Japan introduces solar heat-blocking pavements

Tokyo [Japan]: The host city of Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, Tokyo is working on heat blocking methods during the summer.

Among various measures, originally research and practical application of a thermal barrier applied to pavement has been advanced to reduce a rise in temperatures from the summer heat.

It is the technology to apply a heat shield that reflects the sunlight causing the rise of the temperature of the road surface.

This solar heat-blocking pavement reflects incoming sunlight, making it difficult to heat the pavement and can reduce the rise in road temperatures by up to eight degrees Celsius.

Noise reduction technology has also been applied to Japanese roads to mitigate road noise.

Yusuke Nishioka, an official of the Bureau of Construction, said, “This is mainly used in Tokyo. It is paved with a lot of gaps. The pavement contains a lot of large stones, and based on the many gaps between the stones, it functions to lower road noise. We have adopted this in anticipation of reducing road noise.”

A thermal barrier coating is applied to the surface of the noise reduction pavement and is compatible in suppressing noise of the road surface.

“This is low noise pavement with a lot of gaps in it. This is low noise pavement with a thermal barrier coating. This is the lamp that simulates the sun. On the left is the surface temperature. On the right, is the temperature slightly away from there. The surface temperatures are quite different. The temperature in the dome above is different, so it does show the effect of the thermal barrier coating in the pavement,” Nishioka added.

As a part of research and development, tests have also been done to observe changes in temperature in multiple types of pavements.

The effect of the heat barrier pavement, which suppresses the rise in temperature of the road, can be measured using various devices or methods, including thermography.

At present, the center of Tokyo has been the focus of this application. It has been performed accordingly during road repairs.

Nishioka said, “I believe that this technology can be applied as a countermeasure to reduce the absorption of heat in pavement in other countries that experience hot weather.”

NEC opens its first Advanced Centre for Experimentation (ACE) in Singapore, aiming to facilitate the company’s global Research & Development capabilities.

ACE is strategically located in Singapore and is a key component of NEC’s growth strategy in the Asia Pacific region.

It leverages NEC’s core technologies and advanced solutions, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and ICT platforms, thereby creating new value and contributing to a safer smarter living environment for people and communities.

The facility allows co-creation of solutions and provides a “living lab” for proof-of-concepts for advanced solutions. This helps customers and partners, including governments and enterprises, in areas such as public safety, transportation and healthcare.

This will also enable close collaboration with NEC researchers in a real-world environment, and make it possible to clearly understand the benefits of new solutions before commercial deployment and operation.

With the establishment of ACE, NEC aims to increase its number of researchers by 50 percent, mainly in AI-related research fields, thereby contributing to the talent pool in Singapore.

NEC is investing more than S$100 million in the Asia Pacific region over the next five years, and the set-up of ACE in Singapore will be the heart of this investment: to innovatively help governments and enterprises across the region in their digital transformation journey.

Mervyn Cheah, Head of NEC Laboratories, Singapore, said, “Over safety, security, efficiency and equality, this place ACE allows costumers, partners to come not just to feel it, but to use our technology. Basically our NEC the WISE AI technologies, on both video and big data analytics, so that they can experience and feel how it would help them much better, and operate more efficiently.”

With its innovation capabilities, ACE will help to enrich Singapore’s digital ecosystem, and will foster new partnerships for the co-creation and commercialization of new solutions from Singapore to help drive the digital transformation of industries. (ANI)