Monday, April 22, 2013

Will white rooves prevent blackouts?

From DNA Info:

An environmental group is looking to help Astoria go green — by coating its rooftops in white.

The White Roof Project is bringing its initiative to Queens for the first time next month. The nonprofit covers sunlight-absorbing black tar roofs with white solar-reflective coating to keep buildings cooler, cut energy costs and relieve stress on the power grid.

Their first Astoria roof-coating will take place next month and is being funded by the U.S. Power Generating Company, which operates a power facility in the neighborhood.

White Roof Project is working with Queens Community Board 1 and Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. to find a local nonprofit or affordable housing group that would benefit from the rooftop makeover, which can cut a building's energy costs by up to 40 percent.

The white coating not only saves individual tenants money, but aids the whole city by reducing stress on the energy grid, lessening the likelihood of blackouts and so-called brown outs.

Astoria was home to a massive blackout in 2006, when much of Western Queens lost power for a staggering nine hot summer days.


Unknown said...

I've not seen rooves used in almost 40 years. Right about the same time that computer ceased to mean a person who does computation.

Queens Crapper said...

Well that's interesting since I am not yet 40 years old and that's the way I learned it, along with hooves and dwarves.

Anonymous said...

White rooves and roof gardens are great ways to send back sunlight and reduce energy costs. Black and brick tend to absorb the sunlight increasing the need to cool things in the summer. Luxury condos and hotels should be forced to adopt such technologies to reduce the strain on the neighborhood grid.

But it doesn't look like they've done much cracking down on illegal sublets in Astoria. Those are really increasing costs.

Queens Crapper said...

Exactly. The cause of the blackouts was excessive strain caused by overdevelopment, not hot rooves.

Joe said...

It works but there is a tradeoff. I did this in Ridgewwod when i built my roofshack bar however I didn't PAINT but used white aggregate coated roofing paper. Dropped the upstairs floor 15 degree's in July.
In the day it reflects sunlight.
When its real nasty hot you can now cool & Dehumidify the living room with a small 4 amp window AC.

Now for the trade off: 9 months out of the year when you may want top floor heat its colder. You spend more then you saved in July on gas !!

Anonymous said...


What you found out is that simplistic solutions like this usually have undesirable side effects.

There is no one size fits all solution and any thinking person knows this. Sadly there are few thinking people in DC.

White rooves may be fine in FL and AZ, but in the NY area, a zebra approach with one white and one black would make more sense. Then again the idea came from someone in DC where they decided that every toilet bowl in the USA had to have the same flush capacity to save water. As the folks in Seattle where they get 50x the amount of rain as they do in parts of AZ.

Anonymous said...

Let them paint all the NYCHA projects with white paint. Oh wait, the endless bureaucracy will never get around to approving it.

Anonymous said...

White rooves or more Bloomberg "whitewash"?

Over development causes blackouts.
Building comes first. Attention to an aging infrastructure comes in second.

How much energy can be saved by painting your roof white?

Bah! Humbug! Show us the stats!

Anonymous said...

Flat roofs usually don't have any type of vents.My house had the side vents covered when i bought the house.I uncovered them. while it was still not much cooler during the day,once the sun went down so did the temperature on the top floor.......with a black roof!

Anonymous said...

But white rooves are colder in winter, unless you are so obese you generate your own heat