Tech spotlight with Yaron Shenhav, CEO of SolCold.
Blog

Tech spotlight with Yaron Shenhav, CEO of SolCold.

We sat down with Yaron Shenhav, CEO of SolCold, the award-winning startup behind the revolutionary idea of harnessing the sun to make things cooler rather than warmer to learn how their technology is making it happen.

By 
SOSA editorial team
February 2022

It was a sweltering hot summer day when Yaron Shenhav had a lightbulb moment: why don’t we use the sun’s radiation for cooling rather than heating?

Fast-forward, and you’ve got Solcold, a patented, award-winning technology that’s bringing the cool across industries.

We sat down with Yaron, Solcold’s CEO and Co-founder, to learn more about the science behind the innovation, the sustainability impacts, and the plans for the future.

"SolCold uses the “Anti-Stokes” phenomenon. For very specific fluorescent materials, very specific radiation will excite the material to a higher energy level. A few nanoseconds after, the material will reduce its energy, emitting more energetic radiation than obtained."

SOSA: Hey Yaron, thanks for joining us today. Can you tell us a bit about how you got started? Using the sun’s energy for cooling rather than heating may seem counterintuitive at first. How did you start developing this concept?

YS: I worked with lasers in the second decade of the 2000s. I knew that in 1995 scientists had discovered that certain materials actually cooled when exposed to specific laser radiation. So when a very hot day came around, and I was in my apartment, I wondered why nobody used this phenomenon for cooling using radiation from the sun. I looked to see how others approached this and realized that I was the first one! Since then, the roller coaster journey started.

SOSA: Electrophysics and chemistry are at the core of SolCold. Can you tell us more about the science behind your technology?

YS: SolCold uses the “Anti-Stokes” phenomenon. For very specific fluorescent materials, very specific radiation will excite the material to a higher energy level. A few nanoseconds after, the material will reduce its energy, emitting more energetic radiation than obtained. The challenge is to find materials that will be excited by sun radiation and to filter the sun radiation to obtain only the specific radiation needed.

"The challenge is to find materials that will be excited by sun radiation and to filter the sun radiation to obtain only the specific radiation needed."

SOSA: What is the most unexpected way your technology has been used? Can you share a fun example?

YS: By chance, we discovered that we produce water from the air. Since our materials are colder than all other materials around, they are the first to convert humidity to water at high humidity. This was quite a bother since it disrupted several experiments.

"By chance, we discovered that we produce water from the air. Since our materials are colder than all other materials around, they are the first to convert humidity to water at high humidity."

SOSA:  What kind of impact can Solcold have on global sustainability goals?

YS: There are four key ways Solcold addresses sustainability:

1. We can reduce electricity production for cooling. During the summer in Israel, about ~30% of the domestic electricity is used for AC. The same goes for cars.

2. We can cool locations that don’t have continuous electricity like developing countries. 

3. We are a cost-effective way to cool animal farms and agriculture products, allowing more food production and better conditions for farm animals. 

4. Since our materials cool their environments (the opposite of AC), with enough area, we can dramatically reduce the “urban heat island” and, at a large scale, affect global warming.

SOSA: Finally, can you give us a sneak peek at something you’re working on?

YS: We are currently working on the Volkswagen Car of The Future project. We call it the Coldswagen.

SolCold uses the “Anti-Stokes” phenomenon. For very specific fluorescent materials, very specific radiation will excite the material to a higher energy level. A few nanoseconds after, the material will reduce its energy, emitting more energetic radiation than obtained. The challenge is to find materials that will be excited by sun radiation and to filter the sun radiation to obtain only the specific radiation needed.

Enjoyed the read?

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Read more
Beyond sustainability: 3 reasons manufacturers must adopt a circular system.
May 2022
By 
SOSA editorial team

Beyond sustainability: 3 reasons manufacturers must adopt a circular system.

For manufacturers, entering the circular economy may be daunting, but there are some key benefits that managers and executives should consider.

Sustainability
Waste Management
Cleantech
Read now
What will sustainable factories of the future look like?
May 2022
By 
SOSA editorial team

What will sustainable factories of the future look like?

Spoiler alert: technology is making it easier than ever to get closer to net-zero. From hyper-connectivity to energy harvesting to accident-preventing hardware, read on to discover what the future holds for sustainable manufacturing.

Sustainability
Waste Management
Renewable Energy
Read now