnation emitter temperature is targeted.


Hu, M., Zhao, B., Suhendri, Cao, J., Wang, Q., Riffat, S., …Pei, G. (2023). Effect of vacuum scheme on radiative sky cooling performance. Applied Thermal Engineering, 219(Part C), Article 119657.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 14, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 20, 2022
Publication Date Jan 25, 2023
Deposit Date Jan 6, 2023
Publicly Available Date Nov 21, 2023
Journal Applied Thermal Engineering
Print ISSN 1359-4311
Electronic ISSN 1873-5606
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 219
Issue Part C
Article Number 119657
Keywords Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering; Energy Engineering and Power Technology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Effect of vacuum scheme on radiative sky cooling performance; Journal Title: Applied Thermal Engineering; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.