RavenBrick, the company that brought us the smart tinting RavenWindow, has added to its folio of temperature regulating building materials with RavenSkin. Unlike traditional insulation that blocks all heat equally, this innovative wall insulation material absorbs heat during the day to keep the interior cool and slowly releases the stored heat at night to warm the building when the sun goes down.

The core of the system is a phase change material (PCM) that delays the transfer of heat energy from the sun to the interior of the house. PCMs are materials which melt and solidify at a certain temperature, absorbing or releasing heat when the material changes from solid to liquid or vice versa.

RavenSkin consists of an exterior layer of the company’s RavenWindow technology which reflects solar energy when it is hot and lets it pass through when cold. An air gap separates this outer layer from a glass layer that reflects back infrared (IR) to create a greenhouse effect in the air gap. Next is a layer of downconverter material that converts the incoming sunlight to IR below a certain temperature, before letting it pass through to the PCM layer which stores the converted IR energy. This energy is then released as heat through the back painted layer to the interior of the house when the temperature drops to a certain level. This interior surface can also be painted to suit your interior décor.

The current size of the individual panels, which are rated at R11 or greater, is limited to 55 x 55 inches (140 x 140 cm) and RavenBrick says they could provide savings of up to 100 percent on heating and cooling – depending on the building design and location. The company says it’s patent pending technology is perfect for warehouses, sheds and off-grid housing and provides a speedy return on investment for skyscrapers and other commercial, industrial or institutional buildings.