Panasonic will make cool spots to battle heat

Panasonic Corp. and materials maker Sekisui Jushi Corp. have joined hands to create cool spots in public spaces to battle Japan’s intense summer heat.

The companies aim to commercialize their mist-filled, air-conditioned refuges by next spring to meet the growing demand for measures to beat rising summer temperatures after a record number of people suffered from heat stroke or heat exhaustion in Japan this year.

The cool spots, which will be located on sidewalks, parks and around commercial facilities, will be some 4 C lower than the surrounding environment on average.

They will use Panasonic’s Green Air-Conditioner, which emits a curtain of fine mist and air, and Sekisui Jushi’s roofing made of artificial wood, which blocks sunlight.

The water particles are so small — each only one-hundredth of a millimeter in diameter — that the mist does not feel wet or dampen items such as newspapers or glasses, Panasonic said.

Sekisui Jushi, a major resin processor affiliated with Sekisui Chemical Co., will enhance the durability of the heat-proof roofing with special coatings to prevent corroding by the mist.

The two companies, both headquartered in Osaka Prefecture, will also consider equipping the system to respond to subtle changes in weather, temperature and humidity by using meteorological data, they said.

Sweltering summer heat has been a major concern for Japan, especially as the capital will host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. In July, the temperature soared to an all-time high of 41.1 C near Tokyo.

Via Kyodo

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